The way American relationships are portrayed on television has changed significantly in the last decade or more. Couples are arguably more relatable to the American viewer today because of the current trend towards more intimate and controversial subject matter. Three modern television series exemplify how American preferences have changed in media for how couples ought to be portrayed.

Modern Family, for example, follows a gay couple who adopts a daughter. Additionally, the show reveals the struggles parents face when raising children. The characters in Friends, on the other hand, are notorious for extra marital affairs. The infidelity makes the characters more “human,” while hinting at the changing social morality in our country. Likewise, Sex in the City remains popular because of its casual portrayal of sex and relationships, with many explicit sexual scenes written in throughout the show.

While these three shows certainly were revolutionary in regards to the intimate and controversial content they contain, none of them would have succeeded without an evolving American population and its desire for “real-life” characters and scenarios.


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