Time it was and what a time it was.. A time of innocence.. A time of confidences…. Long ago it must be.. I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you… (simon & garfunkel)
I’m feeling a bit wistful today. In mourning for a time when things were nicer, when we didn’t have to have graphic details shoved down our throats as if it were as necessary to our health as a plate of spinach. A place where I can pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and not have my senses assaulted by mankind turning on itself. What brought this mood on you may ask? A major catastrophe? A news report on some impending doom? Seeing a violent crime unfold in front of me? No.. none of those things. I think we’ve become somewhat immune to them.. But last night I watched a pilot episode from the USA of a show called “Mockingbird Lane”.
Mockingbird Lane is a remake of “The Munsters” with Portia De Rossi as Lily and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa. I didn’t know the rest of the cast members and honestly don’t really care. It’s not that the cast were bad, I’m sure they did a fine job.. it was the content . For those of you who are around my vintage and remember The Munsters, you’ll remember the sweet natures of the ghouly characters. Lily was a mother earth type, a perfect mum to Eddie and pseudo mum to her niece Marilyn. She was devoted to her Frankenstein type husband, Herman and still a daddy’s girl to her vampire father, Grandpa.
They were a typical family of the 60’s and, in fact, the show was made by those people who brought you that schmaltz on a stick, Leave it to Beaver. Herman went out to work, Lily looked after the home and hearth, the kids were occasionally in trouble but never outright naughty and Grandpa was the exasperating but adorable relative who provided comic relief. Typical 60s family viewing except they all just happened to be monsters.
They were innocent. We didn’t have to see Grandpa sucking blood, we knew vampires did that, although he always fought the temptation of his base instincts to fit in with society. We didn’t see anyone killed or hurt. However, watching Mockingbird Lane and seeing the poor excuse for a Grandpa ripping into a lion, with blood dripping down his flesh filled mouth filled me with horror. Why does that need to be seen?
Why do we need to take these sweet, wholesome shows of our childhood and turn them into some graphic, blood soaked piece of garbage and call it a remake. It was not a remake. The whole point of The Munsters was their wholesome personalities in the bodies of monsters. That, my friends, was the key point of the whole show! And the producers of this new pilot missed the point. Big time!
We were raised on triple helpings of saccharine in the guise of The Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver, Family Affair, The Munsters, Father Knows Best, My Three Sons and other shows depicting the all round, perfect Family. Okay, they may have been sweet enough to cause instant decay if we bit into them, but they were still fun while always having a moral to learn. I’m not saying we need to go back to these sort of television programs but merely decrease the graphic content of what we view, especially kids programs.
What is so wrong with seeing the world through a kaleidoscope? Why can’t we let kids be kids? Why can’t they believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. I still do! There ARE fairies in the bottom of my garden, Dame Washalot DOES live in the top of my tree and I have to avoid her laundry water she tips out, HR Pufnstuf IS the Mayor of Living Island and MAGIC STILL HAPPENS.
I raised my kids on a fair helping of Disney cartoons which they still love today as adults, but they also watched their fair share of stuff that had some violence in it. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers being their favorites. But good still always won out over bad. Kids need to feel safe. They need to believe that good will always truimph over evil, even though reality isn’t always like that. People, the world would really be a better place if we could all do what Agent 86 said and “use our brains for good instead of evil”.
I have no desire to go back to the time of Father Knows Best (because even if he really does know best, it was probably because Mother told him) but it would be nice to see a softer, kinder approach to the people in our world. A world where people pay reverence to old age and where children aren’t sexualsed. Where a man still holds a door open for a lady and a lady has the manners and courtesy to say a simple Thank You! Where teachers and police are still respected as figures of authority and where parents are actually in charge.
Bring back The Munsters in all their black and white glory I say.. Leave the blood and gore to horror movies and leave our childhood shows as they were.
I’m off to have a huge helping of apple pie and cream all washed down with a mega mug of hot chocolate served by Alice in the Brady kitchen.
Happy eating… Livvy 🙂