Progression or Regression?

Maude is a television serious aired in 1972 to 1978, following the life of middle-aged women and her spunky personality. Maude is on her fourth husband Walter, after divorcing the first three. This was uncommon at the time, taking the point of view of a divorcee. During the early years of the show she has her divorced daughter Carol, 9-year-old grandson, Phillip, and her maid Florida, an African American who is just as clever as Maude despite her servant status. Despite the supporting roles, Maude is clearly the lead of the show, as indicated by the title of the show. The television serious pushed the boundaries, by airing controversial episodes. By far the most controversial episode was about Maude wanting to get an abortion. Maude discovers she is pregnant and decides she wants to get an abortion. This was broadcasted only two months before the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision made abortion legal around the country. This episode sparked a debate of what was okay to air and what wasn’t.

The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 and ran through 1992. It depicts an African American family with two working professional parents raising five kids. With Bill Cosby as the star of the show; his wife Clair is secondary, despite the surface equality in their relationship. This show was one of the first to portray an African American family; this was a breakthrough in television and following the Cosby’s African American families were seen on television more and more. Clair is a progressive character with her working as an attorney and raising five kids, she is not a wife for just cooking and cleaning; she has her own job and works very hard. While she is effectively raising a nice family and simultaneously having a great career, Clair also looks gorgeous. Both parents share in cooking, cleaning and childcare duties, but Bill is primarily the one to deal with punishments for the kids.

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