Many TV families have set precedents. The modern family has been redefined several times throughout history. Here are just 10 examples where families were seen as unconventional.
1. The Huxtables:
An African American family was featured on the television show, The Crosby Show, in the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike in previous shows, this African American family was affluent and was living in Brooklyn. The patriarch was an obstetrician, while the matriarch was a lawyer. The stereotypes of the African American family changed ever since this show.
2. The Connors:
This TV family was different from its predecessors. Before the show Roseanne began, its predecessors showed a working class family with only one breadwinner. On the show Roseanne, the Connors were a work class family with 2 breadwinners. Both mother and father struggled throughout the series to find their foothold.
First time in television history one sees a blended family. A wealthy businessman takes in two orphans whose mother (former employee of the wealthy businessman) dies. The two orphans, Arnold and Willis (African American), join the family of their new father and new sister.
Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins are a homosexual/bisexual couple on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. The idea of a family with 2 mothers or 2 fathers has been left untouched by other shows. This was the first time 2 major characters would become parents (one being an adoptive parent) on the show and raise a child. The father is Mark Sloan, from Callie’s one night stand.
5. The Winters:
This is another family that has changed television history. Since the 1990s, the Winters have defined daytime television on the Young & the Restless. The show promulgates them as affluent: doctors, CEOs and even models working for Fortune 500 companies. Soaps have gone a long way since the 1980s, where African Americans were gang related and bad guys. Most of them were also lower or middle class citizens.
6. The Banks:
Unlike the Huxtables, the Banks were an African American family that were living luxurious lives. They owned a house in Bel-Air, were wealthy and had a butler. This again was never seen on television history before. The show put the Banks on equal ground to all other rich people.
7. The Brady’s:
Never in television history were blended families portrayed before the Brady Bunch. People fell in love with the family and watched them grow up throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s and well into the 90s. The interesting part about this family is that they were happy. They loved each other and blended well, which is not seen so much in real life.
ER briefly portrayed a same sex family with a child on their television show. Kerry Weaver (doctor) and Sandy Lopez (firefighter) were both lesbians. Lopez carries to term a child both of them intend to raise. Lopez sadly dies leaving Weaver a sole parent. Lopez’s parents then took custody of the baby, which dealt with the issues same sex couples go through when sharing things like property, children etc.
9. The Simpsons:
This is an unconventional family in many ways as well. Not many working class families can handle having one breadwinner. Many wonder how this family still has a home with Homer’s excessive gambling and drinking.
Edna Wallace throughout the series was known to love men. She even slept with Alistair Crane and had a daughter named Beth. In the end she married her partner in crime Norma, which makes Beth, a daughter of two mothers and one father.
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