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Old 02-20-2017, 06:21 AM
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Television episodes that wouldn’t fly today


Inspired by the “songs that wouldn’t fly today” thread, I’m thinking about television episodes that probably would never be made today. For the purpose of this thread, I’m not talking about entire series that would not be made, such as westerns where the theme of every other episode is “the only good injun is a dead injun” (and each bullet shoots 10 of them off their horses and _still_ manages to make a ricochet sound), I mean perfectly “normal” series that would have an occasional episode that is pretty WTF by modern social conventions. (And, I suppose, by “not fly today”, I would have to exclude series that make it a point to push at boundaries as hard as possible, such as Family Guy and South Park.)

A strong example is the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Geordi La Forge is kidnapped by a shipful of mentally retarded aliens. Another example is a single episode each of both Andy Griffith and Car 54, Where Are You were based around jokes about Gypsy curses.

So, what other episodes come to mind?
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:17 AM
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Lots of TV shows from the 50s showed people smoking. In the case of Topper, which was sponsored by Camel Cigarettes, the cast did commercials for the cigarettes while in character.

And, of course The Amos and Andy Show. The TV version had Black actors, but the entire concept is too fraught to be used today.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:19 AM
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Number 1 has to be the episode of "Too Close for Comfort" where Monroe gets kidnapped and raped by two fat women.

http://www.avclub.com/article/itoo-c...es-two-w-70558
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:34 AM
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Pretty much every episode of All in the Family. Archie Bunker's lovable bigot simply wouldn't fly today.

Married...with Children's "The Dance Show" (in which Peg secretly dates a man who turns out to be gay, while Al strikes up a friendship with the man's husband) was very edgy for its time and actually somewhat tastefully done, except for Al's closing line, "He was a homo, Peg."
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:37 AM
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A whole lot of "Star Trek: the Next Generation" would not go over with a modern-day audience.

I don't remember the exact titles of the episodes, but there's the episode in which the Enterprise encounters an all-stereotypically "Afreee-CANNN" culture and Tasha Yar gets kidnapped with the intent of making her a trophy bride.

Then there's the ep. where Counselor Troi gets impregnated by a miracle child (she was essentially used as an incubator and allowed no consent in the process.)

Crusher and the ghost that that raped all her female ancestors over the course of 500 years.

The gender-less aliens who demonized any members of their race who showed gender characteristics. Ironically, this was TNG's awkward, fumbling attempt at addressing non-hetero sexuality -- and it was just a mess.

For a show that was supposed to be so thoughtful and brainy, it really did not think through a lot of the episode premises.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:39 AM
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TV episodes that wouldn't fly today

WKRP's turkey episode.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:52 AM
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TV episodes that wouldn't fly today

WKRP's turkey episode.
As God as my witness, I thought it would.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:56 AM
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TV episodes that wouldn't fly today

WKRP's turkey episode.
We have a winner. Of course that didn't fly when originally aired either, so maybe it does not count.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:33 AM
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There's an episode of Bewitched that was actually based on a script sent to the writers by a school English class (can't remember whether it was high school or intermediate school), but it's a pro-civil rights ep where Tabitha has a Black friend, and they are pretending to be sisters. Someone (at a park, or something) tells them they can't be sisters because they are different colors, so Tabitha creates black and white (or what Crayola of the time would have called "flesh" and "burnt umber") spots all over them, so they are the same color. There is a brief interlude where the Black girl if turned all-white, and Tabitha is all-Black.

Hilarity ensues.

By the end, an advertising client of Darrin's confronts the racism in his heart that he had buried very deeply, and was in denial about. It was actually pretty progressive not to make the racist an overt and mean guy. He's avuncular and just slightly overweening in his attempts to show that he is cool when he misunderstands the situation (the Black friend answers the door before the spots, and the client thinks Darrin is married to a Black woman). But he's racist nonetheless. SPOILER: He gets better by the end and thanks everyone, and Samantha manages to get the spots reversed, but not after lots of trying to hide them from the friend's parents.

I think today this would be considered backward, and possibly the color-changing spells a little offensive, but it was very progressive for its time.

Mary Tyler Moore once did an episode, and I am going to spoil the punchline for the whole episode, so if you haven't seen the one where Rhoda dates Phyllis' brother, and don't want it spoiled, DON'T READ FURTHER!

If you don't know the show, Phyllis hate Rhoda. Phyllis' brother Ben is coming into town, and despite Phyllis' massive attempts to set him up with Mary, Ben ends up spending a lot of time with Rhoda. Phyllis is crushed.

At the end of the episode, Rhoda confides in Phyllis that she is not interested in Ben. Phyllis says "Why? He's smart, he makes a lot of money, he's handsome, he's talented--"
Rhoda: "--He's gay." Audience roars with laughter. It seems to go on forever. It's one of the biggest laughs a "reveal" line has ever gotten.
When the laughter starts to die (finally) Phyllis says "Oh thank gawd!" More laughter.

I don't think this would provoke so much laughter now (gay; big deal), and possibly could backfire since many people are now very sensitive to the idea of outing other people to their families.

The line is the punchline to the whole episode, since it pretty much consists of Rhoda going places with Ben and talking about them, Phyllis trying to redirect Ben to Mary, and having angst attacks when her efforts fail.

It's still funny in the context of The MTM Show, though because it's an historical artifact.

I wonder how the episode where Maude gets an abortion would work? She was her own person, and did unpopular things, so she might still do it-- and if she got pregnant, it's what she do, but maybe the episode just wouldn't happen. My only hope is that they wouldn't cop out and have her miscarry before she could actually go ahead with the abortion. Better not to even do the episode.

The episode of One Day at a Time where Ann leaves her boyfriend to chaperone a party for Barbara and Julie, and against Ann's orders, they have beer at the party. The party gets shut down when the adults figure it out, but no one gets in any real trouble, and they show teens getting really drunk.

I'm not sure what the drinking age in California was in the mid-70s, where the show was written and filmed, and I realize that in much of the country it was 18, but in Indiana, where the show was set, it was 21. However, even in Indiana, underage drinking was kinda pooh-poohed. I was about five years younger than Barbara and Julie, and went to high school in Indiana, and underage drinking by 17- to 20-years-olds was not a big thing even in the early 80s.

Nowadays, on TV, it usually has to end with someone in the hospital for alcohol poisoning, or some other really dire consequence.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:37 AM
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A strong example is the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Geordi La Forge is kidnapped by a shipful of mentally retarded aliens.
I agree with Don Draper: The early TNG episode which would be guaranteed to not work today would be "Code of Honor", where Yar is kidnapped by a planet of African Stereotypes straight out of a 1930s serial and the whole thing fairly snaps, crackles, and pops with racist stereotyping and Picard Pretension from there. About the only thing they didn't do was blackface, which meant they got actual Black people to dress up in leopard skins and act like spoiled children.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:50 AM
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The two-part episode of Buffalo Bill titled "Jo-Jo's Problem." Her "problem" is that she's pregnant with Bill's child, and, in the end, gets an abortion. A good part of the second half was she and the others in the station discuss the option, and, at the end, she is content with her choice. It was aired in 1984, but nowadays the idea of someone having an abortion without any ramifications is just not shown.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:28 AM
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I would have to exclude series that make it a point to push at boundaries as hard as possible, such as Family Guy and South Park.
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Pretty much every episode of All in the Family. Archie Bunker's lovable bigot simply wouldn't fly today.
Wouldn't that fall under the "push at boundaries" exception?
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:37 AM
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Wouldn't that fall under the "push at boundaries" exception?
The social climate isn't right for the Archie/Mike dichotomy. Besides, Mike was a sort of hippie-- a borderline one, but he tended that way. Not only would Archie not work, but Mike wouldn't work either.

And I think that the premise of a 20-something living in his father's-in-law house rent free and being that disrespectful would trigger a lot of people, since a lot of 20-somethings are actually at their parents' homes because of the economic climate.

Plus, Gloria being in her 20s, married, and not working a full-time job OR going to school would seem very odd. She's sort of a jr. Edith on the show, helping with the housework and cooking, and I think in later eps has a part-time job of sorts, but she should be pursuing something. Probably an education. If not that, working full-time to support Mike, with the intent that he will support her once he is graduated, and either they will start a family, or she will go to school.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:49 AM
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If not that, working full-time to support Mike, with the intent that he will support her once he is graduated, and either they will start a family, or she will go to school.
Exactly, and women damned well did that in the early 1980s, too, so not far removed from "All In The Family"'s airdates: That's how my parents lived when they were first married, as both of them were RNs but my dad went back to school to become a CRNA, and my mom supported him.

So Gloria's situation was old-fashioned even by the standards of her generation.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:01 AM
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Then there's the Golden Girls episode in which Dorothy's lesbian friend comes to visit, and when told, at first Blanche thinks she's Lebanese. Even in the 80s, that kind of ignorance was a stretch. (But of course it becomes pure comedy when Blanche is insulted because the friend has a crush on Rose, and not her.)

And when Blanche's brother announces he's gay, super-hip Blanche has a hard time accepting it. In another episode, when he announces he's marrying his partner, the audience roars with laughter at such a ridiculous idea.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:07 AM
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Then there's the Golden Girls episode in which Dorothy's lesbian friend comes to visit, and when told, at first Blanche thinks she's Lebanese. Even in the 80s, that kind of ignorance was a stretch. (But of course it becomes pure comedy when Blanche is insulted because the friend has a crush on Rose, and not her.)

.
It was ignorance to a shocking degree. Lebanese are from The Lebanon. Lesbians are from Lesbos....... which now that I think of it, is not that far from Lebanon.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:16 AM
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I would say that almost any 1970s or 1980s mention of homosexuality in an episode would not fly today. Even when the producers were trying for a sympathetic viewpoint, they tended to treat the subject with the usual stereotyping that we reject today. Case in point: Jodie Dallas of Soap. He goes through wanting a sex-change operation, then has a woman try to make him go straight, then agrees to a weekend with another woman (by whom he has a baby), etc. And most of the 70s and 80s programs that dealt with the subject consistently approach it from the viewpoint of the time: something was "wrong" with being homosexual, especially for a man.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:25 AM
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Well the 1980's had GRID/AIDS so there is that big overshadow
The one depiction of homosexuality I saw in M*A*S*H was actually fairly reasonable, and this was an early episode so 1970's.

Last edited by AK84; 02-20-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:31 AM
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I would say that almost any 1970s or 1980s mention of homosexuality in an episode would not fly today.
With an episode of "M*A*S*H" being a notable exception: "George" shows a gay soldier who is presented as being more normal than most of the regulars on the series, and definitely never even implies he's transsexual or a transvestite or in any way feminine. Frank is the only one who has a problem with George's sexuality, and Frank was shown as being wrong for thinking that way. Keep in mind this was second season "M*A*S*H", original airdate February 16, 1974.

Which, of course, leads into your point:
Quote:
And most of the 70s and 80s programs that dealt with the subject consistently approach it from the viewpoint of the time: something was "wrong" with being homosexual, especially for a man.
"M*A*S*H" was set during the Korean War. The idea that there wasn't anything wrong with being gay was then the province of radical secret gay rights organizations such as the Mattachine Society; at that time, it would have been beyond belief for a pair of doctors to want to keep a gay man in the Army. In fact, homosexuality wasn't removed from the DSM until right around the time the episode aired, over twenty years after the Korean War ended.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:41 AM
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Then there's the Golden Girls episode in which Dorothy's lesbian friend comes to visit, and when told, at first Blanche thinks she's Lebanese. Even in the 80s, that kind of ignorance was a stretch. (But of course it becomes pure comedy when Blanche is insulted because the friend has a crush on Rose, and not her.)
Except that the same joke was used to good effect in Bend It Like Beckham in 2002.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:24 PM
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Inspired by the “songs that wouldn’t fly today” thread . . .
Wow, I'm an inspiration!
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:24 PM
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Then there's the Golden Girls episode in which Dorothy's lesbian friend comes to visit, and when told, at first Blanche thinks she's Lebanese. Even in the 80s, that kind of ignorance was a stretch. (But of course it becomes pure comedy when Blanche is insulted because the friend has a crush on Rose, and not her.)

And when Blanche's brother announces he's gay, super-hip Blanche has a hard time accepting it. In another episode, when he announces he's marrying his partner, the audience roars with laughter at such a ridiculous idea.
Blanche: "Well, aren't there gay people who like WOMEN?"

Sophia: "Yes, Blanche. They're called lesbians."
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:28 PM
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Blanche: "Well, aren't there gay people who like WOMEN?"

Sophia: "Yes, Blanche. They're called lesbians."
"Some people like men, some people like women.

Some people like dogs and some people like cats, and frankly I'd rather have a lesbian in the house than a cat-person."

Truer words were never spoken.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:37 PM
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Wow, I'm an inspiration!
You're the wind beneath my wings.

But not enough to fly.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:38 PM
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There was an episode of Love Boat that I didn't think worked that well even when it aired. A woman on the cruise is seeking revenge on a man. Former boyfriend, I guess, but don't remember. Anyway, they end up in one of their cabins, and the man is in the bathroom or other room changing, and they are conversing. The woman mentions how she just loves a bald head. The guy comes out without his hairpiece (bad-looking bald cap on the actor) and exclaims that he's a bald guy. The woman had it set up so others would come to the room at the right time, and the guy made the big reveal not knowing there would be witnesses. The result was a shocked group as if this guy was some carnival freak. It was stupid then, and it would be even dumber now.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:47 PM
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There was an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob thought the hospital had mixed up their baby with another couple's child. He finally tracks down the other couple and invites them over to discuss the possibility. The punchline of the episode is when the couple arrive they're black.

Nothing really offensive about that but a writer probably couldn't sell the idea today.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:06 PM
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There was an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob thought the hospital had mixed up their baby with another couple's child. He finally tracks down the other couple and invites them over to discuss the possibility. The punchline of the episode is when the couple arrive they're black.

Nothing really offensive about that but a writer probably couldn't sell the idea today.
A far worse episode from a modern viewpoint is "The Bad Old Days", where all the women on the show become subservient to their husbands.
And although criticizing 50s shows for having dated gender roles is shooting fish in a barrel, this "Father Knows Best" episode is especially notable. Betty, a smart and beautiful teenager, is talked out of an engineering career so her husband "can come home to some nice pretty wife".
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:08 PM
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I would say that almost any 1970s or 1980s mention of homosexuality in an episode would not fly today. Even when the producers were trying for a sympathetic viewpoint, they tended to treat the subject with the usual stereotyping that we reject today. Case in point: Jodie Dallas of Soap. He goes through wanting a sex-change operation, then has a woman try to make him go straight, then agrees to a weekend with another woman (by whom he has a baby), etc. And most of the 70s and 80s programs that dealt with the subject consistently approach it from the viewpoint of the time: something was "wrong" with being homosexual, especially for a man.
There was an episode of "Alice" where she sent her son on a weekend camping trip with several men, one of whom turned out to be gay, and when she found out, she asked her son if that particular man did anything to him.

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Old 02-20-2017, 01:10 PM
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There was an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob thought the hospital had mixed up their baby with another couple's child. He finally tracks down the other couple and invites them over to discuss the possibility. The punchline of the episode is when the couple arrive they're black.

Nothing really offensive about that but a writer probably couldn't sell the idea today.
The audience roared with laughter, because no one saw it coming. Probably a lot of people would anticipate the joke now. That's why it wouldn't sell. There was a black couple in the hospital at the same time. >YAWN< But when it first aired, black people on TV for any reason were pretty unusual, so bringing on a black couple to be "The Peters," people who have been omnipresent without being seen the whole episode, was daring, and that's why it was so surprising.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:11 PM
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There was an episode of "Alice" where she sent her son on a weekend camping trip with several men, one of whom turned out to be gay, and when she found out, she asked her son if that particular man did anything to him.

I'll second that .
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:14 PM
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Betty, a smart and beautiful teenager, is talked out of an engineering career so her husband "can come home to some nice pretty wife".
Wait-- engineering school makes you mean and ugly? Does it do that to men too, or just women?
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:16 PM
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There was an episode of Love Boat that I didn't think worked that well even when it aired.
A lot of things on The Love Boat didn't work when it aired. Seriously, I don't know how that show stayed on the air so long. 80s TV really was awful.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:35 PM
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There was an episode of "Alice" where she sent her son on a weekend camping trip with several men, one of whom turned out to be gay, and when she found out, she asked her son if that particular man did anything to him.

Boys Beware!

One of the things it's going to be hard for future generations to really wrap their minds around was the degree to which male homosexuality and pedophilia were conflated in the popular imagination. Not that one lead to the other, but that there was no admitted distinction between them.

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There was an episode of Love Boat that I didn't think worked that well even when it aired. A woman on the cruise is seeking revenge on a man. Former boyfriend, I guess, but don't remember. Anyway, they end up in one of their cabins, and the man is in the bathroom or other room changing, and they are conversing. The woman mentions how she just loves a bald head. The guy comes out without his hairpiece (bad-looking bald cap on the actor) and exclaims that he's a bald guy. The woman had it set up so others would come to the room at the right time, and the guy made the big reveal not knowing there would be witnesses. The result was a shocked group as if this guy was some carnival freak. It was stupid then, and it would be even dumber now.
Where are the bears when you need them?

(Uh, that's not a gay joke.)
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:39 PM
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Wait-- engineering school makes you mean and ugly? Does it do that to men too, or just women?
Well toward the end of the episode Betty's date says engineering is for men because "if the nice pretty girls are in the dust and heat, who are the guys going to come home to?". He also claims if pretty girls aren't staying at home, men will have no incentive to do their hard work for the good of society. Yes, even by the standards of the day it's very old fashioned.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:39 PM
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Exactly, and women damned well did that in the early 1980s, too, so not far removed from "All In The Family"'s airdates: That's how my parents lived when they were first married, as both of them were RNs but my dad went back to school to become a CRNA, and my mom supported him.

So Gloria's situation was old-fashioned even by the standards of her generation.
I wouldn't call it "old-fashioned". It was an uncommon situation even in 1971, but not because Gloria didn't have a job - that was not at all unusual in 1971. What was uncommon was that blue-collar Archie would be willing to support both of them- but I don't think there was ever a time when that was common in general US society (although there may be subcultures where it is)

Last edited by doreen; 02-20-2017 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:54 PM
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A couple of mentions of WKRP made me think of a particular episode that would at least draw ire nowadays:

The ep. has Andy, Mr. Carlson, and Herb going out of town to make a presentation to a prospective client (someone who they want to buy ad time on the station). While at the hotel, Herb encounters a woman who clearly recognizes him -- even though he can't seem to place her.

Later in the ep., Herb is making out with the woman - who reveals that (in her words): "I used to be a man!" and then it dawns on Herb that this was an old classmate of his whom he knew as a 'boy.'

I am fairly certain that a lot of transgender activists would take exception to the depiction, because 1) the character's line about "used to be a man" (transgender people assert that they've always known they were the 'opposite' sex and don't see it as "used to be a man") and, more importantly, 2) it perpetuates the nasty stereotype that transgenders are always out to 'fool' people -- that they hide their "true nature" until after they've had sex in order to get one over on the 'normal' people.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:00 PM
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As God as my witness, I thought it would.
As God is my witness, a turkey flew into my radiator and caused $1200 worth of damage the other day. So yes, turkeys can fly, but I'm not sure about God.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:58 PM
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Wasn't there an episode of I Love Lucy where Ricky spanked Lucy?
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by installLSC View Post
Well toward the end of the episode Betty's date says engineering is for men because "if the nice pretty girls are in the dust and heat, who are the guys going to come home to?"
What kind of engineer did he think she wanted to be? a train engineer?
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Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
Wasn't there an episode of I Love Lucy where Ricky spanked Lucy?
Speaking of trains, Sheldon spanked Amy a couple of seasons ago, but the dynamics were totally different, and it turned out Amy liked it. A lot. And apparently the harder the better. That would not have flown on I Love Lucy.
  #40  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:35 PM
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I wouldn't call it "old-fashioned". It was an uncommon situation even in 1971, but not because Gloria didn't have a job - that was not at all unusual in 1971. What was uncommon was that blue-collar Archie would be willing to support both of them- but I don't think there was ever a time when that was common in general US society (although there may be subcultures where it is)
A childless married woman without a job was probably more common than it is now, but definitely not unusual.
  #41  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:37 PM
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A couple of mentions of WKRP made me think of a particular episode that would at least draw ire nowadays:

The ep. has Andy, Mr. Carlson, and Herb going out of town to make a presentation to a prospective client (someone who they want to buy ad time on the station). While at the hotel, Herb encounters a woman who clearly recognizes him -- even though he can't seem to place her.

Later in the ep., Herb is making out with the woman - who reveals that (in her words): "I used to be a man!" and then it dawns on Herb that this was an old classmate of his whom he knew as a 'boy.'

I am fairly certain that a lot of transgender activists would take exception to the depiction, because 1) the character's line about "used to be a man" (transgender people assert that they've always known they were the 'opposite' sex and don't see it as "used to be a man") and, more importantly, 2) it perpetuates the nasty stereotype that transgenders are always out to 'fool' people -- that they hide their "true nature" until after they've had sex in order to get one over on the 'normal' people.
You do have to keep in mind that the Herb character was a huge womanizer and not exactly discriminating; however, a m-to-f person was a little too strange for him, especially because he had grown up with this person.
  #42  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:42 PM
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Boys Beware!

One of the things it's going to be hard for future generations to really wrap their minds around was the degree to which male homosexuality and pedophilia were conflated in the popular imagination. Not that one lead to the other, but that there was no admitted distinction between them.

Where are the bears when you need them?

(Uh, that's not a gay joke.)
I got it.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Elisha-baldhead.html

While we're on the subject, many modern Biblical scholars believe that the admonition about men laying together in Leviticus is actually about pedophilia, not adult homosexuality.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (No pun intended here, either.)

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 02-20-2017 at 05:43 PM.
  #43  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:51 PM
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Wait-- engineering school makes you mean and ugly? Does it do that to men too, or just women?
Speaking as an engineer. Yes.
  #44  
Old 02-20-2017, 06:02 PM
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A childless married woman without a job was probably more common than it is now, but definitely not unusual.
What was odd (for the 70s, as opposed to maybe the 1950s) was that neither Mike nor Gloria had a job. A childless married women in the 1970s wasn't unusual as long as her husband was working; however, in the 1970s, and this was especially true when men who were college students could get a draft deferral during the Vietnam War, a young married couple where the man was in college and the wife supported them (with maybe a little help from the parents, in the form of a small monthly check) was a heck of a lot more common than her not working at all, and essentially sponging off her parents and showing no gratitude.

Honestly, that really stands out in the reruns: Mike's ingratitude. He sometimes says he's going to pay Archie back in the future, but he never says "Thank you" for anything.

Albeit, IIRC, Gloria does get a job at some point in the series, but it's a good three years or so in.

I understand that the set-up was just to pit liberal Mike against conservative Archie week after week for the humor and topicality, and people were willing to suspend their disbelief for a good laugh. It's harder to do now.

Speaking of All in the Family, one episode that wouldn't fly now is the one where Gloria is attacked by what we are left to assume is a would-be rapist. She gets away with only emotional trauma, and the episode is her struggle with whether or not she should make a police report. The last shot is her sitting in a chair looking defeated, after discussing it with the police, and being told that if it goes to trial, she will be personally attacked by the defense attorney. We don't know what she actually decides, but the suggestion is that she doesn't make a report.

Now, that would get a flurry of angry letters-- BUT, the circumstances don't exist anymore. You can't slander the victim around the courtroom like you once could ("you" being the defense attorney). So it's not that the episode wouldn't fly-- it just couldn't happen.

Speaking of episodes that couldn't happen: there's a L&O: TOS that simply couldn't happen anymore. It's a very interesting episode, so it's easy to miss the fact that it is actually politically motivated. It was made before COBRA and the insurance transfer laws, when people with a health condition were stuck at whatever job they had with insurance, because if they changed jobs, their condition became a "pre-existing" condition, and they might have to wait two years to be covered again for their condition. So, in the ep, a woman with cancer, who doesn't know she has it, changes jobs, and is then diagnosed. It's a pre-existing condition, and not covered at her new job.

Now what would happen is that if you changed jobs with less than a three month gap, and you pay for COBRA, or with no gap, your pre-existing condition must be covered. That's the law. So that episode is as dated as though it had taken place in a phone booth.
  #45  
Old 02-20-2017, 06:10 PM
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Which, of course, leads into your point:"M*A*S*H" was set during the Korean War. The idea that there wasn't anything wrong with being gay was then the province of radical secret gay rights organizations such as the Mattachine Society; at that time, it would have been beyond belief for a pair of doctors to want to keep a gay man in the Army. In fact, homosexuality wasn't removed from the DSM until right around the time the episode aired, over twenty years after the Korean War ended.
Everything about M*A*S*H was an anachronism. Hawkeye's haircut alone would have gotten him thrown out of the Army. Or into the brig, or whatever they did back then.
  #46  
Old 02-20-2017, 06:15 PM
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I saw an episode of Emergency! (the one from the 1970's, not the current reality show) in which a woman was supposed to train as a paramedic at Station 51. Chet took one look at her and immediately faked a heart attack so she'd do mouth to mouth. Don't think that would fly today. (Even though there are people who harass women in that way, it still wouldn't be acceptable as part of an episode unless Chet was fired.) Oh, and Johnny asked her out right away. To be fair, this trainee saved Roy's life at the end and earned respect.

Oh, and basically the entire series of I Dream of Jeannie.
  #47  
Old 02-20-2017, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I got it.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Elisha-baldhead.html

While we're on the subject, many modern Biblical scholars believe that the admonition about men laying together in Leviticus is actually about pedophilia, not adult homosexuality.
Actually the majority opinion among serious scholars is that it is an admonition not to copy a particular ritual practiced by some neighbors. It literally says "You shall not lie the lying-of-woman." (The Hebrew word means lying down, not telling falsehoods.) It sounds like it's saying that a man should not play-act being a woman while having sex with a man.

Honestly, that's how some really benighted straight men imagine all gay male sex is, so it is possible, I guess, that the author of that passage did mean to say all gay sex is wrong, but whatever he meant, that's not what he said.

At any rate, there is good evidence that nearby worshipers of another god had male prostitutes in their temple who dressed like women and offered themselves to men while play-acting women (maybe because too many babies resulted from keeping real women as temple prostitutes? who knows); anyway, some people think that it was sex rituals that were being outlawed. The admonition not to "lie the lying of women," comes right after one not to give one's seed to a foreign god, and right before one about bestiality.

OK. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
  #48  
Old 02-20-2017, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Everything about M*A*S*H was an anachronism. Hawkeye's haircut alone would have gotten him thrown out of the Army. Or into the brig, or whatever they did back then.
FWIIW(no snark intended) Brig is Navy, Stockade is Army.
  #49  
Old 02-20-2017, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
The social climate isn't right for the Archie/Mike dichotomy. Besides, Mike was a sort of hippie-- a borderline one, but he tended that way. Not only would Archie not work, but Mike wouldn't work either.

And I think that the premise of a 20-something living in his father's-in-law house rent free and being that disrespectful would trigger a lot of people, since a lot of 20-somethings are actually at their parents' homes because of the economic climate.

Plus, Gloria being in her 20s, married, and not working a full-time job OR going to school would seem very odd. She's sort of a jr. Edith on the show, helping with the housework and cooking, and I think in later eps has a part-time job of sorts, but she should be pursuing something. Probably an education. If not that, working full-time to support Mike, with the intent that he will support her once he is graduated, and either they will start a family, or she will go to school.
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
What was odd (for the 70s, as opposed to maybe the 1950s) was that neither Mike nor Gloria had a job. A childless married women in the 1970s wasn't unusual as long as her husband was working; however, in the 1970s, and this was especially true when men who were college students could get a draft deferral during the Vietnam War, a young married couple where the man was in college and the wife supported them (with maybe a little help from the parents, in the form of a small monthly check) was a heck of a lot more common than her not working at all, and essentially sponging off her parents and showing no gratitude.

Honestly, that really stands out in the reruns: Mike's ingratitude. He sometimes says he's going to pay Archie back in the future, but he never says "Thank you" for anything.

Albeit, IIRC, Gloria does get a job at some point in the series, but it's a good three years or so in.

I understand that the set-up was just to pit liberal Mike against conservative Archie week after week for the humor and topicality, and people were willing to suspend their disbelief for a good laugh. It's harder to do now.

Speaking of All in the Family, one episode that wouldn't fly now is the one where Gloria is attacked by what we are left to assume is a would-be rapist. She gets away with only emotional trauma, and the episode is her struggle with whether or not she should make a police report. The last shot is her sitting in a chair looking defeated, after discussing it with the police, and being told that if it goes to trial, she will be personally attacked by the defense attorney. We don't know what she actually decides, but the suggestion is that she doesn't make a report.

Now, that would get a flurry of angry letters-- BUT, the circumstances don't exist anymore. You can't slander the victim around the courtroom like you once could ("you" being the defense attorney). So it's not that the episode wouldn't fly-- it just couldn't happen.

Speaking of episodes that couldn't happen: there's a L&O: TOS that simply couldn't happen anymore. It's a very interesting episode, so it's easy to miss the fact that it is actually politically motivated. It was made before COBRA and the insurance transfer laws, when people with a health condition were stuck at whatever job they had with insurance, because if they changed jobs, their condition became a "pre-existing" condition, and they might have to wait two years to be covered again for their condition. So, in the ep, a woman with cancer, who doesn't know she has it, changes jobs, and is then diagnosed. It's a pre-existing condition, and not covered at her new job.

Now what would happen is that if you changed jobs with less than a three month gap, and you pay for COBRA, or with no gap, your pre-existing condition must be covered. That's the law. So that episode is as dated as though it had taken place in a phone booth.

Mike is not supposed to be the good or normal one pitted against the bad Archie. In many ways Mike was as wrong as Archie. Archie had many layers of bad thoughts and motivations but when you peeled it back he basically had a good heart. Mike had many layers of noble intentions but in the end he is basically a meathead. Edith is the good and noble person in the house.
  #50  
Old 02-20-2017, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Mike is not supposed to be the good or normal one pitted against the bad Archie. In many ways Mike was as wrong as Archie. Archie had many layers of bad thoughts and motivations but when you peeled it back he basically had a good heart. Mike had many layers of noble intentions but in the end he is basically a meathead. Edith is the good and noble person in the house.
No, when the show originally came out, the audience was supposed to identify with Mike. I remember when it was new. I was just a little kid, but I watched it with my parents.
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