Monday, March 01, 2010

Eight is Great

Just watched the Eight is Enough cast on the Today Show as part of their "Today Show Reunites Classic TV Families" series. It was surreal to see these people, these characters, who I remember watching on days home sick from school. Eight is Enough was on my "B" list of preferred daytime television, falling closely behind Laverne & Shirley or The Brady Bunch but slightly ahead of Bewitched. I loved the family dynamics and the fact that there were so many of them! I was too young to comprehend that Dick Van Patten was a widow with eight children and the magnitude of that situation. I don't even think I knew what a widow or death was at that age. There was a lot of "heavy" subject matter covered in these shows that I watched as a child and when I watch them now, if I happen to catch them on some obscure station at a random, sleepless hour, I will wonder what my eight or nine year old mind made of these situations. The references to drinking and drugs or (gasp!) sex. What does that even mean to an eight year old? I remember how often I would just follow the canned laugh track as my guidance for what was funny. My mother once found a diary entry she had written when I was a toddler. She was writing about her silly girls and how her four year old daughter wanted to "stay up late to watch Jack get naked on Three's Company." Words cannot express how much delight I find in that one sentence from my mother's diary. What kind of advertising had made a four year old want to watch a show about three 20-something singles sharing an apartment? Did I even know what naked meant? I am going to throw blame on my older sister...she was nine at the time and had to be a bad influence...because isn't that the job of an older sister?