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Stone Age to Space Age in 1960s and 70s American sitcoms

27 Dec 2019, 05:06 UTC
Stone Age to Space Age in 1960s and 70s American sitcoms
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One weekend I was idling at home watching cheesy American sitcoms from the 1960s and 1970s, and I chanced across a very interesting episode of The Brady Bunch. I was arrested by a theme that I've written about often before: the trope which places the 'Stone Age' and the 'Space Age' in opposition. The Brady Bunch was a pretty unlikely place to stumble across a critique of this, but stranger things have happened.This led me to recall a double episode of my favourite Space Age sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie, set in Hawai'i. I watched this again just as I was beginning to feel my way around my space research over a decade ago, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since. Its themes are similar to the Brady Bunch episodes, and it's interesting to see how they appear to the contemporary eye.From buffalo to blast-offIn the Brady Bunch episode Grand Canyon or Bust (1971), Cindy and Bobby wander off during a family holiday and get lost. They meet Jimmy, a Hopi boy who has run away from his grandfather.This is in the midst of the Apollo human spaceflight program: Apollo 14 had been launched in January ...

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