J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

The Sun Always Shines on TV

When television first started showing original programming, all families were pretty much the same. The Cleavers, the Stones, the Nelsons and the Andersons were all happy, well-adjusted folks who supported each other, had great jobs and were well-educated.

When the 60′s came around, people wanted something more real on television, so they were given less traditional families. A witch for a wife, a widower with three sons, a blended family with six kids and even a widowed black woman who was a mother and a nurse, not a maid, but a nurse. The public loved these newer , less traditional sitcoms and yet nobody seemed to notice that they all had one thing in common, everyone was happy and well-adjusted.

It wasn’t until the 70′s that TV sitcoms started showing folks some of the hard parts about being a family. Due to the genius of Norman Lear, American’s learned about how tough it can be to raise kids when you are a divorced mother, an impoverished widow living in the projects or a feminist living in a male-dominated world. Things got pretty real on television. Abortion, drugs, gangs and child abuse were no longer just seen on cop shows, they were problems that affected children and families in all walks of life. And yet, with the exception of the random actor who wanted to be written out of a series, everyone in the family survived. It all turned out fine.

I know I’m not the first person to recognize that real life is not like television, but I’m also not the first guy to wish that just once, his kids could come home with no bigger problem than a B in math and actually take the advice their given.

I know things are pretty tough these days. It’s hard to make ends meet, the future seems unclear and sometimes it seems like there’s nowhere to turn. But if you’re like me, Andy Griffith, Ralph Kramden or Danny Tanner, you’re lucky enough to have a close friend you can count on. Remember what neighbors and friends are for and no matter what decade in which you were born, you’re never too old for a best friend.

Of course, if you’re like Carl Winslow or Jerry Seinfeld, I got nothing for you.

Hear more from the King of TV on The Paul Goebel Show podcast and at his website, www.TheKingofTV.com. You can also follow Paul on Twitter @PaulGoebelShow.

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