Living Laugh Track Lives

The TV shows that cater to the middle school set are often…how do I say this gently…well, they are often very bad. Like…painfully bad. Not all of the shows, but a lot of them. Perhaps it is because there are several stations that target that demographic—creating lots of airtime to fill—and…with the abundance, maybe not the greatest writing. Or acting. Or directing.

I know this because my son is a middle schooler and watches some of these shows—which means I do, too—or at least I’m around hearing them, and you know what I hear the most by far? The laugh track. Continue reading “Living Laugh Track Lives”

Sitcom Solutions

wristwatchtv2When I was about four years old, I told my parents that in the future, there would be wristwatch TVs. “She has such an imagination!…Maybe someday…after all, anything is possible!” Needless to say, I was a psychic genius. Well, maybe just psychic, because I didn’t actually invent it. Well, maybe not even psychic, but just a good guesser. Okay, lay off of me—maybe I did just have a good imagination.

I get a kick out of telling my son about how there used to be only a half dozen TV channels and they all went off the air by midnight. Compared to today’s media saturation, that seems like Flintstone times (oh, how I loved the Flintstones!) And, of course, when I hear him whine that there is nothing on…when there are 2,093,457 channels as well as On Demand programming, it is an affirmation that more is not necessarily better.

Though I was only seven when the Brady Bunch series ended, I watched enough reruns to have every ounce of Brady seared deep into my brain. Yes, the show was a saccharine sweet, corny, simplistic look at life, but…it left its mark…even in today’s pop culture. In fact, when I was in high school, I jokingly came up with the Brady Bunch Philosophy—I could solve any life problem with a BB episode. Need to get out of a date? Best not to tell someone “something suddenly came up.” Feeling a little too cocky? Be careful you don’t end up doing the Cindy Brady Freeze on live television.Cindy Brady Freeze

Need some extra cash? Gather your siblings together to form a music group. This is an option you can choose more than once. Really. Just ask the Silver Platters.

If you need a “relevant” example of absolute power corrupting absolutely, watch Bobby abuse his power as class safety monitor. It takes his rescuing a cat from an abandoned building for him to see that sometimes it’s okay to bend the rules. Also, one cup of detergent should do the trick.

Need a believable disguise? One word: mustache.

And anyone my age knows you shouldn’t play ball in the house.

And if you’re ever looking for a legitimate wager to bet, put it all on the line that you will shine the other person’s boots for a month. This is like gold.

If you ever get lost in the Grand Canyon, keep an eye out for Chief Eagle Cloud’s (aka Tonto!) grandson. He’ll help you out. Then you can fill your flashlight with baked beans to repay the kindness. And you’ll get a cool tribal name, too.

Those darn Bradys knew how to pour on the Schmaltz, didn’t they? But underneath all the corniness, we did get positive messages time and again. Tell the truth. Be yourself. Support one another. And don’t let yourself be used just because you fit the suit, Johnny Bravo. It’s a far cry from iCarly’s Sam using the butter sock to settle things, isn’t it?

I guess, when it’s time to change, then it’s time to change…Unless that means bringing in Cousin Oliver. Then it’s time to stick a fork in your eye because Mini-John Denver has come to pour maple syrup over the saccharine that we have previously tolerated but can now no longer stand.

Other than that, it’s a Sunshine Day.