Why TV Show Families No Longer Have Maids and Housekeepers Like Alice from ‘The Brady Bunch’ or Lurch from ‘The Addams Family’

It’s pretty crazy how much TV families and character dynamics have changed over the years. In the days of leave it to the beaver, mothers stayed at home mainly as housewives while fathers went to work. A few decades later, families evolved to represent changing parenting and family roles, as in My two dads and Full house.

Another big change in the home environment that you might notice on some of your favorite TV shows is with maids and housekeepers. Over the past decade, fewer and fewer television shows have characters in these roles. Previously, almost every on-screen family had housekeepers, like The Brady Group, The Addams Familyand who is the boss. So why are today’s shows abandoning this character role?

‘Brady’s Band’ | ABC/Getty Images Photo Archive

TV had a lot more live help

Home health care was once an American staple, both in real life and on screen. Looking back, housekeepers, domestic staff, housekeepers and nannies also played key family roles. You can’t imagine The Brady Group without Alice being the kind and sometimes funny voice of reason, right?

And Lurch did more than answer the Addams Family door. Even Rosie was an asset to The Jetsons family, far beyond preparing meals and dusting furniture. Different strokes, Maud, family affairand The Jeffersons all had pivotal housekeeper roles that resonated with fans at the time.

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While some might assume housekeepers were meant to perform menial tasks in the background, television added more value to the roles and made these characters more important to the family. In who is the boss, Tony didn’t just clean the house. He navigated parenting his daughter and life in general with his “boss”, Angela.

Frasier’s Daphne, as Kids n Clicks lists her, was more than just a physical therapist and housekeeper. She added cultural hilarity to the show and even became Niles’ love interest. And let’s not forget how much Fran Drescher was present as a nanny in The nanny.

Why There Are Fewer Maid Roles On TV Today

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Realistically, house cleaners aren’t as popular in real life anymore. As The TV Professor points out, it’s much more expensive to pay for home help these days. With today’s TV series plots pivoting towards being the most practical and realistic for today’s families, paying nannies and housekeepers just isn’t in the budget.

Of course, you’ll still see some of these roles on screen, but usually in storylines involving the wealthiest people who could reasonably afford the extra help. will and grace can afford to have witty Rosario on the payroll. sex and the city Magda and Gossip Girl’s Dorota is also easily affordable for their on-screen families.

Housekeepers are not necessarily obsolete

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Housekeeping Uniforms has compiled a list of iconic housekeeper outfits in TV and film, and it’s clear that the housekeeper role isn’t obsolete. Nannies and home helpers are always entertaining as lead roles or central characters, like Robin Williams’ portrayal in Mrs. Doubtfire and the role of Jennifer Lopez in Made in Manhattan. A few other iconic maid roles in recent years include those of Netflix Maidthe show Sneaky Maidsand Mrs. Hughes from the hugely popular show Downton Abbey.

As family dynamics and the economics of TV shows evolve to align more closely with actual households, it’s probably fair to say that maids and housekeepers won’t be as prevalent as they are. have been over the past few decades. But that doesn’t change how fans feel about those roles, and their storyline contributions in lead and supporting roles will continue to be treasured by fans.

RELATED: Is Netflix’s ‘Maid’ Based on a True Story?

James C. Tibbs