Wednesday, November 17, 2010

T.V. Role Models

My father died when I was young so I sought out father figures in many places. I had uncles, family friends and other acquaintances that became father figures me. This allowed me to pick the best attributes from each to emulate. I am also the child of a generation raised on television and had to some extent was a latchkey kid who was babysat by television. In TV Land I found many men whom I wanted to develop their attributes. Upon reading this list I think you will understand why I was not a normal child and am still not a normal adult.*

*This list is about shows that I watched in my more formative years so Don Draper is except from the list.

Fraiser and Niles Crane

For Christmas in fifth grade I really wanted a wool top coat this alone should signify my connection to Frasier and Niles. I mean who didn't want to take their gym clothes to school in a valise?

From the Brothers Crane I learned to have an appreciation for the finer things in life. I learned to listen to classical music and that the awkward teenage years could give way to being an awkward yet successful adult.

Miles Silverberg and Jim Dial
Murphy Brown

Miles was the neurotic produce of FYI who seemed like the ultimate preppy grown up. My love of Brooks Brothers may be traced in part to an episode where Murphy talks Miles out of his office with the promise of a trip to Brooks Brothers.

Jim Dial was the anchor of the fictional television news magazine show. Jim had worked in TV news with Erick Sevareid and Edward R Murrow. He would speak with dedication to journalistic integrity and the role of journalists in a democracy. Jim imparted to me good posture and the reverence and respect someone should have for what they do and the respect for elders who came before you. In large part I think that my beliefs about what the Fourth Estate should be come from this television sit-com.

I never cared for Frank Fontana as a role model and I hate banded collars.

Bryant Gumbel
The Today Show

This one was largely because of my mother. She made me watch The Today every morning for two reasons 1) So that I could get an introduction to current events 2) So that I could watch what Bryant Gumbel was wearing and learn how to dress. This lead to my teenage years where I was always able to dress well when the occasion called for a tie or sports jacket, but I struggled with casual wear. If Today had had casual Fridays my polo shirt tucked into tapered jeans might have been avoided.


Britta said...

We didn't have a TV much growing up, but I did watch enough Punky Brewster to tie a bandanna around my leg.

Tapered jeans (but loose on top) happened to the best of us. Not sure when the pear shape became a good idea for fashion but it must have been around middle school for me.

Frasier is still one of my favorite shows. Probably the only truly successful spin-off from a truly successful original.

Tom said...

"Frasier is still one of my favorite shows. Probably the only truly successful spin-off from a truly successful original"

What about Laverne and Shirley??? And I'm hopeful that the MadMen prequel featuring Roger Sterling's father and Burt Cooper proves to be riveting!

Maiken said...

I loved Murphy Brown! I learned a few things about being a powerful from Candice Bergen.

My T.V. dads were from Family Ties, The Cosby Show, and M.A.S.H.