Frivolity is Fun!

Random thoughts, no heavy lifting allowed!

My favorite TV families (and a few I hate) July 11, 2011

Some of my “favorite column” are critical favorites (the Conners, the Huxtables) and others probably don’t belong on many favorite lists but mine.  See if you agree!

FAVORITES:

The Harpers (Mama’s Family) – I absolutely love this show!  It was beyond stupid, but Naomi vs. Thelma was one of the funniest (and most absurd) mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law relationships on TV.  One of the few shows – maybe the only one, actually – where you root FOR the mother-in-law!  Mama was awesome!

The Conners (Roseanne) – I’ve expressed my love of this show before.  Darlene and David were my favorites (besides Roseanne herself).

The Griffiths (The Andy Griffith Show) – Ah, Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bea … so many wholesome life lessons, and yet the show remained hilarious!  Big fan of Andy’s “Well, uh, ah …” as the introduction to his (obviously great) ideas.

The Huxtables (The Cosby Show) – The Huxtables are awesome.  I think what stood out to me on this show is that even though I was a kid when it was on, I still liked storylines about Cliff and Claire the best.  They were a wonderful couple, and their kids were just supporting cast.

The Taylors (Home Improvement) – “Does anybody know what time it is???  Tool Time!”  Essentially the same thing happened in EVERY single episode: Tim screws up, Tim seeks advice from Wilson, Tim implements said advice (but quotes Wilson incorrectly), and Jill forgives Tim.  And yet, I love the show.  A perfect mix of slapstick humor (Tim’s many injuries) and wholesome family values.

The Simpsons – I am Lisa Simpson.  She is one of my favorite TV nerds (future blog!!! future blog!!!).  Her dynamic with the rest of her family is really funny and can be very touching.  Plus, you’ve got to love Homer!

The Kardashians – Notice the title of this blog is not best TV families … It is favorite TV families.  They’re a train wreck, but I love to watch.  A family show with a villian … Scott, of course.  Creepy von Creeperton!  One of my favorite moments was when Khloe called him a serial killer, because I could totally see that.

The Hecks (The Middle) – Loveable losers, all.  It is like an updated version of Roseanne, without much of the grittiness.  My favorite character is Sue (the daughter).  She has no friends, she doesn’t fit in anywhere, and yet she is the most optimistic person ever!  I admire her.

The Arnolds (The Wonder Years) – “Whaaat would you dooooooo if I sang out of tune??  Would you stand up and walk out on me??”  That song is forever The Wonder Years theme to me.  I thought the family dynamics were far more interesting on this show than the Kevin and Winnie romance.  Some of my favorite moments were when Kevin put himself in one of his parents or siblings’ places and came to a profound realization about their motives or actions.  So many times when you’re a kid, you don’t really realize what your parents are up against, but when you’re suddenly able to, it can be very momentous.

The Clampetts (Beverly Hillbillies)  – They were all funny – hilarious, actually – but my favorite character was Jed.  He reserved judgement and tried to give the cityfolk the benefit of the doubt as much as possible; he somehow kept Granny in line; all the while dispensing wisdom to Ellie May and poor, dumb Jethro to the best of his ability.

The Pritchetts (Modern Family) – I love each part of this extended family, and how they interact with each other.  I love that it is not just about the dynamics of a nuclear family, but the entire (hilarious) clan.  Speaking of …

The Barones (Everybody Loves Raymond) – Raymond is actually my least favorite character on this show.  His whole family is funnier than him, especially Robert and – holy crap!! – his dad.

LEAST FAVORITE:

The Brady Bunch – I’m sure this tops others’ lists, but I just found this show cheesy.  I guess this was before my time … but so were others on this list.  I guess because it is such a completely stupid portrayal of stepfamilies.  I wish there was a reality show about a “real life” Brady Bunch.  THAT would actually be interesting.

Jon and Kate – Do I really need to elaborate??

Malcolm in the Middle – Screeching mother, clueless father, annoying children.  Nope.

The Botwins (Weeds) – The queen of bad decisions and her merry band of social misfits.  They are fascinating to watch, but there is not a redeemable character in the whole bunch!!!

The Tanners (Full House) – Kimmy made my dumbest sidekicks list, but the family was pretty annoying all by itself .  You just knew when the music started, you were about to hear some horribly sappy spiel from one of the “dads.”  Plus Michelle “you-got-it-dude” Tanner was the worst.  Still, I watched!!

The Camdens (Seventh Heaven) – A whole family full of one-dimensional goody-two-shoes characters.

The Bundys – About as far away from the Camdens as you can get, their crassness was equally as irritating as the goody-goodiness of Seventh Heaven.

Lopez Family – Just annoying!!  All the old cliches without any fresh twists – the mean mother-in-law; the clueless dad; the vapid daughter and clueless son (Kelly and Bud Bundy, anyone?)  Not a fan.

 

What doesn’t kill us is makin’ us stronger … July 6, 2011

I recently discovered the last episode of Roseanne, thanks to Netflix.  I always loved the show, but I mostly saw it in reruns.  I hadn’t seen much of the later years (especially after they won the lottery in the last season), so I’d never seen the last episode, which aired during my freshman year of high school, in May 1997.

In the last episode, it was revealed that rather than having an affair, Dan had actually died of a heart attack.  Roseanne’s response was to write the novel she always wanted to write, and she took liberties with the family story.  For instance, Becky was actually married to David, and Darlene to Mark, not the other way around.  Jackie was a lesbian, not their mom.    And the family never won the lottery, that was a plot point Roseanne dreamed up.

The last half of the last episode was made up of Roseanne’s monologue explaining the book and what it means to her, and it includes a flashback to the early episode in which the family transforms the basement into her writing studio. I thought the monologue was a great way to end the show, although I’m not a fan of all the “big reveals.”

But I’d love to know what happened to the Conners after the show ended (besides half of the actors ending up on the cast of Big Bang Theory, another show I love!)  They are still one of my favorite TV families, especially Darlene.  Hmmm, favorite TV families sounds like a future blog topic ….

So, what would the Conners be doing today?  In December 2009, Barr posted a blog entryregarding what a possible Roseanne reunion would be like.  Some highlights: Mark dying in Iraq, David leaving Darlene for a woman half his age and then Darlene meeting a woman and having a test tube baby, Becky working at Walmart, Roseanne and Jackie opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford, Jerry and the grandsons forming a band, and (yay!) Dan reappearing alive after faking his death.  We can only hope!!

In a side note, wow……..Roseanne’s blog is very, um, very unusual.  Yeah, that’s it … unusual!