Although many Americans have ditched black and white TV, some are still nostalgic about them due to the disappearance of their favorite shows. Some of the shows that were aired in the 1950s and 60s are The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy. Although The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy were set from different regions, they depicted many similarities concerning family life, struggle with jobs, and morals. Luckily, I love Lucy is back on television screens, but in a colorized version. Both shows were quite popular because they express the American TV history and culture, and were normally televised on CBS as American sitcom (situation comedy). The two shows depict family relations, morals, family struggles, and leadership.
The Andy Griffith Show narrates about troubles that father and son went through as he tried to bring up the boy singlehanded in a morally upright manner. The show was set in the early 1950s, in a fictional area in North Carolina, where Sherriff Andy, the chief resident, was the only person who could solve disputes among the neighbors. As a widower Andy has to take care of his son Opie, with some little assistance from his relatives. The show proceeded to display how differences emerge within the family, as members acquire new characters. While the father is busy shaping the life of the young lad, society is embracing ethics that result in family struggles.
Even Sunday school teachers based their teachings on The Andy Griffith Show, as it represented the family characters that every person can emulate (Barfield 59). The show came at an era when letting children watch television was not a bad thing, as some shows offered life lessons that children could relate to in their growth. The show depicts that situations can eventually favor an individual, and appearance does not always reveal reality.
On the contrary, I Love Lucy is a classical comedy series that portrays the lifestyle of the early 1950s and 1960s, where much focus is on social enlightenment concerning American society. The play explores how couples struggle to meet the uncertainties of life, leading to conflict and misunderstandings. The show is worth watching because it expresses morality as well as other social problems that many families in the US encounter occasionally. Lucy, the main character, is portrayed as naïve, but ambitious to venture into performing business. Lucy is prepared to do anything, even if it embarrasses her or other people (Nguyen n.p). Ricardo, Lucy’s husband, is quite an excitable person, though his wife’s characters often provoked his patience.
Both shows are produced in different settings. While the Andy Griffith Show depicts rural area setting in the fifties and sixties, I Love Lucy portrays an urban setting at the same period. Unlike The Andy Griffith Show where characters are at peace with themselves, I Love Lucy creates suspense, as characters are uncertain of their actions. Andy’s story line revolves around leadership whereas Lucy’s main theme is to keep on chasing our dreams instead of sticking to the stereotypes. Lucy refused to stick to the house chores and tried everything she laid hands on until she got what she wanted.
A closer look at the themes in both plays depicts a number of similarities. Both plays explore the aspect of morality in families, as well as struggles in society. The plays illustrate how people evade good morals within the family setup and engage in infidelity, which consequently creates mistrust among family members. The role of housewives, gender representation, marital issues, and pregnancy are usually emphasized in I Love Lucy whereas The Andy Griffith Show carried the themes of authority, responsibility, supporting others, and how to approach fear. The shows implied that family members play a major role in influencing the struggles that individuals go through. When in difficulties, most individuals turn to their loved ones for consolation. Despite being a widower, Andy did not fail in raising Opie in the right way.
The supporting characters in both plays are exceedingly humorous and entertaining, as they endeavor to portray commitment to their struggle to lead a happy life. They do not struggle to portray their respective roles. This can be equated to what Americans go through in their lives, as they pursue their life goals. The interracial conflicts that Americans go though in both rural and urban settings are displayed in these shows. Whenever the characters are making decisions concerning their lives, they have to consider the perceptions of other people because every action has some implications to society.
The American television had never experienced comedy shows such as I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show since the inception of TV. Apart from entertaining viewers, the shows have remained to be popular among Americans for being educative, as well as representatives of American way of survival. The plays incorporate both slapstick comedy and music; hence, viewers are glued to their tubes throughout the episodes. While Lucy was struggling to fit in different business practices to earn a living for the family, Andy was striving to fight domestic challenges. Both shows are essential for family viewing as they portray family struggles.
Barfield, Ray E. A Word from Our Viewers: Reflections from Early Television Audiences. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2008. Print.
Nguyen, Vi-An. “National I Love Lucy Day: 7 Scenes That Still Make Us Laugh.” Parade, October 15, 2015. Web. 19 may 2016.