Why The Monkees Matter

Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Rosanne Welch teaches the history of screenwriting and one-hour drama for the Stephens College MFA in screenwriting. As a television writer/producer, her credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel. She serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the editorial board for Written By magazine. She lives in Van Nuys, California.

Bibliographic Details

Rosanne Welch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7923-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2602-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface: I’m (Still) a Believer 1

Introduction: Here Come The Monkees 5

One. Sweet Young Thing: Contextualizing The Monkees with a Short History of Teenagers on Television 11

Two. Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow: Counterculture Comes to Television and Middle America 23

Three. Words: Who Wrote the Episodes and What Was That Something They Had to Say? 43

Four. The Kind of Girl I Could Love: Feminism, Gender and Sexuality 54

Five. Early Morning Blues and Greens: An Ethnic Studies Look at Minority Representation 67

Six. We Were Made for Each Other: The Menagerie of Metatextuality 82

Seven. We Were Made for Each Other, the Sequel: Television Aesthetic Technique 94

Eight. Theme(s) from The Monkees: Narrative Structure and Themes 107

Nine. A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You: Identity Construction and Confusion 119

Ten. What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round? The Cultural Cachet of The Monkees 144

Chapter Notes 157

Bibliography 163

Index 167

Book Reviews & Awards

“not only a fine piece of cultural analysis overall but also an atypically readable and fun one”—Psychobabble.