“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
…but notice, we all know the story. You weren’t allowed to show married people in the same bed, because it might mean they’re having sex. You didn’t do that until The Brady Bunch. They’re the first married couple on television to sleep in the same double bed. Which I think is funny. My guys slept in separate beds in some episodes, but slept together when they were on vacation and nobody batted an eye about four guys living in the same…who knows, right?
So, what’s interesting about what is and isn’t censored on The Monkees. They got away with a lot. They talked about anti-war things. They were very anti-authority. Anti-materialism. That hippie attitude of “‘It’s not the stuff. It’s about your person.” They brought eastern philosophies and Buddhist chanting into mainstream television and, of course, you noticed, they wore very androgynous, hippie, strangely un-gendered clothing which nobody quite understood. So they go away with a lot of stuff.
Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!
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.