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Welcome to Advanced TV Herstory, the podcast that connects the dots of TV & feminism and American politics & culture. We tell the stories of women in TV who have had a profound impact on the confidence and aspirations of generations of girls and women.

We highlight the pioneering journalists, talented actresses, and gutsy writers who challenged societal norms and provide historical context for their achievements within the cultural and political trends of the time. By exploring the past, we ensure that the struggles, triumphs, and milestones of these women are not lost to history.

Hosted and produced by television scholar Cynthia Bemis Abrams, Advanced TV Herstory is more than just a podcast. It is a research-based examination of the evolution of television and women in our society. Each episode is an opportunity to inspire listeners to believe in themselves, challenge norms, break barriers, and shape the future of television and our world.

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May 10, 2023

Has “Cheers” aged well? Was Norm the norm in 1982? Was the toxic behavior in the show’s Boston-based bar a device to expose the destructive nature of misogyny or was it just a casual reflection of a patriarchal system?

Carla Tortelli and Diane Chambers, the barmaids in the first season of the show, served as sparring partners for their coworkers, customers, and each other. Carla was at home at "Cheers." Diane was a fish out of water. Carla and Diane could not have been more different. But Rhea Perlman and Shelley Long, the actors who portrayed Carla and Diane, both were incredible actors with excellent comedic timing. 

Cynthia Bemis Abrams takes a closer at their work and celebrates their contributions as two of the strong, female characters that emerged on television in the 1980s. She discusses the interplay among the regular characters at the bar, the foundational toxic environment, and the influence of female writers and showrunners on comedies of the era.


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