Friday, February 13, 2004

SIGNS OF THE TIMES, or THE ARTS COMMUNITY GETS LOBBYING HELP IN THE ODDEST PLACES: I’m at home this afternoon with a sick child, and we caught some of this PBS show, and it kinda cracked me up.

You know how dated and reactionary most sitcoms from the ‘50s and ‘60s look today? The dad is the Organization Man, the ambitious young executive. The mom is the executive’s wife, cook and homemaker with the apron over the cocktail dress. Many plots involve Dad trying to impress a big client, and Mom trying to host the perfect party, but the kids or the dog create havoc, etc. And everything works out better than planned at the end.

Well, this show “George Shrinks” updates the formula for the Oughties, as well as for PBS’s target demographic. Dad is a wacky inventor/saxophone player with a goatee and a $50 haircut. Mom is sort of a Martha Stewart type, only more soft-edged and free of legal trouble--an entrepreneurial Jill-of-all-trades. In the plot of today’s episode, Mom (whose name is Perdita) is trying to get her arts grant application together, but her kids create havoc, her husband has a pratfall en route to Kinko’s, etc. And everything works out better than planned at the end, I’m sure (though I didn’t stick it out that long).

Sorry, maybe nobody will be amused by this but me. And the website doesn’t make me laugh the way the first two minutes I saw of the show did. (Interesting how many kids’ shows come from Canada these days.)

Support public broadcasting, people! In doing our income taxes, I see that I inadvertently pledged to public radio twice last year and to public TV not at all. D’oh! I swear, PBS station, I’ll catch ya in 2004 (maybe twice).

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