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ITP's Adjunct Professor, Stephen Downs, writes an article titled, "The Jetsons, Now 60 Years Old, Is Iconic. That’s a Problem." on Slate!
The Jetsons completely missed the impact its technological lifestyle would have on the humans who live it.
On the evening of Sunday, Sept. 23, 1962, millions of American families finished their dinners, turned on their televisions and were introduced to The Jetsons, a cartoon sitcom produced by the legendary team of Hanna-Barbera. Set in 2062, The Jetsons captured the technological optimism of the time and projected it into a space-age, gadget-fueled vision of the future, inviting its viewers to imagine the dazzling possibilities that the current wave of technological achievement could one day realize. (Jetsons afficionados believe George Jetson was born July 31, 2022, though it’s not clear that’s canon.) In the end, The Jetsons was a rather tame, pedestrian sitcom about a family that reinforced traditional gender and family roles, knew little of the social issues of the time (it was, for example, unbearably white), and effectively glorified the consumerist, suburban lifestyle. But as a template for a technology-driven American future, it was no less than iconic. It was also prophetic.
- Written by Stephen Downs