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.”
Jean: So they had this beach house and this was cool and there are these single boys now, but they did kind of keep it kind of wholesome. Now did they have girls spending the night over at the beach house or anything like that?
Rosanne: They did not. When I came to study the show because I loved it as a kid and when I decided to study it I thought, “Oh, well a show about rock-and-rollers. It’s going to be every week about who’s have sex with which girl and maybe as a kid, I didn’t remember that. And then I watched all 58 episodes in an era when I’m also watching The Big Bang Theory because that’s the number one comedy of our day and that’s of course about 4 scientists who spend their days discussing who they’re going to have sex with and it turned out, of course, because of the rules of what you could and couldn’t do on television at the time that The Monkees couldn’t do that. So when they had girlfriends we always saw that the girls left before the boys had time in their beach house. They never spent the night.
Jean: So it wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of the parents that are watching this television show with their teenagers and things like that.
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.