Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power
Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”
Rosanne: Treva Silverman was one of the first women to write comedy without a male partner on television and she worked on the The Monkees first and then she would move onto The Mary Tyler Moore Show and she would win 2 Emmys for that show. So I noted that if you were watching The Monkees, there is definitely the feminist perspective that she is going to bring to Mary Tyler Moore exists in The Monkees the best that it can in a show that doesn’t a female character.
Jean: Ok. So give us some examples of that. How is this feminist we’ll call is point of view or issue suggested.
Rosanne: When they met girls — again, I assume a group of rock and roll boys would go out with the cheerleaders, , airheads, groupies, the fan girls — and instead — as I clocked each episode — every time they liked a girl she was a girl with a purpose. There were girls who were going to college. There were girls who had jobs and were supporting themselves as young women. There were journalists.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces.
Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.