Saturday, October 05, 2013

Humor, 80's Style

Now that we've watched all of the episodes of I Love Lucy twice over, it's been pretty difficult to find good TV shows that are both family-friendly and watchable without wincing. I mean, think about it - no obvious sexual content, no disgustingly sarcastic children, no disgustingly sweet children either. 

Also?  Funny.  They have to be funny. 

So, in an unaccustomed burst of brilliance, I decided to try out ALF.  I remembered it vaguely from the late 1980's, when a neighbor of my parents (and their generational cohort) would watch it religiously and laugh himself silly; but I was in my 20's then and felt a little too cool for it.

I gathered David (16) and Brian (13) in the TV room for a screening last night.  Oh, people, ALF was funny, all right.  Brian enjoyed it outright, and I caught David laughing also.  We watched the first 3 episodes and no one objected.  Alf is the extra-terrestrial version of a Borscht Belt comedian.  His timing is impeccable.  The youngest kid is cute, but not so much that you want to stab him.  The teen girl is not snarky, just pleasant. Granted, that last is not very realistic, but what do you want from a show whose main premise is that an alien life form is hiding out in the house of a very suburban family?  And whose running joke is that he really wants to eat the family cat?


Also?  The 1980's.  The house is decorated in shades of blue and mauve, the teen daughter is wearing some sort of overalls get-up (when she isn't sporting her Laura Ashley dress), the phones all have cords on them, and no one has a personal computer.  It's like time travel and a history lesson, all rolled up into one.

What was up with that blue-and-mauve thing, anyway?

12 comments:

  1. Blue and Mauve...that was 1985...I considered a bargello sofa that year and decided it was just too, too trendy. In 1990 anyone could walk into my house and remark "Oh, you got that sofa in 1985!" The other trendy thing was backlit awnings over stores. There are still a few of those hanging around in Salt Lake City. (pun intended)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So funny. I was watching Magnum PI last month. His shorts were so short and his ferrari looks so junky now!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved Alf. My brother had Alf sheets when we were kids. It was so funny.
    ~FringeGirl

    ReplyDelete
  4. My kids watched a clip from the I Love Lucy episode with the chocolates on the conveyor belt while we were in a museum this summer. I hadn't thought of trying to find them whole episodes to see, but now I think I will.

    We dig up a lot of old movies for movie night. This weekend was Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Catherine Hepburn. There's a jaguar and a dog in it, so we figured the kids couldn't help but like it. We watch a lot of Charlie Chaplain, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never in a million years would have thought to look to Alf for humor. I'll have to check him out. Your post reminds me of the shows we used to watch as a family when I was growing up: WKRP in Cincinnati, Barney Miller, re-runs of Mary Tyler Moore, Monty Python's Flying Circus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Skip Episodes 5 and 6. Meh.

      I still remember watching Monty Python with my best friend's parents and seeing them laugh themselves silly over "What's brown and sounds like a bell?"

      Delete
  6. Aw, good ol' overalls and blue and mauve! I never watched this show--guess I missed out, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ugh, I had the mauve velvet sofa, circa 1982. We thought it looked so great, back then. Plus, made the mauve and blue quilt for our bed. Good thing it has faded and has taken on the 1980's shabby chic look. It's on the top shelf on the linen closet, in case I ever need an extra blanket for someone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember when McDonald's redid all their restaurants with that color scheme. What were we thinking?

      Delete
  8. Seafoam green was the one that got me.
    And what color is mauve???
    What were they thinking?
    Do you stream?
    Shaun the sheep is great.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The 1980s had a couple of "themes" that Middle America was all over top of: desert southwest (seafoam green plus any shade of ochre, brown, yellow, or peach--sometimes all together) and "country" (blue and mauve). I remember the cutesy-wootsy ceramic ducks with mauve or blue ribbons that every mid-west kitchen just *had to have".

    ReplyDelete
  10. I used to watch Knight Rider with my dad. I wonder if now I would find it unintentionally funny. As a kid, it was the pinnacle of drama and suspense.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin