This anthology presents writings that examine the TV sitcom in terms of its treatment of gender, family, class, race and ethnic issues. The selections range from early shows such as ""I Remember Mama"" to the more recent ""Roseanne"". The volume also looks unflinchingly at major controversies, for example, the NAACP boycott of the stereotypical yet wildly popular ""Amos n' Andy"" and the queer reading of ""Laverne and Shirley"". These diverse essays constitute a veritable history of postwar American mores. Some are classic, some are forgotten, but all indicate the importance of considering text and subtext (social, historic, industrial) in the critical study of television. A final chapter by the author bids sitcoms adieu with the 'cultural spectacle of ""Seinfield's"" last episode.'
Joanne Morreale is associate professor in the communications studies department at Northeastern University. She is the author of The Presidential Campaign Film: A Critical History and A New Beginning: A Textual Analysis of the Political Campaign Film.