Growing up in the 90’s, I was lucky enough to have the right role models to guide me through adolescence. My parents understood the importance of instilling a strong moral compass in me and did so by giving me all the right tools: cable and my own television. Such classic shows as Family Matters and Full House taught to know right from wrong. Had Dj Tanner not shown me the consequence of walking around a table twice with a young Greek boy, I too might have fell victim to an accidental marriage. Unfortunately, TV land is no longer a safe place to raise a family. Now it’s all about parental locks and rating advisories. I remember a simpler, safer time when you could plop your kid in front of a TV anytime before 10pm and, know they were going to get a substantial life lesson. So, in honor of that time here are some of the lessons I learned from the television shows of my youth.
Macgyver – Creativity
With ingenuity and patience anything can be over come, that is the motto that Macgyver instilled in me. Don’t ever underestimate a few basic household supplies, after all Macguyver plugged an acid leak with a chocolate bar. In the era of the App, it’s nice to be reminded that using your brain can be more effective. Foil, a stick of Juicy Fruit and a straw helped me breath life back into my ailing dishwasher. Imagine what you could do if you thought like Macgyver.
Full House – Love is love is love.
Now days you can’t turn on the news without hearing a heated debate over same sex parents, but wasn’t full House’s entire premise about three men living together and successfully raising kids? Full house showed us the benefit of being raised in a loving household…period. Who knows, there could have been more to Danny and Joey’s relationship than we were purvey to. I have yet to find a man whose biggest thrill is to pledge his furniture and, I don’t recall Joey ever having a serious girlfriend, think about it. Irregardless, that show helped me to be accepting of families of all shapes and sizes.
Alf – Tolerance
Alf was more than a hairy creature with a sarcastic wit and an insatiable appetite for cat’s, he was someone who left his homeland in hopes of finding a better life. With all the tension over immigration reform, let’s be reminded of what the most famous illegal alien has taught us; no matter how different we may look on the surface, at the heart we are all the same.
Punky Brewster – Think before you do
The always-precocious Punky Brewster taught me many things: be an individual, a jean vest is a wardrobe staple and pigtails go with any outfit. But it was Punky’s BFF Cherry who had the greatest impact. She showed me the consequences of giving into the intrigue of an empty refrigerator. During an innocent game of hide and seek Cherry found the perfect hiding spot; an old refrigerator. Unfortunately, it doubled as a suffocation chamber. That episode not only gave me an irrational fear of refrigerators but also taught me to think before I do.
Family matters -Respect
Judy Winslow was one of three children of Carl and Harriette, up until the day she went up stairs and disappeared! Before she vanished, Judy fessed up to a serious offense; destroying her mother’s fancy dress. Now, I can’t imagine Harriette had many fancy gowns, as Carl’s meager policeman’s salary was probably not splurging on expensive dresses. So what happened to Judy? Was vandalism a gateway crime? Did Carl ship Judy off to a Scared Straight program? We may never know. But, one thing I do know for sure; there are dire consequences to disrespecting other people’s property.