IMDb Polls

Poll: TV Gets Real: The 1970s

Up until the 1970s, much of television portrayed idealized families and rural fantasies, offered pure escapism, and reenforced stereotypes, but, in the '70s, TV faced reality. Which of these series that embraced realism do you think was the most powerful and important?

After voting, discuss here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968)

    Treated children as real, thinking and feeling human beings; talked to kids about difficult issues like emotional pain, divorce, and disabilities; looked at details behind a range of real jobs, places, and subjects from how bakeries run to animal behavior; validated children and their experiences and emotions.
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    Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)

    Contained sexual content and humor; addressed taboos.
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    Mary Tyler Moore (1970)

    Portrayed working women, woman as hero, and employees' challenging management; addressed gender-based pay gap and workplace as family.
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    All in the Family (1971)

    One of the first uses of irony on TV; tackled racism, bigotry, sexism, and traditional gender roles; first toilet flush sound ever on television. The series was also the first sitcom to introduce an openly gay character.
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    M*A*S*H (1972)

    Addressed war; used a cinematic approach (TV flmed like a movie); endorsed anti-authoritarianism; portrayed human consequences of war (death, phyisical injury and pain, emotional harm); some graphic consequences of violence.
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    The Carol Burnett Show (1967)

    A woman as the anchor; women as comedians; use of irony.
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    60 Minutes (1968)

    Much more time given to topics; deeper exploration of issues and events; profiled and interviewed people not approached before, especially with such candor: for example, Mike Wallace asked Ayatollah Khomeini if those who called him a lunatic were correct.
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    Sesame Street (1969)

    Gave attention to culteral literacy; focused not just on academic education but also on education concerning interacting with others and relationships; set in urban neighborhood.
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    The Bob Newhart Show (1972)

    Addressed psychology; portrayed equal marriage and non-traditional gender roles and family structure.
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    Maude (1972)

    Woman as lead and protagonist; liberal, independent woman; challenges to gender roles; dealt with serious, controversial issues such as abortion and alcolohism.
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    That Certain Summer (1972)

    Generally considered to be the first sympathetic portrayal of gay men on TV. The main characters were played by two of the leading actors of the time.
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    An American Family (1973)

    The groundbreaking documentary series was the first "reality" show in the United States; portrayed the complexities of real families, including divorce.
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    Good Times (1974)

    Black lead characters; positive portrayals of African-Americans; black family with father present; addressed child abuse and adoption by a single parent.
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    Rhoda (1974)

    Female sensitivity; divorce; female independence.
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    The Jeffersons (1975)

    Portrayed African-Americans with money, strong women, and multi-racial marriage; examined relationships between employers and domestic staff.
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    Saturday Night Live (1975)

    Used grit, sarcasm, and irony; addressed "adult" issues and political issues; had some conventionally unattractive stars; embraced counter culture; explored racism and sexism, as well as other social justice issues; used over the top humor.
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    An Evening with Robert Klein (1975)

    Launched HBO; the beginning of cable TV, which, because it did not depend on advertising funds, had more programming freedom, including airing more controversial and diverse material.
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    Rich Man, Poor Man (1976)

    "Novel" TV: first mini-series, a format that was more conducive to examining themes with more depth.
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    Roots (1977)

    Actors who had portrayed favorite TV fathers played slave holders and villians; embraced black pride and history; looked at American history with a critical eye; one of the first mini-series.
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    Holocaust (1978)

    Controversial in its coverage of the Holocaust, which was considered to be a taboo subject. Many thought that to illustrate the Holocaust on TV was disrespectful to survivors and the memory of victims.