Friday, January 4, 2013
Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show; From Excellent Women to Feminine Mystique
I love Samantha, and the way she took control of any any situation; I loved the BW episode where Endora meets Darrin, and she lectures him on preventing Samantha from being herself and practicing witchcraft. Of course, even though Endora is cast as the villain, Samantha defies everyone, and stil uses witchcraft. Samantha, Jeannie, Lucy, Laura Petire, and even Mary Richards all seem to have extraordinary natures that do not jive with the feminine mystique of their time. They are excellent women with unusual and amazing skills, but they can't use them. Poor Lucy has great ideas, but is always doing "splaining," and in one episode, she and Lucy are ridculed and reprimanded for demanding Equal Rights as women. And, there were women writers, producers, and creators, Lucille Ball herself, involved in what has been voted as the best sitcom every. Jeannie knows better than Tony, and could prevent a lot of disasters, but if "Master" tells her not to, she can't do it. Mr. Grant tells Mary she has spunk, but that he hates spunk. Laura Petrie is talented and capable, as is Sally Rogers the writer, but Laura dissovles into Rob's masculine arms with "OOH, Rob!" when things get too touch, and the multialented Sally is reduced to joking and prowling around for a man. Don't get me wrong; these are among my all time favorite TV shoes, but after reading Friedan's "Mystique," I can't help but see that she is right, despite any exceptions that anyone carved out for themselves. Like Pym's excellent women, they are doomed to making tea or its equivalent, giving parties, and making the men in their lives feel smarter and more authoritative than they really are. Your thoughts?