Married With Children Essay, Research Paper
The television series Married…with Children started in late 1987 and had a schedule for thirteen shows. It came about from the minds of two directors named Amanda Bearse and Gerry Cohen. Their goal was to bring up a comedy series different than others in the recent past. The series was taped in Sony Studios and had brought up many controversial issues. For example, the third season of the show is the time when the show got increase fame. A woman by the name of Terry Rakolta, who lived in Michigan, had wrote to the studio that the show was out of line for public television and that it should indefinitely be taken off the air. As anyone can guess, this was the turning point of a slow improving show. The show drew attention from many aspects of life. Critics wrote in newspapers and the public spoke outloud. Finally, this was, with out question, the best thing that could have happened to the show. The ratings increased considerably and a comedy sitcom was born. Before all this happened, the two directors had auditions where they selected the following characters: Ed O’Neill as Al Bundy, Katey Sagal as Peggy Bundy, Amanda Bearse as Marcy Darcy, David Garrison as Steve Rhodes, Christina Applegate as Kelly Bundy, David Fastino as Bud Bundy, and Ted McGinley as Jefferson Darcy. There were a few other characters that were also involved that made the show more productive.
The location of the setting is located at the Sony Studios. Its described as a normal looking house. For example on the set there is a couch in front of a television and a kitchen where not too much cooking goes on. The house is located on 9764 Jeopardy Lane and is where most of the show takes place. There are still other places where the show takes place. For example there is the shoestore where Al works and the garage where the NO’MAAM meetings take place. Also Al and Peg’s room is also featured to show how much the two are not intimate with eachother.
In all sitcoms there is a basic unifying situation. This is a common theme that can be expected to be said or done. This can be seen on this show as follows: The Bundy’s are a stereotypical American family. Al Bundy is a shoe salesman who continually works on reliving his high school football fame and fortune. Peggy, a ditsy red head brings fear into Al’s eyes whenever she feels intimate with him or just when she spends all his money at the mall or at the salon. The daughter Kelly is a beautiful blonde who you can always count on bringing a guy home or going to a party. The son Bud is just a plain old loser. He has so much self-confidence but little evidence to prove it. He’s always looking to score but always finds a way to fail.
As you go into more depth about these characters there is a clear mark that each has a specific description and play on important role in the sitcom.
Ed O’Neill stars as the working class hero Al Bundy. He is around 50 years old, he is going bald, he has a beer belly, and is a full-time shoe salesman. He uses much of his time trying to evade his wife, Peg, and trying to relive his high school football fame when he scored four touchdowns in one game. Al also plays a leader on the show when he co-founds a guy organization named “NO MA’AM” which is a group of pathetic men that are against women’s secrecy and power and for all men’s rights and superiority.
Katey Sagal plays Peggy Bundy on the show. She looks like she is in her late thirties, has red hair and is slim. She doesn’t work but uses Al’s money to go to the mall and buy clothes. She plays a very ditsy wife that always seems to be getting on Al’s last nerve.
Christina Applegate plays Kelly Bundy on the show. She is a blond stereotype. Also, an outgoing, good-looking teenager that tends to be seen with many guys. Kelly is the daughter of Al and Peggy and tends to be the party animal on the show.
David Faustino plays Bud Bundy on the show. He is the son of Al and Peggy Bundy and the brother of Kelly Bundy. He is what you say the “loser” on the show. He constantly looking to get with girls but is totally out of the picture. Everytime it seems like he’s getting close to “score” he does something to ruin his chances.
Amanda Bearse plays Marcy Darcy on the show. She is married to Jefferson Darcy. They are neighbors to the Bundy’s. Marcy is a very petite but a strict wife. She seems to have control of her husband and always gets into verbal disputes with Al and Jefferson. She is also the leader of a girl group, where they want girl power.
Ted McGinely plays Jefferson Darcy on the show. He is the husband of Marcy and good friends with Al Bundy. He always goes behind his wife’s back to hang out with the guys and just has no self-power. He is constantly being bossed around by Marcy, but yet plays a fun part on the show.
The first show that I reviewed was recorded at 11:00pm on UPN 9. The title of the show was “Al Loses His Cherry.” It started out as usual when Al and Peggy got into and argument. Instead of sticking around and fighting, Al decides to leave and wants to be single. He spends his day and night at his friend, Luke’s bachelor pad, where he can be totally free to do what ever he wants. He started out having fun, but the turning point was when he realized he wasn’t as young as he used to be and he couldn’t pick up girls anymore. This made him miss his wife Peg. It ends up, as usual, that he sits on his couch with his hand in his pants watching television. One real funny part was when Peggy want to get “a little close” with Al, but he said, as usual, he would rather die than go to bed with her.
The second show that I reviewed was recorded at 11:30pm on UPN 9. The title was “Peggy Sue Got Work.” The problem started out when Peggy really needed a VCR but Al would not give her the money to go get one. Peggy took it upon herself to go out and get a job in a department store. The Bundy house got real boring and there was just no “Peg.” Al and the kids wanted her back home, so she got the money for the VCR and quit her job. The funny part of the show was watching Peggy got to work when she never even does anything around the house. That made the show worth watching .
The third, and final, show I reviewed was aired at 12:00am on FX channel 58. The title of the show was “Assault and Batteries.” The problem started when Al just want to exchange batteries that he had just purchased. This show was special because it was available to be watched in 3D. I, myself, was not able to enjoy this special attraction. As for the rest of the show, while in the store the computer shuts down and Al gets stuck in the store not being able to return the batteries. The turning point came when Al is fooling around with the computer and fortunately hits the right button and able to return the batteries and go home to celebrate Buck’s (the Bundy dog) birthday. The funny parts of the show had come when you were able to see the physical expressions Al displayed on trying to return the batteries and get out of the store.
What can be said about Married…with Children, which premiered on the upstart FOX network in 1987. As with any new show the cast and crew and their doubts about the show. Married…with Children ran a total of 258 episodes, making it one of the 10 longest running shows in USA television history. Married…with Children was then canceled under dubious circumstances in 1997 after 11 seasons. Over the span of the 258 episodes the show ran there was never a dull moment. The situation of the Bundy’s left endless possibilities for story lines, and the writers used the opportunities well. At it’s peak Married…with Children had over 15 million loyal fans in the USA, and an uncounted amounted overseas.
There was a published article in TV guide where writer Ron Leavitt informed them that in 1987, when him and his partner Michael G. Moye met with Fox executives to discuss the test audiences reaction to their newest and crudest creation, Married…with Children, the executives weren’t pleased. Leavitt said that one thing the executives said was, “ make these people obviously love each other. Show that they care more about their children.” Leavitt the replied by saying, “You know, you’re the reason why television sucks.” After that the show went on to be a hit anyway.
There was also a published article in the Los Angeles Times, which stated about the end of the shows 11-year run. The article states that the reason they canceled the series was because ratings dropped relative to the increased production costs. With Al Bundy receiving over five hundred thousand dollars a show and the rest of the casts salaries going sky high, Fox couldn’t afford the fees.
1. Chapman, Murray “Married…with Children”.(January 3, 2000 Available
2. Lowry, Brian “’Married… with’ few regrets as series ends after 11 years”.
(January 10, 2000 Available [http://wwwzenger.informatik.tu- muenchen.de/ ~paula/mwc/pic/married.gif])
3. Married…with Children. Episode 107. Directed by Amanda Bearse and Gerry Cohen. Sony Studios. UPN. Los Angeles. May 31, 1987.
4. Married…with Children. Episode 108. Directed by Amanda Bearse and Gerry Cohen. Sony Studios. UPN. Los Angeles. June 7, 1987.
5. Married…with Children. Episode 824. Directed by Amanda Bearse and Gerry Cohen. Sony Studios. UPN. Los Angeles. May 8, 1994.