Parenthood. I started watching this show on Netflix a few months ago and instantly fell in love. I fell in love with its realness and its ability to make me feel something every g.d. episode. At some point in every episode whether they are happy or sad tears, I am shedding some. It’s become a joke now, mostly with myself, that by the end of the episode I am cursing at the tv, “this f*cking show” as I wipe the tears off of my face. I am moved by the characters, their stories, and their fierce loyalty to each other. I am moved by their support for each other and very simply, all the love.
The thing about this show is that it, among many other shows, is ruining EVERYTHING. Television shows today are ruining life for all MEN in the real world. How many men on the show Parenthood actually hold a grudge for more than a few minutes, screw up without an elaborate speech or apologetic gesture, or refuse to give their women exactly what they want? None of them. That’s how many. They all make mistakes and have arguments but they make up for it and they understand and they TALK. They talk about everything, express their feelings, adore their women and plan surprise dinners. This is not the average man. Men do these things, the really good ones do these things but they don’t do it as often as my television shows me. Let’s say I watch three episodes in a row – that’s three hours of adoring, dish washing, hard working, men. That’s three hours of supportive, healthy, growing, and loving relationships. We don’t see the two days of not talking to each other, we just see the blow up and then the resolution.
I connect with this show because on some level those are all aspects of a spouse or relationship that exist in real life but are difficult for non-television people to exude all day every day. Shows like Parenthood set unrealistic expectations for life that I expect my man to live up to when in reality, this is near impossible for living, breathing humans.
In fact, almost every show on television sets unrealistic expectations for life. Before the Kardashians, we could only imagine what life was like for the rich and famous and now it is right in front of us, we feel apart of it. You can say whatever you want about them, that’s fine, but most of us wouldn’t complain if we could afford the lifestyle they live. Even to afford the lifestyle on a lesser scale would be amazeballs – to fly anywhere, anytime or the ability to follow every dream, wish, or hope without any worry about how we will pay our bills – ya know, things like that. The fact that we can see, hear, and be apart of that lifestyle from our living rooms, gives us this feeling that one day we will get there, that one day we will get that life even though we probably won’t. We can strive for it and maybe get somewhere close but to be happy and content we don’t need to have the Kardashian way of life. Keeping Up with the Kardashians gives us a false sense of reality. Ironically enough, it is what we call a reality show.
Whenever I think my expectations for my relationship might be a bit much, I blame television. I’m not alone in this belief either. Obvs I talked to my mom about it and she said she’s been saying that for years about us girls to her girlfriends. I’ve also brought it up with friends, “Yeah EXACTLY! Like (insert man’s name here) acts like an idiot, says one thing but acts another and I never know what he’s thinking, but at no point will he ever show up at my house, holding a boom box outside of my window playing our song…” I remember feeling this way in single life as well. Even though the guy said straight up, “I don’t want a relationship right now” and behaved in a way that most signs pointed to, “THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN” I would hold onto those moments of television that I had seen on One Tree Hill or Grey’s Anatomy when those women became the exception to the rule. They became the women that got what they wanted eventually from the men. Anyway, the point is that television and all of its glory is ruining life as we know it on Earth.
The interesting thing, however, about watching a show like Parenthood with my boyfriend is that it does stir up conversations. When a couple is going through something either between themselves, between other family members, or children, we’ll often ask each other, “what side do you take in this situation?” It allows us to talk about situations that might normally be really intense if we were the ones actually dealing with it. YAY! One positive emotional outcome to watching shows that are ruining life.
Anyway, Sassarella Says…watch television. It is ten times better than any movie out these days, the dialogue is unbelievable (television writers today are the shit), and being entertained is ultimately the goal. I know I’ll be working on not taking every hurdle or argument Adam and Kristina Braverman face to heart. Or Joel, just Joel. I love Joel. Although I cannot promise that I will not cry about every hurdle or argument the entire clan stumbles upon.