“1960s TV Censorship and The Monkees” gives a brief overview of where censorship standards were in the era – and how The Monkees pushed the envelope with its mentions of the Vietnam War – and Sunset Strip riots – and even with the outrageous storytelling behind “Frodis Caper”, the episode that celebrated the saving of an alien plant that very closely resembled a marijuana plant…
Writer Treva Silverman said the staff got away with such jokes because the network executives were just old enough not to understand any of the references.
Presented at Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting classes on Friday, August 5, 2016
Timothy Leary back in the day actually wrote about them in one of his books and he wrote — I think this is very funny — “An early Christian electronic satire” or “a jolly Buddha laugh at hypocrisy.” so he saw right through what they were doing while other people were missing it. it’s in “The Politics of Ecstasy” and I like the particular phrase down here, they “use the new energies to sing the new songs and pass on a new message” and the message is really important because this show was being aired and was being watched by 13, 14 and 15 year olds. Their older brothers and sisters were already into The Beatles, right, but these younger kids move into the 70’s — these are the kids that are protesting the Vietnam War. So they got this message early on in their life. Micky Dolenz, this is line he gave in one of the episodes after he ranted about something and then he looked at the screen and said that. One of the things I love about the show is its metatextuality and that is something that I wrote about in the book, which not all shows do, but when you break the 4th wall and you address the audience, they did that all the time. Which is a very older style thing. Of course, it’s a Shakespearean thing. George Burns and Gracie Allen did it all the time. They did it all the time which I think is very funny.
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About Dr. Rosanne Welch
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona. In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University. She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.
Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on 3rdPass.media, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”
Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.