Friday, September 04, 2009

Lies my mother told me

When we were kids, our mother gave us rules.  Rules of conduct, rules of the house, rules for toys, rules for TV.  Some of the rules she created out of necessity and some she created just to mess with us.  The rules around television shows were particularly of the latter kind.  There were shows we could not watch because they were inappropriate for children and then there were shows we did watch but didn't know were inappropriate until we were teens.

Shows we could not watch: 
Degrassi Junior High Mom happened to come down to the basement where we were watching one of the GREATEST CANADIAN SHOWS OF ALL TIME! and walked in during the scene where one girl admits she thinks she may be gay.  End scene.  After that we had to pretend we were watching something else if she came into the room.  However, she could never keep track of all the characters, so thought it was a different show most days.

My Two Dad's  Mom's basic argument was that the girl had two dad's and thus, the girl's mother was a poor role model.  I think she meant to say "ho", but didn't have the right word available to her at that moment.  I was heartbroken because all my friends were watching My Two Dad's.  I wanted to be part of the in crowd where being a product of mass amounts of indiscriminate sex was hip.

Jem We loved Jem.  I mean, she was truly, truly outrageous.  What else could you ask for?  Mom told us the show was not good.  The computer was named "Cynergy" like "Sin - energy" do you see the connection?  And the bad girls were all really bad.  Nope, no Jem for us.  Mom admitted later it was that the music and the outfits annoyed her.

Dukes of Hazzards  The good guys broke the law.  The bad guys were police who also broke the law and only upheld it for their own benefit.  But I have a feeling the real reason we couldn't watch this was because of Daisy Duke's shorts and the fact one of the characters was named "Cooter".

Shows we did watch:
Nightcourt Hookers were on every show and Dan was a tramp.  Yet, I watched every episode.  It wasn't until the re-runs I realized what Dan was doing with all those women.

Cheers Sam chased everything in a skirt. Every other character in the place was an alcoholic.  But it was funny!

Golden Girls Inappropriate jokes about old ladies having sex.  And yet, HILARIOUS.

Mash Infidelity, alcoholism, adultery, racism, and bawdy behaviour. Still one of the greatest shows ever.

In context, growing up in a Christian home and feeling the need to put basic Christian principles into place, I can see where my parents were going with the shows we could not watch.  However, please note the incongruities with the ones we did.  In the end, the rules were 1) cannot watch the things that annoy the parent and 2) can watch the things the parent thinks is funny.  I wonder if that is really what was going on with that whole Teletubbies scandal.  Maybe the dude was just sick to death of the song and needed an out.


  1. Hey, this reminds me. I forgot to tell you about the backstory to the CareBears that you didn't know. Your problem: you asked mom if you could have a CareBear. Lyn's and my solution: we asked Dad at the store while we were standing in front of the CareBears. And that's how Lyn and I got ours.

  2. I had the same problem. I was not allowed to watch the Wonder Years or Beverly Hills 90210 when it first came out, but I could watch thirtysomething and LA Law with my mom.

  3. I only know about The Dukes. It had to do with glorifying lawbreaking and making police out to be fools. Not our family values at all. When you were little and watched Smokey and the Bandit, you cheered for Smokey because he was the policeman. We liked that.
    The other shows I don't remember even hearing about, so can't comment. MASH displayed excellent human relationship and values which is why it was and is a wonderful show.

  4. Ky: DEVIOUS!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had thought of that.

    Typical Quirk: Isn't that funny? I watched Dallas, but not Smurfs.

    Dad: A lot of shows were on before you got home from work.

    Sherendipity: Trust you to latch on to that one!! I'm glad someone did!!

  5. YOU watched Dallas? We quit when you were about 5 years old. One night you sat and watched it with us and we realized exactly what it was we were watching and never watched it again that I know of.

  6. I also used to watch All My Children, or Guiding Light or whatever trashy soap opera mom used to watch in the afternoons.

  7. Another World!! Everyday when we were young, or home sick from school. HA HA HA. I love mom.

  8. Dad: I watched bits and pieces of it here and there when you guys weren't around.

    Lyn and Bro:
    Another World was another story. I loved that show!! Awesome!!!


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