I have long been aware of how much we learn from, and are conditioned by, watching television. This is especially true for Baby Boomers. Our parents listened to the radio, and our kids play video games.
At an extreme level, I suppose we could stop to wonder if watching TV has become a form of idolatry or false worship. That’s a little bit too heavy for where I am going today. But I do admit that when I was writing a column for the Sentinel on Sunday November 25th, I tried to recall how any situation comedy might have dealt with the circumstance of adult children finding out about the rapid or dramatic deterioration of their parents’ mental or physical condition.
There have been many really popular and successful situation comedies which have focused on American family life. I know I am missing several great shows, but a representative sample includes: Ozzie and Harriett (1952-66), All In The Family (1971-79), The Cosby Show (1984-92), Everybody Loves Raymond (1996- 2005) and Modern Family (2009-?). These comedies have allowed us to find humor in a large range of controversial and painful topics which have affected American life, but I am hard-pressed to recall any specific episode that related to the general challenge of aging, much less dementia or paralysis.
Can anyone recall any episode from a TV sitcom which dealt with the topic of an adult child discovering a change in the condition of a parent? It is entirely possible that you can because I have only watched a small portion of them. If you can recommend or recall any specific episodes, please leave a comment on the blog to share the name of the show and the approximate time you saw it. I’d like to watch it!