Thank you to everyone who participated in our blog this week! Our topic was intended to not only show the media images of I Love Lucy in relation to the 1950's, but to also be fun. I Love Lucy is clearly seen as a classic TV show just by the fact that everyone is still watching and talking about it. It is also clear that I Love Lucy not only supported the societal norms of the 50's, but also pushed the boundaries. When looking at the posts and discussions from students throughout the week, there is clearly a difference of opinions on some of the topics which is great by allowing people to view different aspects of the show in different lights. A lot of people believed that the extreme behaviors in the show that both supported and went against the societal norms were not intentional, but rather for comedic purposes. Some people believed that even if there were some signs of going against the societal norms of the 50's, like Lucy talking back to her husband or trying to attain equal rights, it was not that important because in their opinion, Lucy is always just "put back into her place". Others, however, believed that even though Lucy was at times "put back into her place", the fact that Lucy acted out was still a step towards breaking the gender norms seen in the family system, whether intentional or not.
The "Equal Rights" episode is a great example of showing the sexual scripts women and men followed and their different ideas of equal rights in the 50's. Ethel telling Lucy that they should not have been trying to change anything because it was not worth it, really sparked up a conversation and it would have been interesting to see what people thought about the ending. The ending of the show actually shows Ricky and Fred agreeing that Lucy and Ethel deserve equal rights, and even if it may not be fully shown in all of the episodes, the fact that Lucy and Ethel won in this case, is HUGE! Also, learning that Lucille Ball was the first women to be part owner of her own production company, Desilu productions, may have also influenced people to look at the show in a more pushing the boundaries aspect, because of the strong individuality of Lucille Ball herself.
Other than the situations and interactions between the characters on the show, portraying the support and non-support of the 50's, there was also a lot of other aspects of the show that made it unique for it's time which are hard to be argued. The fact the I Love Lucy was one of the first shows to show an exogamous relationship, discussing birth, and giving birth to a multi-racial child are truly important aspects of the show that cannot be ignored. These aspects of the show were clearly beginning to take steps towards showing families on TV that were similar to those in reality. One student asked if the show had ever gotten hate mail because of this, but we are not sure. Even if they had, however, the show was still a huge success which may mean that the majority of people really did not have a problem with I Love Lucy.
So, we hope that the class enjoyed learning about the different aspects of I Love Lucy, it's portrayal of the family, and also seeing first hand examples through the "Equal Rights" episode. As mentioned in the first post, television often portrays the "normal" family through contradictory messages. I Love Lucy is a perfect example of this and even so, will always be a classic that will never be forgotten.
Thank you again from,
Michael, Jessica, Lauren, Meghan, & Madison!
Please Enjoy our Formal Closing!