For the show analysis part of this assignment, I decided to screen five episodes of the late Bernie Mac’s sitcom, “The Bernie Mac Show.” I chose to use this show because if futures a African American family that challenges the whole 1950’s way of a functioning family. Another reason I chose this show is because in the African American community family is everything. This means if anyone in your family is in trouble, whether that be a brother/sister or distant cousin, by any means necessary you should help them out to the best of your ability. Bernie Mac displayed these actions by taking legal guardianship of his sisters 3 children because of her drug addiction. After taking guardian ship of the children the Macs household consists of Bernie (the uncle/father), his wife Wanda (the Auntie/mother) and three kids Jordan, Brianna, and Vanessa.
In order for me to get a grasp on what the show was about I screened the first five episodes including the pilot multiple times for analytical purposes. After viewing the episodes it was clear that this was not the ordinary 1950’s family that we have discussed thus far in the course. Bernie Mac was a stay at home father that did stand up comic shows from time to time, while his wife Wanda worked outside of the home for the company AT&T, and held a prestige position. The children acted in a way similar to most television families, in that they bugged the parents and got on each other’s nerves from time to time. With that said the three areas of analysis that I will focus on are power with in the family, family/gender roles, and cultural ideals of the family and home.
When it comes to power in the family, it is very clear that Bernie is the most powerful person in the household. In each of the 5 episodes Bernie displays his power by disciplining the children as well providing tuff love as well as emotional support when needed. However, Bernie did not always have the respect of the children. In the pilot episode the children were very disrespectful and mal mannered towards Bernie. It wasn’t until he put his foot down and laid down some simple rules that the kids began to listen to him. The two younger children were very easy to make mine, Vanessa, on the other had was not so easy mostly because she was a teenager and sort of rebellious. But as time went on she eventually got with the program. This was to be expected because the children had come from a broken home and they weren’t use to having to mind adults, but Bernie quickly changed that.
The gender/family roles in this family were very interesting to me for two reasons. First off, this was an African American family, whose father was a stay at home dad and the mother a successful businesswoman that worked for one of the largest