Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Days Is "Eyes Wide Shut" Without the Masks

"Guys, I think Kate Chopin had a point about
women being raised to expect an external
locus of identity. I'm going to need to reread
my Showalter."
I ran across an episode of Happy Days with the premise that Richie needs to find a better place to take his girl, because it's too cramped having three couples "necking" in the same car.

Now, I'm all for being a sexual libertine, but six teenagers groping in a single roadster at make-out point doesn't sound so much like a date as a borderline orgy. Once Ralphie's leg crossed that center console and he asked Richie to rub it, that clinched it.

Too many questions, though. Why were all these girls comfortable making out with dudes in such close proximity. I mean, I know why Richie and Potsy were down, and I got a little sideways feeling about Ralphie, but I thought ladies were supposed to have taste in the fifties. Is Mad Men not a horrific representation of rampant sexism? Were people really okay with this type of behavior? Surely Mr. and Mrs. C. had a problem with this, or did The Fonz just hit them until they did what he wanted?

Look, I'm not suggesting the fifties weren't really some dark, outwardly repressive but hypocritically fetishized. I'm just surprised anyone was willing to admit it on television prior to 1998.

I need a bourbon. And a lap dance. Call my secretary.

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