Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Married With Children FTW!

It's not hard to turn on the telly & find an exhausting amount of shows that degrade, embarrass & minimize the Black experience. It's almost so commonplace to see "us" being ridiculed, that outrage has been replaced with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality. Indeed, Blacks have been laughing to keep from crying since days of The Middle Passage.

I can't say I don't enjoy a fair amount of what would be considered "Black TV". Any blue-blooded American of African descent enjoys the occasional chuckle at our own expense. That said, when we do get a chance to break from the normalcy of semi-racist television viewing, I allow it to totally engulf me. More specifically, I'm referring to The Bundy's. That's what we call it 'round here at Grands Manor. In short; Best. Show. Ever.

Married With Children (April 1987-June 1997) is a rare glimpse at the average lower-middle class White family that, as Black folk, we don't get to see too much. Anyone who disagrees doesn't have the common sense God gave the Hermit Crab. That's the one that lives in it's shell & walks sideways. It's not very often that a low-income, barely able to eat, cant-afford-to-feed-the-dog family graces our TV's that isn't Black. Right, wrong or indifferent, it's comedy in it's most raucous form. I believe that aspect itself had a lot to do with the shows success. Blacks could relate, even on levels that many Whites couldn't. No racism.

Kelly was a slut, 5 minutes from having an abortion on every episode, & she wasn't Black. That gave "us" a sense of empowerment, almost as much as Al having the crummiest job in the world, no matter how hard he tried to better himself. Peg was the lazy, sex-depraved housewife, who's favorite show was "Oprah" & who's main goal in life was to out-snack & out-sleep everyone. Sucking gas out of the neighbor's car, stealing food from parties, all these sub par living standards that America's small screen portrayed as it's impression of being Black in the USA, except these folks were White, & I apologize if it offends, but that is hilarious. Their plight was as familiar to "us" as an episode of "Good Times" or "South Central" (am I the only one who remembers that show on Fox?).

While shows like "The Cosby Show" planted dignity in colored children nationwide, that just wasn't a family life most inner-city kids could relate to. But Tang (or ketchup, mustard, mayo, sugar, butter, syrup) sandwiches & no food, that's something that the people who probably couldn't afford to watch better "quality" shows could relate to.

Most programs with an all white cast (shout out to Griff!) catch flak for their lack of minorities. Not Married With Children! Al, Peggy, Kelly, Bud & Buck were minorities in every sense of the term. Who knew a television show about the life a poor, impoverished family could be made without any Black main characters?

That's my most favorite show of all time, for numerous reasons, & it deserves to stay in syndication until the sun burns out.

Can I get an amen?

7 comments:

Don said...

I would smash Peggy & Marcy and have Bud roll my Swishers while I eat buffalo wings.

Dropping "South Central" is like dropping "The PJ's".

$yk.

Curtis75Black said...

Amen !! That show was the shit. Mad funny because they kept it real. Couldn't stand eachother every moment but will Bust your Ass if you fuck with any of them !! They did have one black man - he worked with Al at the shoe store. You're right though, we didn't cry because we didn't want to see a black fam chillin' with them. They was enough.

Tony Grands said...

@C75B

Don't trip, I shouted him out.

"(Shout out to Griff!).

I can watch that shit all day.

Phlip said...

PREACH!!!

I used to watch Married With Children RELIGIOUSLY as a younger Phlip, and I still catch it in the mornings as I prepare mine and the lady's lunches, laughing all again like I don't damn near know the words to every episode.

I should probably look into finding a DVD box set before they take it out of syndication.

Tony Grands said...

@Phlip
I think as long as they keep "The Simpsons" & "I Love Lucy" in rotation, they'll keep on The Bundy's. That shows like Jello......

Vee (Scratch) said...

Married With Children all day. The writers of the show really did their thing.

Little known fact, there are real No Ma'am groups and movement flourishing on the web.

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