The best in television programming often features an engaging, entertaining, and wacky American family that also happens to represent what may be considered the "norm" for its respective decade. Given that the Bradys were one of the first shows to include scenes of a husband and wife sharing the same bed, it can be said that the television family is as much a sign of the times as it is pure entertainment.
I can clearly remember living for Thursday nights, when the Cosbys were followed by Family Ties (pre-Different World Days). Rudy was years from realizing her gangster rap video vixen ambitions and Lisa Bonet was only kind of weird. Michael J. Fox was healthy, Justine Bateman was the "it" girl, and Brian Bosworth bore no startling piercings. And don't get me started on Tina Yothers....
I guess the evolution of these young actors is also a sign of the times, but I still like to reminisce through the reruns in remembering the days of Ferris Bueller, Molly Ringwald, and the ubiquitous Shermer, Illinois. Whatever happened to John Hughes, anyway?
Given the results of this week's vote, I can see I'm not alone in the old favorites. The Cosby Show just edged out Family Ties to win for the most favored family on television. Though, I didn't actually vote (my husband used my computer to weigh in on his favorite, and I couldn't vote for mine without changing his), my sentiments would have to go with Family Ties. So, it really would have been a tie had I not been disenfranchised.
Though I am a fan of almost all the shows in the poll, I still can't help getting misty-eyed every time I hear, "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and the Beaters. (If you're a fan of the show, you know what I am talking about). And given the fact that I ended up marrying an Alex P. Keaton and working for a Skippy (shout out to sweater vest wearing Mike D), the show remains with me still.
Falling behind with two votes apiece, the Sopranos and the Barones of "Everybody Loves Raymond" enjoyed very little love. I was an avid fan of "The Sopranos", but the warmth I feel for the Keatons doesn't quite transfer over to the wack-happy family from Jersey. Unlike most of America, I never really watched Raymond and I couldn't tell you why.
Only one person chose the longest running family of the bunch, the Simpsons. I love this show for the social commentary and for Homer, but I also understand why the others garnered more votes.
And no one has love for Archie Bunker. Perhaps the most representative of the changing social climate of his time, Archie Bunker appealed to a very specific audience and the niche he filled was pure genius. Again, however, no match for the Cos.
So there you have it....given the longing for some of the old programming (I happen to know more than a few people who still sneak in episodes of the Golden Girls), it's surprising that reality television and programs that are more concerned with pushing the envelope monopolize our channels. I am curious to see who the next family will be, but until they surface....
da na na na, da na na na...clap, clap.