Thursday, October 15, 2009

Random Thoughts on Sitcoms

Last night, after we put the kids to bed and cleaned up the war zone they left behind, I collapsed on our couch and decided to watch some TV before I went to sleep. Confession time--the shows I watched were "Modern Family" and "Cougartown."

Modern Family is about the relationship between relatives in a modern extended family. The dad divorced the mom after the kids were grown and married a significantly younger woman with a ten-year-old son of her own. The grown daughter is married with three pre-teen/teenage kids. The grown son is gay, and he and his long-term boyfriend have adopted a baby from overseas (I missed the first episode, so I can't remember which country). The show is about making the best of family dysfunction.

Cougartown is about a woman who married and had a child in her early twenties, then divorced in her late thirties. Now a mature but still fairly young woman, she is looking to start over. The show is about her misadventures in dating as she hangs out with her young-twenties single friends and her late-thirties still-married friend.

I noticed something about these two shows last night--they both have themes of redemption.

I said to Brooke, "Remember in the nineties we had shows like 'Roseanne,' 'Married with Children,' and 'The Simpsons.' These shows all mocked nuclear families--the kids were bad, the parents didn't love each other, and the unmarried characters were happier. It looks like that has changed. Now the shows are all about people trying to make the best out of non-traditional families."

Just now I remembered that between those two eras was the "Seinfeld," "Friends," and "Sex in the City" era that glorified single living and non-traditional lifestyles.

Has there been a switch between the "Roseanne" era and today? Does that say anything about where we've gone the last 15 or 20 years? How might those changes affect the way we share Christ?

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