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Classic Television Sitcoms: 5 TV Shows That Had Cultural Impact

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Nov 2015 03:05 PM

Though viewers of classic television sitcoms may have watched TV just for fun, some of the genre's biggest shows left a lasting cultural impact on television and the general public.

Here are five classic TV sitcoms that had cultural impact beyond the small screen:

1. "I Love Lucy"
"I Love Lucy" hit the air waves in 1951 and centered on the hijinks of Lucille Ball and her best friend Ethel, played by Vivian Vance. It was a unique premise for the time because instead of focusing on the antics of the husband or the children, it focused on Lucy. Her husband, played by Desi Arnaz, was more of a supporting character. He helped drive the plot line and most of what Lucy did centered on bettering his career, but the female lead was still the focus of the series and a pioneering plot concept.

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2. "Laverne & Shirley"
Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams played Laverne De Fazio and Shirley Feeney, respectively. They were roommates and best friends who also had to deal with Lenny and Squiggy, a pair of friends always striking out in life in some manner of speaking. The show's slapstick humor around its female leads had people tuning in each week to see what kind of trouble the pair would get into. Following "I Love Lucy," the show continued to break down barriers for women, since Laverne and Shirley were "unapologetically blue collar in sensibility and ... never had to answer to any husband for their wacky hijinks," said Quora.

3. "All in the Family"
"All in the Family" is considered a groundbreaker for its time. It started its nine-year run in 1971 and focused on the working class. Archie Bunker is a narrow-minded conservative with a wife that is blissfully naive and a daughter who is all about women's liberation. Throw in a liberal son-in-law and "All in the Family" tackled serious social and political issues with humor and was a commentary of the world around it.

4. "The Golden Girls"
"The Golden Girls" was an unusual premise for a show that was a hit with audiences of all ages. The four women lived together in Miami and were in the golden years of their lives. The show tackled an important issue with humor: aging. Through each episode, it was illustrated that life doesn't end at a certain number and that being senior doesn't have to be a negative thing. It also tackled social issues, such as homosexuality, which wasn't something openly discussed at the time.

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5. "The Brady Bunch"
This blended family "story of a lovely lady" with three daughters who marries a man with three sons was never a huge hit when it was actually on the air. But in syndication since its last episode in 1974, "The Brady Bunch" has gained cult status. For better or worse, the show has influenced viewers' concept of a "normal" family.

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Though viewers of classic television sitcoms may have watched TV just for fun, some of the genre's biggest shows left a lasting cultural impact on television and the general public.
classic, television, sitcoms, cultural, impact
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2015-05-04
Wednesday, 04 Nov 2015 03:05 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

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