How things change. As a kid, I remember well Archie and Edith keeping things at a low boil, and how the entrée of the hippie son-in-law would put things over the top. Political opinions would fly, social perspectives would clash, and tension would build, culminating in Archie's caustic comment, "Meathead!" The live studio audience would laugh and so would my family because it was All in the Family.
Now one of the biggest hits is Grey's Anatomy. The show tracks a group of medical interns figuring out who they are by befriending, arguing, and sleeping with one other. Plenty of conflict and some high drama, but almost none of it is intergenerational. The same is true for plenty of other recent TV hits. Entourage, Friends, and Seinfeld come to mind.
While older adults and young children may occasionally enter an episode, the series move forward via conflict created and cured among the young adult main characters.
These shows display a trend also found in some ...1