Post #8: Media-Centered Perspectives

I will analyze the TV series Full House through the media-centered perspective with a focus on the feminist perspective.

Full House is a family-centered sit-com that ran from 1987-1995 with 8 seasons. The show is about Danny Tanner trying to raise his three daughters, DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle, after his wife dies in a car accident 6 months after Michelle is born. Danny’s brother-in-law, Jesse, and his best friend, Joey, move into the house with the family to help Danny raise his daughters. Throughout the 8 seasons, the audience sees the family have the ups and downs that come with having children.

A lot of the comedy of the show comes from the men of the household not knowing what to do in situations that involve the daughters. There is a scene where both Jesse and Joey are struggling to change Michelle’s diaper. Throughout some of the harder situations, like when DJ is heartbroken over a boy, Danny wishes her mother was there to help. Looking through the feminist perspective, we can see that the men’s incapability to do domestic tasks sends that message that men are not traditionally equipped to take care of children. To an audience, the underlying message that is demonstrated is that men must learn to take care of children because they are not naturally equipped to do it, while women are naturally born to nurture children. This is an unfair point that the media is implying by saying that men aren’t naturally good caretakers while women are.

The show does, however, send the important message that a non-nuclear family does not equal a dysfunctional family. While the family does not have a mother figure, the family does have very strong bonds between one another. The video clip I provided above shows Stephanie being upset that she doesn’t have a mom and she doesn’t feel normal because of it. DJ reminds her that even though her family isn’t considered normal, she still have a family that loves her very much.

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4 Responses to Post #8: Media-Centered Perspectives

  1. Claire Baugh says:

    I loved this show growing up! Even at a young age, I loved how all of the men in the house served as father figures to each of the girls and tried their best to understand what was happening in their lives. The show did rely on the older female characters to help the girls with their problems sometimes but I think that’s the reality of life. As a woman, there were some situations growing up that my mom was better at handling than my dad and vise versa. I think you could do a lot of analysis with this artifact because a lot of the lessons were very relatable.

  2. Miranda Mozingo says:

    I like that you talked about how a non-nuclear family does not equal a disfunctional one. Even though I am a part of a nuclear family, my mom mainly raised both me and my sister due to my dad being in the military and are fine. I also like how you talk about how it is unfair that the show portrays men of being unequipped to take care of children, when there are women in the world who are just as clueless as to how to take care of children as Danny, Jesse, and Joey.

  3. Grace Girdley says:

    I think choosing to focus on the feminist perspective for this show was a really good idea! Your point on how the media is implying that men aren’t naturally good caretakers while women are is very spot on. I also think this show does do a good job of showing how love is a very important thing in families and in relationships!

  4. Glenn Spencer says:

    Your interpretation of the use of comedy in Full House is solid. One counterargument you could make is that the show understands that having the 3 men be comical and unfit(ish) parents is more of a satirical and farcical approach. Instead of Full House suggesting that this is how things are deal with it, Full House is instead holding up a mirror to society and asking us why this is the normal and 3 men should be absolutely able to take care of daughters.

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