Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moments in Television this Week

Rarely does anything ever make me laugh out loud, which is why it was so nice when I came across a couple moments in some of my favorite TV programs this week.

In last week's episode of "Modern Family" Hayley and Alex torture their little brother by dressing him up as a girl the family affectionately calls "Betty Lou." If that's not humiliation enough, when his parents come home and see him like that, they immediately whip out their camera phones and Claire, the mother, tells him to smile because she didn't get a very good picture last time. Phil, the father, says something like, "We've missed you Betty Lou." Okay, so maybe this shouldn't be funny, but I think what amused me was the parents' reaction. I pretty much expected them to scold their daughters for what they did, but instead they seemed to appreciate the fact that they managed to get their little brother into a dress and make-up.

The other thing I found funny this week was a scene in the new program called "Are You There, Chelsea?" based on the books by Chelsea Handler. In the episode, Chelsea and her co-worker, Nikki, and Chelsea's roommate, Dee Dee are on a chartered fishing boat with two gay doctors (whom they don't know are gay). Dee Dee, the resident fishing expert, is in a cabin cutting up their haul while chatting with the young and geeky captain. She pulls a fish out of the cooler and sees it's still flopping around a bit, so she gleefully picks up her small wooden club and whacks it up side its head before slapping it down onto the cutting board to cut up. Okay, so physical humor like that where someone or something has to suffer is perhaps a bit juvenile. What's funny about this scene is that Dee Dee is usually a very mild mannered and somewhat naive young woman. To see her inflict violence on anything doesn't really fit with her character.

Not only did my favorite shows amuse me this week, but they moved me almost to tears once too. In this week's episode of "Parenthood," the character of Max Braverman, an 11 year old with Asperger's makes a new friend. Due to his condition, he hasn't had many, or really, any friends for that matter. While sitting out of gym class one day, he starts talking with his classmate, Micah, who has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair. Even though it's a brief conversation while both play with their Nintendo DSLs, they obviously hit it off, because Max spontaneously invites Micah to come over after school. Both sets of parents meet each other. Micah's parents express their gratitude that Max invited him over since Micah hasn't really had a friend before. Though Max's parents don't really make that same admission out loud, we all know that's what they're thinking and are tearfully grateful for the same reason. How could you not be moved by that?

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