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I loved sitcoms as a child. I fondly remember Tuesdays as the night when I could stay up until 9:30 to watch a cluster of my favorites: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Three’s Company. Like most kids, I compared my mom to Carol Brady, Claire Huxtable, or Elise Keaton. And don’t get me started on June Cleaver.
But the TV moms of 2012 seem more like me and my friends than those of yesteryear.
When I watch Up All Night, I feel like the writers are reading my mind. How do they know my innermost thoughts? When we watch the show, Alec is constantly looking over at me as if to say, You’re such a Reagan with almost every ridiculous thing she does:
- Birth. Yes, I too was concerned about the too-attractive doctor getting all up in there.
- New Years Eve. Year after year, I have turned to Rock Band and board games to convince my friends to come over after the kids are in bed and save us from hiring a babysitter. And like Christina Applegate’s character, I might be a wee bit competitive in this arena.
- Car shopping. This show gets me. I felt deflated when I bought my living-room-on-wheels aka Honda Odyssey, but it had to be done. Pimping out my minivan to show the world that I have a sense of humor about it is on the to-do list.
The show has a sitcommy vibe, but it’s all done with a wink toward my real life. Up All Night has it’s finger on my rookie-mom-desparate-to-maintain-a-love-life-sense-of-fashion-and-quality-friendships pulse.
When Modern Family is on, I’m such a Claire. Between her need to control the uncontrollable events in her life, the eye-rolling, the occasional bursts of spontaneity, Alec spends more time looking at me and nodding than watching the show. When I interviewed members of my extended family about their favorite television shows, Modern Family was most often chosen by all generations (not to mention marital statuses, number of children, and sexual orientations). Yes!!
And Parenthood. Set in my own backyard of (imaginary) Berkeley. Though my family doesn’t play basketball to wash away our troubles, the writing is great and the characters feel real. Not surprisingly, I identify most strongly with Christina, the mom of three who just had a baby, but I get knowing glances from my husband about each of the women at different times. Even the teens.
Damn fine writing on these programs. Or maybe I’m just one huge cliche.
Who are your favorite TV moms? And how much do you identify with them?
Not watching my favorite shows? You totally should be. Amazon lets you watch them instantly from the start:
- Parenthood: it just gets better from here
- Up All Night: starts strong, stays strong especially if you’re in the baby phase right now
- Modern Family: if you don’t pee your pants laughing, then forget about it
Keyword: Not our mother’s TV Moms