TV I WATCHED WITH MY PARENTS GROWING UP
Thank you for this, @sophia. Total trip down memory lane.
- •BensonIn which Robert Guillaume played "Benson," the wise-cracking but level-headed butler (thanks, Wikipedia) to the hilariously dysfunctional Tate family. I don't know which racial stereotypes are more unsettling -- those perpetuated here or the ones enacted in Diff'rent Strokes (also a great show, but so problematic). Maybe a tie? Yes, a tie. Way to go, '80s!
- •Beauty & the BeastLong before there was a CW or a Terminator, there was a Beauty & the Beast starring Linda Hamilton. And it was awesome. I remember them running around in subterranean tunnels, whispering sweet nothings in the candlelight, because what else are you gonna do in the face of impossible love?
- •Channel 8 NewsMy parents enjoy the local news. The newscasters were like celebrities. Pictured here is anchor Ann Nyberg. Huge personality in Southern Connecticut. We are not big on debating issues. I learned about that later, from friends. Anyway, I mostly paid attention to the weather reports, especially the 6am ones on possible snow days.
- •DynastyHi. My name is Brooke Ashley. My brother's name is Blake Spencer. Methinks someone was watching a lot of Dynasty around the time we were young. And by "someone" I mean "my mother." I remember watching it a little bit, and thinking of how pissed I'd be if I were Alexis and Crystal pulled my hair during a fight. It looked like those women spent a lot of time on their hair.
- •Family TiesSha la la la. 🎶
- •Full HouseMy brother and I were huge TGIF fans (my sister was too young). Often my parents would watch the shows with us, which was nice. Sometimes they'd go out to dinner on Fridays, and Blake and I would watch with a babysitter who fed us chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce and a side of Kraft Mac n' Cheese. And then Danny Tanner would close out the episode with some deep life lesson, and the world felt like such a safe place.
- •The Golden GirlsPerfection. I sensed then how great it was, but I had no idea until I grew up and started doing television and *actually* realized just how great it was. My parents got the biggest kick out of Estelle Getty's "Sophia Petrillo," who was a Sicilian immigrant, because they are the grandchildren of Neopolitan immigrants and everybody we know is pretty much exactly like Sophia Petrillo.
- •Miss America PageantsBack in the era when the "fitness" competition was a straight-up, sexist, objectifying, bikini contest. And no one saw any problem with it. 😳 At first the love was real. Beauty, perfectly polished personae, competition, winning. These things were big in my family. Later, it became more of a comedy. I breathed a sigh of relief and saw our collective laughter as a sign of growth.
- •Olympic Ice Skating & GymnasticsBrian Boitano! Katerina Witt! The Nancy Kerrigan v. Tonya Harding year was unreal. Kim Zmeskal! Dominique Dawes! Kerri Strug is a goddamn hero. We never watched football or baseball or anything at my house. My family likes sports that look like dancing. And we're obsessed with Bela Karolyi and his unmatched ability to churn out champions. (My brother does an excellent Bela impression, btw.)
- •Who's the BossAlyssa Milano was the coolest, prettiest girl on the planet. This one was a real crowd-pleaser. The grown-ups liked Mona's irreverence and got super invested in the Angela storylines. And everybody liked Tony Danza, because obviously. #HoldMeCloserTonyDanza