Monday, December 21, 2009

Things I've Learned from TV

Everyone has a pool house or an apartment over their garage where wayward family members, friends, or random teenagers you just met can live.
Fonzie moved into the apartment above the Cunningham's house. The Camden's had an apartment over their garage on 7th Heaven. I'm proud to say that I only remember Lucy living there. If anyone else did, I was not watching or paying attention to that horrible show. I also am ashamed to say that I remember Lucy living there. I should have gicen up on that show earlier. On The OC, Peter Gallagher let Ryan move into the pool house and the Cohens didn't even know Ryan. All they knew about him was that he was a juvenile delinquent.

Now, my mother is a very nice person who wants to help those less fortunate but she would not let someone we barely knew move in with us. Of course, we don't have a pool house probably because we don't have a pool. We also don't have an apartment over our garage even though we do have a garage. We used to have a little Sesame Street playhouse in our backyard. I don't think my mother would have let someone move in there either.

Your group of friends can only have 4-6 people. You must see these friends everyday.
Seinfeld: 4 friends. Sex and the City: 4 friends. Golden Girls: 4 friends. How I Met Your Mother: 5 friends. Will & Grace: 4 friends. Friends: 6 friends. Any less than 4 friends, you need to start asking yourself why you are not more popular. Chances are it's because you are ugly or too nice. People don't like people that are too nice. True Statement. If you have more than 6 friends, you need to start asking yourself why you are so popular. Chances are it's because you are rich or too pretty. They either want to use you for your money or sex.

Said group of friends must have one hang out where you meet everyday.
Whether it's a bar like Cheers or whatever that bar is called in How I Met Your Mother or a coffee shop like Central Perk or Cafe Nervosa or a diner like the Peach Pit or Arnold's/Al's or Monk's Cafe, there must be somewhere to go to drink beer, coffee, or milkshakes and talk about your day. You also will always sit at the same table or booth or couch. It helps to become good friends of the owners. They might reserve that spot for you since you come in everyday.

It's inevitable that you or one of your friends will attempt a singing career.
I'm pretty sure One Tree Hill tried this with Haley. David Silver made an attempt too. Now, he's a music producer in Japan and sadly, I know this from watching the first season of 90210. Of course, there's always Jesse and the Rippers, Joanie and Chachi, Leather Tuscadero and the Suedes, Dingos Ate My Baby, the Brady Kids under various names including the Silver Platters, the Partridge Family but I guess that was kinda the point, Lane from Gilmore Girls had a band, the kids on every single Degrassi series have tried it with Craig being semi successful and a coke addict. And of course, the most talented of the bunch: The Zack Attack.

Just when you think you have an empty nest, one of your good for nothing siblings will force you to take in one of their children. Or a stranger wanders in and never leaves.
Happy Days is pretty much the patron saint of this one. Richie leaves and then Roger shows up. However, he was old enough to live on his own but still came over to the Cunningham's house for meals. After Joanie left to start her singing career (see above), K.C. moved in. Around the same time, Roger's younger brother Flip came to live with him. Poor Howard and Marion. They already raised 2-3 children. Let them live in peace. Also, they should probably find Chuck before taking in more kids.

7th Heaven is also at the top of the list for this one. Robbie moved in after dating Mary and then dated Lucy. Martin literally wandered into their kitchen because he was lonely and had recently moved in nearby. Shortly after that, he moves in because his aunt who he lives with is moving away*. Martin moved into the same room that Robbie had lived in which had previously been Mary and Lucy's room and then Ruthie's room yet neither he nor Robbie painted over the pink walls or got new bedspreads that were not pink. Even Uncle Jesse put up posters of Elvis around the bunnies painted on the wall.

*[Note: By this time, I was watching 7th Heaven because it was unintentionally hysterical.]

There are more rich families than poor and middle class families.
I do not mean upper middle class people. I mean legitimate middle class, working people.

Rich people: The OC, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, Beverly Hills 90210, 90210, Brothers & Sisters, Silver Spoons, Different Strokes, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Clueless, Arrested Development, Frasier, The Nanny. Also, note that Different Strokes involves poor kids being adopted by a rich man and Beverly Hillbillies involves a poor family becoming millionaires and moving to Beverly, Hills that is because all rich people live in California or New York. There are absolutely no rich people in the Midwest. Even Oprah has a house in California.

Poor people: Good Times and various characters on other shows that are given a better chance by rich people.

Middle class: Roseanne, All in the Family, maybe some of those CBS sitcoms that I never watched, and According to Jim- I'm assuming because Jim Belushi just screams middle class. I guess you could make a case for Everybody Loves Raymond even though my entire house could fit in their living room.

Anyway, there are way too many rich people portrayed on television and the writers usually want me to have sympathy for their financial problems. Hey, Nora Walker, here's an idea: sell your ginormous house and then you wouldn't have to worry about money. I'll admit it, I don't like rich people.

No bad things happen in the Midwest. Ever.
Los Angeles is screwed because they, for some reason, have not banned Jack Bauer from setting foot in the city. Yeah, I know he ends up saving the day and all but only after hundreds or thousands of people die including my beloved Michelle. Jack Bauer just seems to attract terrorist attacks like Jessica Fletcher attracted murders and Scooby Doo attracted criminals who enjoyed dressing up in elaborate costumes even though a ski mask would have sufficed. I can't help but wonder if we sent Jack Bauer to Wyoming if more terrorist attacks would occur there. If it doesn't happen in Los Angeles, then it's happening in New York. Why would anything bad happen in the Midwest? It's not like we're centrally located for drug and human trafficking. It's not like people have their own meth labs or anything. I guess the Midwest is catastrophe free because we got Gary Hobson with tomorrow's Sun Times today. He and Jack Bauer should team up that we be all kinds of awesome.

As soon as children are potty trained, they instantly become six years old.
It happens all the time, one minute they are sitting in a high chair, three months later they are going to kindergarten. It happened on Growing Pains, Step By Step, Family Ties and other sitcoms from the 80s and early 90s. The baby is born. Teenage siblings baby sit baby while mom goes back to work. Former youngest child is jealous of baby. Storylines end here. Why not rapidly age the kid and send them to school?

I expect children to come down with a case of SORAS in soaps, after all, it is Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, but sitcoms, I expect better from you. Soap operas usually age kids to teenagers, but, sitcoms, you age them from babies to young children. You completely skip over the time when they might be cute and say the darnedest things to a time when they are brats and throw temper tantrums. I'm disappointed in you, sitcoms.

TV has taught me so many useful things. I feel prepared for life in the real world.

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