In spite of those links, what continues to feel most notable about Gilmore Girls is how few series are actually anything like it. There are so few shows that consider a teen pregnancy, 16 years later. It has given us the first bona fide, mainstream-network hit family drama in a long time. It had everything: an oddball premise a widowed father, his three daughters, and their two uncles all live in a house together , a cute baby, catchphrases, personality stereotypes, and the barest whiff of gender politics packaged inside a wholesome half-hour awwww -fest.
But they were elevated to another level by the young Gen-Xers who spent their afternoons after school watching reruns about the lovely lady, a man named Brady, and their brood of six. The Fosters , — If Transparent is the prestige streaming TV vision of what a family can look like outside of hetero norms, The Fosters is a teen melodrama companion, where two gay women manage the continuing traumas and upsets of their blended family of adopted children, biological son, and foster children.
But J. After three increasingly compromised but still stirring and hilarious seasons, Good Times stumbled toward its ultimate finish line, becoming an object lesson in the limits of politically aware comedy in a medium that was driven by pleasing advertisers and entertaining millions without asking them to think too hard. Both The Addams Family and The Munsters planted spooky-wacky, horrible-lovable families in a back-lot version of suburbia, and both ran for two seasons on different networks, and in both cases, the endlessly repeated joke and insight was that the regular people were the real oddballs.
The Addams Family stands apart from the rest for its beatnik haunted house music; its elegant costuming, makeup and set design; the quality of its ensemble acting by Carolyn Jones, John Astin, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Blossom Rock, Ken Weatherwax; the array of hands that played Thing T.
Shout-out, though, to Fred Gwynne going berserk as Herman Munster, which will never not be hilarious. With Dallas , family stories leapt into the prime-time soap arena and would become an ancestor to everything from Dynasty to Brothers and Sisters to The OC. As a show about a feud between two families, Dallas was able to incorporate not just the rivalries and alliances within a group, but also the way families define themselves in opposition to others.
It was not the nostalgic family as a safe harbor from the world. It was family as a warfront, as an ever-shifting, unreliable snarl. The Goldbergs , — No, not that one, though we do love it.
- The Middle.
- By focusing on Haley, Modern Family continues to grow up?
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- Molly and the Postman;
- Slayer for Hire!
The first series to bear this title was one of the first sitcoms, as well as the first major series, to paint an affectionate and unabashedly Jewish portrait of urban life: a mostly comedic but sometimes dramatic look at the Goldbergs of East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. Originally created in as a radio series by writer and actress Gertrude Berg, it moved to TV a little over 20 years later, appearing on CBS, the DuMont Network, and in syndication, and airing its final regular episode in Although the story lines avoided politics and anything else that could have been perceived as divisive including the Holocaust and the creation of Israel, the two most seismically important issues for Jews worldwide in the first half of the 20th century , The Goldbergs was a notably ethnic look at economic struggle and cultural identity, drawing big audiences at a time when the official portrait of the American family was becoming increasingly white-bread and suburban though even the Goldbergs moved out of the city eventually, trading the Bronx for Haverville, New York.
But it did. The father, Louis Randall Park , runs a steakhouse with a meat-and-potatoes-heavy menu.
The ‘Modern Family’ Kids: Then And Now
Eddie Hudson Yang , the oldest brother, is an obsessive fan of hip-hop culture. Can it also qualify as a family series? Over the course of the series, Eric and Tami step in to act as support beams for those kids, mentoring and guiding them when their fathers and mothers are absent or negligent. Even more than all that stuff about clear eyes and full hearts, Friday Night Lights taught us that community can be family, that it takes a village to raise the children. The Wonder Years had nostalgia baked into its premise, an approach that would later influence The Goldbergs and Young Sheldon.
It could get overly sentimental at times because of that. But the series, created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black, also made a point of depicting the darker aspects of growing up in the Vietnam era, including seeing friends and neighbors losing children to the war. Most people devote more time looking back at their childhoods and the way their parents raised them than they spend experiencing childhood. The Wonder Years captured that truth with more depth and heart than any family comedy has since.
An American Family , Arguably the first reality-TV series, An American Family was also a remarkable look at just how far American families had come from the days of Ozzie and Harriet in a mere two decades. But the announcer is almost regretful to inform the audience, they are an American family.
It captures the intense love that dedicated parents feel for their children, a generosity that crosses over into a masochistic desire to sacrifice, and even die, for the next generation, against the petty reality of daily life — a death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts experience that can leave you so enervated, you fantasize what it would be like never to have had kids at all.
Grow Up Great
The full spectrum of emotional response is depicted here in every episode, and its portrait of the developing teenage brain is spot-on accurate, too. But this regular check-in with the Dunphy clan announced itself as something inventive and very funny by applying the mockumentary approach used in workplace comedies like The Office to domestic life. More importantly, it made sure that a same-sex couple was a central part of its portrait of parenting.
Are Cam and Mitch responsible for greater real-life acceptance of gay marriage? The Osbournes , — Fifty years after Ozzie and Harriet first appeared on television, along came Ozzy. The initial allure of The Osbournes was the chance to experience the voyeuristic and amusing thrill of watching the heavy-metal rocker, his wife Sharon, and their two kids putter around the house, struggle to figure out the remote control, and argue with each other. But eventually we got attached to the members of this foul-mouthed crazy train of a family and considered them part of our own.
This one took someone famous for being a wild man and showed us that he and his offspring are just like us, and also daffier than we dared imagine.
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But Golden Girls absolutely belongs here. Arrested Development , —present Years before the Bernie Madoff scandal and the bursting of the real-estate bubble, Arrested Development exposed the dysfunction and ethical deficiencies within a wealthy California family. One could easily argue that this is the most precision-tuned family comedy cast of the past 25 years — or maybe even all time. Little House on the Prairie , — In the s, two shows took viewers back in time to observe resilient families persevering through challenging times.
I have a little more hope that Modern Family will handle the case of Lily entering adolescence a little better.
Her story this week, involving telling her fathers that she pretends to like the things they do Lady Gaga! Britney Spears! Expand their stories. Give them more to do than just be caricatures. I mean, what the hell is Manny even doing with his life? Who is he, other than a walking fedora with an out of control Mommy complex? Where has Luke been all season? There are only so many stories to tell with the adults, and them raising their kids has provided its fair share of laughs and frustrations.
But it might be time to really change things up. While other shows have gone to the chopping block, the Emmy-hoarding ABC sitcom continues to stay strong, despite a pretty clear decline in quality. For me, this will be my third season reviewing the show every single Wednesday night. When I hopped on the coverage back in Season 7, I almost immediately regretted it.
1. Sarah Hyland As Haley Dunphy
What was an aging but still rather funny and thoughtful show only a season before had suddenly gone off the deep end and hit rock bottom. Luckily, last season saw the show rebound, finding a lot of its heart again even if some of the plotting remained uninspiring. Sure, that theme is filtered through the surface story of Jay wanting to take his whole family out on a house boat to witness an eclipse that happens once every 99 years, and also Phil and Claire grappling with their own aging, but the meta commentary is certainly there.
Two moments act as the catalyst for self-examination: First, Jay receives news that a colleague of his has died, and reads nothing but glowing remembrances of the man.