Articles tagged with: the osbornes


on Wednesday, 18 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED by will kreiser

Gillan roots the basis of the reality star sitcom – the genre under which she classifies The Osbournes - to the star sitcom, a sub-genre prevalent in US TV in the 1950s. Some examples of couples in those early star sitcoms include Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Gracie Allen and George Burns, and Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Specifically she states, “I contend that the 1950s star sitcoms are an embryonic form of Reality Television and that The Osbournes, in turn is a development of that form.”(page 56) She focuses on a comparison between the Nelsons and the Osbournes throughout the article, as Ozzie Nelson and his TV wife were actually married, and as Ozzie claimed they “relive[d] before the camera the everyday events of their own home and neighbourhood”. This is extremely similar to the ‘so-called’ real events depicted on The Osbournes, which we are led to believe are the everyday events of the Osbourne home.

Gillan points out that the Nelsons are indicative of a normal TV family. She contends that though it may not seem so at first, the Osbournes are a similar sort of normal TV family. It is this state of “normal”-ness that makes the show relatable and enjoyable. Gillan goes on to point out the real personalities of the Osbournes are “updates” to character types (listed paragraph 3 page 57) of 50s sitcom characters.  She claims, “the shows that centre on family each offer the same implied message: this family might seem different to yours at first but you will soon see that it is essentially the same.” (Page 56)