Brady 2.0

The TV shows we all grew up with had a simple casting formula: 2 parents; a few kids (usually including a genius sibling and a screw up); and maybe a housekeeper. Then when ratings dropped, an adopted kid might come into the picture and the show would go off the air shortly after. The Brady Bunch was ahead of its time with the blended family, but by design there were no former spouses. We never saw Carol’s ex husband show up yelling, “Dammit Mike. How dare you buy Jan an iPhone without discussing it with me first!” No awkward moments where Alice gossiped about Greg’s Mom’s drunk boyfriend. But in the second decade of the “00’s” (or the uh oh’s as I like to call them), art imitates life. The casts of the most popular shows have at least one set of exes and/or kids with split custody arrangements – and many are centered around the topic of divorce. Californication’s Hank Moody is still a fixture in his ex’s life, along with her new husband, Hank’s agent and his ex-wife. Acting legend Don Cheadle opens an episode of “House of lies” with the line “Never, ever, fuck your ex-wife”. The plot of “The Good Wife” involves not only the family dynamics of divorce, but the career implications. In the Entourage series finale, Ari Gold’s worries shifted from pool parties and movie deals to spousal support, co-parenting, trust funds, lawyers, and California’s fucked-up law. Oh, and Ari’s ex-wife dating Bobby Flay. The once mostly-married “Desperate Housewives” have graduated into the desperate ex-wives one by one. Mad Men last left our living rooms with dapper Don Draper divorced and desperately proposing to his secretary. (Sorry its true – once married, most men can’t be alone.) Modern family – well the title is self-explanatory. Many TV shows continue to find success in failed marriages. Anyone who reads People or US magazine (guilty) knows the actors are living their roles. TV A listers donning the scarlet D? Cougar Town’s Courtney Cox; Dexter’s Michael Hall (and ex-wife and co-star sister Jennifer Carpenter); Weed’s Mary-Louise Parker; Desperate Housewives Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, and Terri Hatcher; and 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin – who wrote the book on divorce (literally). Why the surge in singledom? The economy? A change in social and religious beliefs? The proliferation of women’s careers? This is a blog topic on its own which I promise to tackle later. Whatever the cause, perhaps we can take a little solace in watching TV shows which reflect our situations, and remind us that we are not alone – in our aloneness.

27. February 2012 by GenerationExGirl
Categories: Figuring It Out, Moving Out & Moving On | Leave a comment

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