July 14, 2011

Where Have All The Role Model Sitcoms Gone?

I can remember when all television shows portrayed families in more normal settings with parents that had morals and kids that had rules. Now days they seem to enjoy only showing dysfunctional homes glamorizing messed up people and making it seem okay, fun and something to laugh at.

The shows in the 60’s and 70’s may have been a bit over the top at times showing only perfect homes with great meals where everyone sat down together and ate but it gave us a standard to work towards and hopefully achieve on some level. Now days it seems everyone is too lazy and takes a blasé attitude towards family values and housekeeping.

Some disagree and feel the old shows made people feel inadequate and inferior with a father and mother in the home, everything in order and the children all getting along but I think it’s good to have these role models.

All In The Family was the start of a trend towards dysfunctional television. Many loved the show but I never cared for it, between Carroll O’Connor’s racism and condescending remarks and Jean Stapleton’s annoying voice I would rather turn the channel.

There is nothing wrong with having a happy medium. We don’t have to have an all white family living in a middle class home in suburbia but it is good to highlight families that are trying instead of dysfunctional homes where everything is in chaos and no one seems to care.

I recently watched a show called Raising Hope where a young man is trying to take care of a baby he suddenly finds himself responsible for because he had unprotected sex with a girl who is now in prison for murder. His parents are low class people with very few brains cells between them and the poor infant is lucky to survive an episode.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy comedy I just don’t think these sort of shows are giving the average Americans a good example. Yeah, I know people shouldn’t pattern their lives after television but unfortunately many do. We have a lot of impressionable citizens out there that get most of what they know from a screen, either through the media or Internet.

Look at copycat crimes, sure those nuts would have committed some sort of misdeed regardless of what they saw on television but the media gives them ideas they wouldn’t normally have thought of because, well, they aren’t too bright to begin with.

My point is, if we have shows showing great families with high standards it gives the rest of the nation something to work towards instead of feeling like sitting in front of a television with a frozen pizza and not knowing where their children are is good enough so don’t worry about it.

There are some who feel they are scarred for life because their own families didn’t live up to the expectations of sitcoms of old but I’m quite sure there will be those that are equally marked by the new shows glamorizing white trash and socially impaired parents.

Because of the old shows my family sits down together in the dining room eating meals together and talking to each other. You may laugh and think that’s weird but when their friends come to visit they think it’s really cool and wished their family did it too.

Raising Hope: