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.