10 Female Sitcom Characters From The ’70s That Would Never Fly Today

The 1970s had some great sitcoms, but by today's standards, these 10 female characters just would never fly today.

Many sitcom women of the 1970’s are vastly different from the women of today as most of their behaviors wouldn’t fly with audiences today. Nowadays viewers want to see women in power, whether they are empowered in their personal lives or work lives or both. But this was not the case for many sitcoms in the 70’s.

The 1970’s was the start of the women’s empowerment movement and there were several groundbreaking characters such as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But there were also many women shown on TV who were not the brightest tools in the shed and they often let the men in their lives dictate everything. Here are 10 female sitcom characters of the 1970’s that wouldn’t fly today:

10 Chrissy Snow (Three’s Company)

Cute, bubbly Chrissy, played by Suzanne Somers, was the ditsy blonde roommate on the hit series Three’s Company. In the ’70’s fans loved her naive innocence as well as her sex appeal. But in today’s world, women are no longer being portrayed as simple minded or only being used to get the male audience’s attention.

In 2020, viewers want sitcom women to have more substance such as Eleanor from The Good Place or Rosa from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Three’s Company and Chrissy might have had fans cracking up 40 years ago, but today they would be viewed as simple and uninteresting.

9 Edith Bunker (All In The Family)

All in the Family was one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1970’s as it ran for 9 seasons and created 4 spin-off series. However in 2020, there’s nothing about All in the Family that would fly today including Edith Bunker. Edith has to be one of the most patient women as not many people in today’s world would put up with Archie’s bigotry.

Besides being patient Edith is also not the brightest crayon in the box. Her airhead mind might have been funny to fans of the 70’s but today viewers like watching intelligent and independent women making their choices.

8 Alice Nelson (The Brady Bunch)

Alice was the glue that held the Brady family together for 5 seasons. Without her there to pick up after them, there is no way that family of 6 kids would have survived each other. Alice was funny, helpful, and kooky enough to be charming. She was loved by everyone in the 70’s and still is to this day. But there is one thing about her that would not fly today.

And that is her style sense. In the 2000’s many shows became popular thanks to their great fashion such as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City. Many viewers of today look to sitcom characters for outfit inspiration and Alice would not be gracing the cover of any style magazines in 2020.

7 Georgette Franklin (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a groundbreaking series in the 1970’s as it centered on a 30-something unmarried career woman. But there were certain characters in the series that dated it. One of those characters was Ted’s sweet and innocent wife, Georgette.

Ditsy women were a common theme in 70’s sitcoms and the forward thinking The Mary Tyler Moore Show was no different. Since the main female character, Mary, was intelligent, determined, and successful, the creators needed to pawn off the airhead personality on to someone else. Unfortunately for Georgette, she was the one chosen to burden the ditsy load.

6 Samantha (Bewitched)

In today’s world audiences love strong women who don’t let their husbands order them around, but in the 1970’s even witchy wives let their men make the rules. Bewitched was a popular series that aired for 8 seasons from 1964 to 1972. The sitcom featured a witch turned housewife whose husband made her promise to not use her magic.

Samantha agrees to giving up her magic for her husband which was acceptable and even admired in the 1970’s. But in 2020 there is no way viewers are applauding a woman giving up her magic or power for a man.

5 Alice Hyatt (Alice)

Alice Hyatt was an aspiring singer turned waitress when her car broke down in Phoenix, Arizona, on her way to Hollywood. She ended up staying in Phoenix and working at Mel’s Diner for 9 seasons before getting her big break and moving to Nashville. In the 1970’s a series about a woman settling instead of chasing her dreams was a hit, but in 2020 it would be a flop.

Viewers today want to see women chasing their passions to the fullest, not settling for a job that merely pays the bills. Audiences in 2020 would appreciate Alice more if the series was about a struggling singer in LA who never gave up on her dream.

4 Brenda Morgenstein (Rhoda)

Rhoda was spin-off series from The Mary Tyler Moore Show that followed Mary’s former friend and neighbor Rhoda as she moves to Manhattan. While Rhoda was full of confidence, her little sister Brenda was lacking in self-esteem and self conscious about her weight.

In the 1970’s it was normal to make jokes about weight, but in 2020 viewers want self assured women even if they are not a size 0. Nowadays fans love women like Annie on Shrill who overcomes her self-doubt to her weight. Every body is beautiful.

3 Bailey Quarters (WKRP In Cincinnati)

WKRP in Cincinnati was the cause of many heated discussions in its time as fans everywhere debated Bailey or Jennifer? Jennifer was the blonde bombshell who was confident and smarter than she lead on while Bailey was shy and insecure co-host who hid behind her glasses.

Bailey eventually became confident and took off her glasses, but her storyline is worn out in this day and age. A plain girl who discovers she really is beautiful and has more to offer, we’ve seen it a million times. Also glasses are popular now, viewers would more than likely prefer if she kept them.

2 Vivian Harmon (Maude)

Before Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur portrayed Blanche and Dorothy on The Golden Girls, they starred as Maude and Vivian on Maude. Maude was forward thinking show as Maude herself was an outspoken liberal woman who never backed down when it came to her beliefs and opinions. While Maude was bold and intelligent, Vivian was scatterbrained and rarely spoke her mind.

In 2020, fans would still be rooting for Maude, but they probably wouldn’t be too fond of Vivian as she often caters to her husband and rarely voices her opinion. Luckily she had Maude to stand up for her.

1 Rhonda Lee (Laverne & Shirley)

Everyone loved the dynamic duo Laverne and Shirley in the ’70’s and the show would probably be a success today as the roommates were relatable. But there is one character fans might not be too happy to see again and that is Rhonda Lee.

Rhonda was Laverne and Shirley’s aspiring Hollywood star neighbor and she fit the stereotype perfectly. She was vain, self-absorbed, and often bragging about her life to her neighbors. Viewers today would not appreciate her conceded attitude or her attempts at making the girls jealous.

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