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Analytical Exposition Comparison Of The Domestic Sitcoms "Brady Bunch" And "My Wife And Kids"

1522 words - 7 pages

The popularity of domestic sitcoms is increasing. Certain shows usually address issues relevant to the lives of their viewers. It could be suggested that certain television shows contribute to the development of viewer's attitudes and beliefs. Despite the differences in the eras that these sitcoms come from, The Brady Bunch (produced 1970) and My Wife and Kids (produced 2000-2005), represent family as a place of love, protection, support and affection. However the producers present this image through different technical, symbolic and language strategies. The representations of family presented in the two sitcoms reflect the eras of production.The Brady Bunch is a classic situation comedy. ...view middle of the document...

This is presented by The Brady Family being able to afford a live in housekeeper. However in My Wife and Kids Michael is the breadwinner and Jay works in an inconsequential job. Even though Michael is employed in the show he is shown at home. Both sitcoms are structured around a beleaguered father in a household in which he can get no peace. The action centres on a conflict in the domestic scene that will usually be resolved in the thirty minutes of airtime.Despite the differences in eras that these sitcoms come from these two shows represent family as a source of love, support and affection. However, not all viewers will respond to the representations of family in the same manner. In reality, people accept readings of the content differently because of their own backgrounds, past experiences, values and beliefs.The opening segment of The Brady bunch reveals much about the representation of family. It describes, in song, how the family came together as one which is sung by the children themselves. The music is catchy, happy and the lyrics are easy to understand and remember. They suggest life in the Brady family is perfect and wholesome, they way every family should be. The visual strategies such as every family member in their own box represent their place in the family. It could also suggest that each family is perfect as the images in each box show the family members smiling and happy. These strategies encourage the preferred reading that the family is perfect and loving. However, if it wasn't for Alice the family would be lost, earning her spot in the middle square. The opening segment of My Wife and Kids also reveals a representation of family. The music is upbeat and modern without any lyrics. This suggests that life in the Kyle family is upbeat and modern. The visual image shows a close-up of the Kyle's household. These strategies encourage the reading that the family is a middle-class family.The Brady Bunch is set in Los Angeles America in a time of post-war confusion and unemployment. The main setting used in the show is the four bedrooms, two storey house designed by Mike Brady himself. The furnishings and colours such as browns, greens and oranges, used inside the Brady's house signify the era in which the sitcom was produced. These symbolic codes represent the family as upper-class and give their house a warm and homey feel.My Wife and Kids is set in modern day America. The family's four bedroom house is the main setting of the show. The house is two storeys and is architecturally designed to show that the family is upper-class. The colours and furnishings, stainless steel appliances, wide screen TV etc, of the house symbolize that the family is modern and stylish. However objects such as smiling family photos placed around the home give the house a homey and inviting feel. The differences of these symbolic codes such as settings and the representations of family they present between the two sitcoms demonstrate the different eras...

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