Television industry insiders have a term for poignant segments of sitcoms that offer a brief, feel good, serious life lesson: “moment of sh-t,” or MOS. These MOSes are usually relatively lighthearted. But sitcoms with a social agenda, like Norman Lear’s groundbreaking sitcoms of the 1970s, often had heavier messages—some admirable, others not so much. Archie Bunker learns at his friend’s funeral that his friend with whom he shared anti-Semitic jokes for years was actually himself Jewish. George Jefferson grudgingly accepts interracial marriage because his son’s father-in-law is white. More darkly, a middle-aged Maude is stunned that she’s pregnant and aborts the child with her husband’s support.Read more >>
In recent years, the MOS seems to have gravitated from sitcoms to television dramas, with LGBTQ advocacy the most prevalent theme. A typical plot portrays a gay or transgendered person facing real or implied disapproval. The more admirable characters rally around said character while denouncing the ostensible bigotry of anything less than full throttle affirmation.
[Hat tip to JM]