This has been seen on television over the years when divorce was never acknowledged until an unexpected hero thrust it into the spotlight. Lucille Ball made a divorced woman the supporting star of her prime-time program at the end of an age when TV bedrooms had to display two beds and pregnancy couldn’t even be acknowledged on the broadcast.
Lucille Ball struggled to regain her footing after her divorce from Desi Arnaz until she persuaded the network to air her new show, which starred herself as a widow and Vivian Vance, or Ethel, as she was known in I Love Lucy, as a divorcee named Viv and Lucy’s best friend. The Lucy Show was a blockbuster, and Viv made history as the first divorced woman to star in a successful sitcom.
Years later, as part of the show’s plot, Maude, the titular character from the 1972 show starring Bea Arthur (far before she was a Golden Girl), went through a divorce. She would later return to television as a divorced woman in the 1980s hit The Golden Girls.
Bonnie Franklin stepped into the role of a divorced mother of two daughters shortly after Maude ended. One Day at a Time, which premiered in December 1975, was the first television show to feature a divorced woman and represent her for what she was — a struggling single parent dealing with the same challenges as any other parent, but without the assistance of a spouse.
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Even while it was not the first show to showcase a divorced woman, One Day at a Time is frequently cited as the first. It was, however, the first sitcom to openly and honestly address the problem of divorce, putting the main characters in real situations that, even though the show was technically a sitcom, could be devastating and challenging. That turning point ushered divorce out of the shadows and into a standard, dinner-table conversation for many.
Divorced women were first brought up by an unlikely source, one who defied preconceptions and paved the road for women to flourish on television. The matter became more approachable thanks to Lucille Ball, and subsequently, it became more open and accepted thanks to Bea Arthur’s Maude.
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For nearly ten years, Bonnie Franklin’s character brought the subject of women in divorce to the forefront of our television screens, demonstrating to the world that divorced women are no different than divorced men. In many respects, the show confirmed what most individuals already knew: they had to work more, often faced the same hardships and obstacles as their now-absent spouses, and often did so with less assistance.
Every topic reaches a tipping point when someone takes the initiative to present it to the rest of the world courageously. For the rest of us, and especially for divorced women everywhere, these three courageous women changed the face of divorce.
If you’re going through a divorce, many new possibilities weren’t available when Lucille Ball first appeared on TV, let alone even five years ago. It is critical to educate yourself. Please contact Johnsen Wikander, a seasoned West Michigan divorce firm, right away. Let us assist you in gaining a better understanding of your options, such as Collaborative Divorce and Mediation.