Friday, September 7, 2012

TV and the Families We Meet There

As a kid, I loved television.


Correction: I love television.  Currently.  Have loved it.  Will continue to love it.

I watch a lot of crap TV.  This volume of less-than-stellar television viewing hit a hell of a spike when Em was in her first trimester.  When asked what it was like from my perspective, I described it as being rather similar to living with a cat:

  • She wanted to sleep.  Constantly.  Like 15 hours a day.  And then another 10 at night.  So 25 hours a day.  Which was difficult.
  • She was hungry.  But nauseous too.  So if the food I made wasn't exactly what she was looking for, she pushed it around with her nose and then walked away.  (Not entirely true.  She probably used her fork.  But my memory is a bit foggy.)
  • She occasionally wanted to hang out.  But it was usually short-lived and if I didn't pay attention, I'd probably miss it.
Altogether, during those first 3 months, I pretty much had to make my own fun.  Thankfully, with over 100 channels and a less-than-discerning television palate, I was easily entertained.

Recently, I found out that Netflix has released the series "Dinosaurs" in its entirety on streaming.

For those of you who don't remember and/or were born sometime after 1994, here's a reminder:

Dinosaurs tv show photo
Lacking more than 60,000,000 years of evolution. and
still, more civilized than Jersey Shore.

And for those of you playing along at home, here's a mind blowing factoid:

She really has aged quite gracefully. the last two are pretty obvious, but that first one threw me for a loop.

Point being (I really do have one, folks.  Hang in there.  I'm getting to it.)

Growing up, I watched a bunch of these TV families and felt very weird about being in the situation that I was:

Look at the way they both eye Marsha.  It's like the other 5 don't exist.

Try not to think about Jello, RIGHT NOW.

The redhead in the lower right makes two appearances in this blog.

T.G.I.F. gave you a reason to stay home on a Friday night in 1989.

Not pictured here: Pamela Anderson as the
reoccurring character of the "tool girl."
Yes, sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

I could have been Pugsley's stunt double growing up.

Not gonna lie.  If there was ever a TV family who I
wanted to adopt me, ti was the Munsters. If only
to live on Mockingbird Lane and have a dragon
who lived under the staircase

Okay...I know what you're thinking...I'm too young to have watched many of these shows the first time they were on the air.  But syndication is a marvelous thing.  And I loved me some old TV shows.

But I felt weird about one thing...all these kids lived with their mom and their dad.  At the same time.  There was one show I watched where that wasn't the case:
Yes.  Mom-mom's stunt double makes her second appearance
in the blog.

But Opie's mom was dead.  So that didn't count.  

Even this insane house was intact:

Like nails on a chalkboard, people. Angry, screetchy, nails.

And they made me want to take up drinking at the ripe old age of 7.  Seriously.  Have you tried watching an episode of Roseanne sober?  It's painful.

So who, might you ask, was my beacon of hope?  My analogue for normalcy?  My, "hey -- my life is kind of like that"?

Yup.  Blossom.  And I had to wait until 1990 for something to watch that even began to resemble my existence.  Her mom was still alive but didn't live in the same house as her. Also, this may have laid the groundwork for my affinity for ill-fitted hats.  But that seems to be a bit unrelated.  Also, also -- my dad still rocks Mr. Russo's haircut to this day.

Don't be jealous, ladies.

But Blossom was still removed from what I knew growing up.  I was the eldest of 2 at that point (my youngest 2 siblings didn't even exist yet) and I had no idea what it was like to live with a sister.  And I would never know what it was like to be a younger sibling.

But we look for commonalities in our stories.  Some kind of truth that compels us to feel for that character.

Which is why HBO's Oz ran for 7 seasons.

But you get what I'm driving at (hopefully.  Unless you are just here for the pictures.  In which case I'm going to disappoint for the rest of the post) and the point remains, that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and where they're always glad you came.  You want to be where you can see, troubles are all the same.  You want to go where...

Damnit.  I'm thinking of

Anyway.  I guess there is no show to make you feel normal.  Or that other people are going through the same stuff you are.  At least not in the exact same way.  All of our individual childhoods are unique -- even in the same household.

I just hope our daughter grows up to think of me as one of these:

Always dapper and on time for dinner.

And not so much as one of these:

What the man lacks in class, he makes up for in personality.
Despite my blog about killing your television to save your child's brain, I'm sure our daughter will discover TV soon enough and start looking for characters and situations common to her life.  Which is great, because it gives me every opportunity to start breaking out all my Cosby sweaters.  And possibly a Blossom-esque bucket hat or two.

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