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The Donna Reed Show

By Joanne Morreale

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: Wayne State University Press

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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

I am deeply grateful to all of the people who made this book vii possible. I’d like to thank the acquisitions editors, Annie Martin and Kristina Stonehill, who shepherded this book from initial conception to its completion, as well as the series editors Barry Keith Grant and Jeanette Sloniowski ...

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Introduction: The Donna Reed Show

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pp. 1-18

When most people think of the classic 1950s’ television domestic situation comedy, Father Knows Best (1954– 60), Leave It to Beaver (1957–63), and perhaps The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66) typically come to mind. Somehow The Donna Reed Show rarely comes up first and often doesn’t get included at all, ...

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1. Women behind the Screens

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pp. 19-38

Although the character of Donna Stone is far removed from the life of film star Donna Reed, The Donna Reed Show deliberately conflates the two. Donna Stone’s maiden name is Mullenger, and she comes from Iowa. Similarly, Donna Reed was born Donna Mullenger in Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921. ...

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2. The Donna Reed Show and the Hollywood Sitcom

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pp. 39-72

The Donna Reed Show emerged at a key transitional moment of the television industry in terms of both the development of the sitcom genre and the shift from New York to Hollywood as the locus of television production. The emergence of the domestic sitcom that featured white middle-class suburban families, ...

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3. Donna Stone and the Feminine Masquerade

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pp. 73-94

Throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, domestic sitcom melodramas such as The Donna Reed Show provided an idealized vision of suburban life to a newly formed middle class. As mentioned previously, 1950s’ domestic sitcoms largely worked to reconstitute the nuclear family in the postwar period ...

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4. Teen Culture and The Donna Reed Show

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pp. 95-116

The Donna Reed Show was somewhat unusual in that the Stone children, Mary and Jeff, were already teenagers when the show went on the air in 1958. This was a strategic choice, since Donna Reed had a one-year-old daughter at the time that the show began. ...

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5. Legacy of The Donna Reed Show

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pp. 117-134

I have argued throughout this book that The Donna Reed Show is an important television milestone that exemplifies the cultural tensions that marked the shift from the conservative postwar Eisenhower era to the more liberal social context of the 1960s and 1970s, just as it marked a significant transitional moment as the film industry shifted to television. ...


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pp. 135-136


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pp. 137-142


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pp. 143-152

E-ISBN-13: 9780814338087
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814335086

Page Count: 128
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1
Volume Title: N/a