Theatre Women in Sitcoms the Movie Industry

Theatre

Women in sitcoms

The movie industry is a highly prolific one, which has also represented a means of transmitting cultural values. Movies and television shows are representative of the means in which the society of the time dealt with important issues such as racial differences, gender differences, religious and so on.

The condition of women revealed in the movie industry is also obvious at the level of the sitcoms of the past decades. In the 1950s for instance, shows such as "The adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (1952-1966) or "Father knows best" (1954-1960) portrayed perfect families, living the American dream and encountering life situations that were always solved rapidly, and in a light and comical note (TV.com, 2012). The role of the women was often a supporting one to the leading male actors, revealing superiority of the mane. In "Father knows best" for instance, the children would always seek their male parent for guidance.

Throughout the decades however, the perfect housewife portrayed in the 1950s sitcoms has changed, and her role within the family shifted. More and more women entered the job force and focused on their careers. Such is the case of Claire Huxtable, in the popular "The Cosby Show" (1984-1992), in which the mother of five is also a successful lawyer. This particular show is also interesting since it presented the Huxtable family as a successful and accomplished African-American family, in a time when the African-Americans were depicted as maids or other categories of less socially successful workers.

Last, the final example is represented by "Everybody loves Raymond" (1996-2005), where Debra is a housewife, but by her own choice. She makes her husband help around the house and with the children, she quarrels with her mother in law, she is frustrated, tired and emotional, and not afraid to reveal these emotions, unlike the 1950s housewives, which struggled for perfection.

2. The imaginary invalid

Moliere's plays have been a continuous source of amusement and wonder in the society of his time (1622-1673), and have remained so though today. By his real name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Moliere (his stage name) is one of the most well know play writers of all time, focusing on writing comedies.

"The imaginary invalid" is the last play written by Moliere, in which he also stared in the leading role. Moliere died during the fourth performance of the show, fuelling the irony of the play and its title, yet also raising questions of potential poisoning (Williams, 2007).

The play centers on Argan, an older man with an obsession for his health. The first act of the play commences with a big bed in the center of the room, in which lies moaning Argan. He is wearing night dress (his attire for the entire play) and he calls for the maid, while half paying the bill for the apothecary (pharmacist). Argan lives with his second wife, Beline, and his two daughters from his first marriage, Angelique and younger Louison. All three women grow tired of Argan's hypochondria, but deal with it differently. While the step mother seeks to have herself included in the will and ensure a financial security for her future as a widow, the girls are more concerned about their father.

In his illusions of being always sick, Argan wants his eldest daughter, Angelique to marry Thomas Diafoirus, the son of a reputable Parisian doctor, and soon to become a doctor himself; the uncle of Thomas is an apothecary, which also interests Argan. The imaginary invalid is a rich man, pursued by his young wife and by doctors alike, to extort more money. And while he affords these services from doctors and apothecaries, he is also greedy and wishes to have a…