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My Thoughts on How "The Honeymooners" Revolutionized Sitcoms

Britt Trachtenberg

Posted on July 9, 2021 18:18

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In this article, I talk about the "The Honeymooners" and its impact on contemporary television shows, specifically sitcoms.

The Honeymooners is perhaps one of the most classic sitcoms of all time. Ralph Kramden and his wife, Alice, have been household names for decades and their adventures are timeless. Perhaps this is because of how universal the storylines are, from conflicts with a significant other to a case of counterfeit money to conflicts with the owner of the apartment building you live in.

Maybe friends today can identify with Alice and Trixie’s friendship. Maybe someone sees himself or herself in Alice’s dry humor. Whatever the reason, The Honeymooners has transcended time periods to become an integral part of American television history.

What I find interesting is the impact that The Honeymooners has had on the sitcom genre and beyond, in both contemporary and non-contemporary times. The first television show that comes to mind is The Flintstones. I see a parallel between Ralph and Alice’s relationship and Fred and Wilma’s relationship. The husbands are very loud and outspoken, while the wives both have a dry sense of humor. I see the friendship between Wilma and Betty to be similar to that of Alice and Trixie.

In both friendships, the women confide in each other and offer guidance to one another. In The Flintstones, Fred and Wilma eventually have a child as do Barney and Betty. While neither of the couples in The Honeymooners has children, I see the characters and relationships between characters to be very similar.

The companion with the dry sense of humor is well-established in the sitcom genre to this day. We see various takes on this role in sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and Mom. In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard marries Penny who exhibits some of the same traits as Alice. While Penny is not a reiteration of Alice, I find her to perhaps be a contemporary reimagining of Alice’s role in a marriage/in society.

In Mom, Bonnie is not married but is still complete with a dry sense of humor and sarcasm. Instead, Bonnie lives with her daughter, Christy. In the sitcom, they attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and form friendships with other recovering alcoholics. Perhaps, this is a reimagining of who a modern-day Alice would be outside of a marriage, as well as what other forms of companionship can fulfill a person besides marriage.

The out-spoken companion with the loudmouth is also entrenched in the sitcom genre. We see takes on this role in sitcoms like The Goldbergs, in which Murray Goldberg is the straightforward, loud husband of Beverly. In the sitcom, he calls his children morons, while still loving them very deeply. Ralph Kramden was never a father in The Honeymooners, but the idea of calling loved ones “morons” while still loving them, all the same, is comparable to Ralph’s “to the moon, Alice, to the moon!”

Britt Trachtenberg

Posted on July 9, 2021 18:18

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Source: Polygon

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