On the Sitcom : Hampton Stevens

“In the 1980s, the sitcom changed. When Baby Boomers started having kids, they turned away from broad social issues, worrying less about saving the world, and more about personal relationships at home and work. Television reflected that Reagan-era cultural retrenchment, and the socially-conscious, experimental sitcom fell out of favor. It was replaced by straightforward family or pseudo-family comedies, typified by Cheers, Newhart, and, of course, The Cosby Show. Other than an occasional—and usually lamentable—”Very Special Episode,” ’80s sitcoms avoided any problem in the world bigger than Vanessa Huxtable wanting to quit the clarinet.”



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