Thursday, March 29, 2007

Television Kids: Who's really your daddy?

When I am watching a sitcom(and to a lesser extent dramatic series), there is something that always pulls me out of believing the setup of a family: kids and parents whose hair color really doesn't match.

Take Everybody Loves Raymond for example. Deborah and Ray Barone are both brunettes... and yet they have three blond children. And because through the course of the show, we are introduced to all the grandparents, none of whom are blond. It does not make sense. Or Full House, where brunette Danny Tanner(Bob Saget) and the sister of black-haired Jesse Katsopolis(John Stamos) managed to produce 3 blond children(I always suspected that Dave Coulier's Joey Gladstone was their true father). I can think of a lot of other examples of this, but in mentioning them, well, my reputation as a snobby pop culturist would be shattered, so we'll stay with those two at the moment for the blond/brunette discrepancy.

The red-haired teenaged girl seems to be another one of those types of anomalies, especially for shows that are based on the premise that the parents got married very early in life(Grounded for Life, Still Standing, The War at Home). I mean, where are these weird genes coming from? On The War at Home, there is a blond son, a dark haired son and a red-haired daughter. Since Michael Rapaport is blond and Anita Barone has blond hair and dark eyebrows, I can see where two of those kids got their genes. But the daughter does not make sense in that equation. And I have a feeling that this problem isn't confined to North American television either. I am sure there are shows in Britain and Europe that have the same problems.

I think The Simpsons even makes fun of this kind of thing, as Homer is a brunette, Marge is blue-haired, and yet they have three blonde children. Then again, they could just be blond because their characters are a lot easier to draw that way.


Mayren said...

I used to have problems with the TV family genetics too. Eventually we get older and jaded and just understand that original scripts and books are raped and screw actual realism...
We're supposed to be entertained by the magical craft of acting that transcends all physical appearances right?

(can you hear the sarcasm?)

MC said...

yes I can hear it.