It’s June, which means the standard television season is over and done with. There are a few shows to look forward over the summer, but for the most part the 2006-07 television season is over and done with. Marriage wasn’t too popular or well done during this year’s television season. From reality television’s The Real Wedding Crashers to Marriage 911 to the fictional Rules of Engagement, Desperate Housewives and ’Til Death — marriage didn’t come off as a healthy or happy institution this year.
There’s a reason for that – as many marketing promoters will tell you – happy marriages don’t make for good television or entertainment. Conflict sells and in a marriage that means miserable, unhappy and more. The only other popular option for television marriages often confines the wife to the mom role with her husband being the out of control child. If you go back fifty years to Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, it’s Ricky in the dad role with his wife acting like the oversized child.
Marriage Can Be Fun
Marriage can be fun and funny, look at Monica and Chandler on Friends. Their relationship didn’t become stale or boring when they hooked up from their secret dating to their living together to the marriage proposals and then life after marriage. No matter how goofy Chandler behaved, he stood up when Monica needed him and they turned in a powerful performance when they learned that Monica couldn’t have children.
Marriage Can Be Sexy
A couple of decades ago, Hart to Hart featured Jonathon and Jennifer Hart who enjoyed business, pleasure, charities and a little crime-solving thrown in. They rarely argued, they were always flirting with each other and they were sexy, funny and fun together. They epitomized how a couple can work together, trusting their instincts and playing to their own strengths.
Ask a lot of kids today and they wouldn’t have any idea who Lucy and Ricky were or Jonathon and Jennifer. They might remember Chandler and Monica – but is it any wonder that marriage gets a bad rap? Is it just not entertaining to show marriages as fun, sexy and powerful partnerships? I disagree, wholeheartedly. I just think it takes more creativity to build a smart show around a smart marriage.
Can you depict a marriage on television where the couple fights, makes-up, loves each other and shows how positive communication helps the couple to celebrate the good and work through the bad? Sure you can, but I think today’s writers are too lazy to spend that much effort on it. Want some more recent examples of positive marriage shown on television? Oddly enough, I can find one on the show Battlestar Galactica where Sharon Agathon (a ‘cylon’) is married to Karl Agathon (‘Helo’).
They love and support each other. You see there are times when they don’t necessarily agree with each other, but their support is unwavering. They yell, they apologize, they love and they communicate.
What television shows can you think of that give marriage a ‘good’ name?