When you think of specific examples of parents in television shows, which characters come to mind? How are they portrayed?
In recent years, the role of parents has been turned on its head. And respect for parents is virtually gone, as well as the belief that they are the models they are called to be.
The most influential of programs are those targeted toward young people. And two of the most popular networks for the youth come from Disney and Nickelodeon.
On Disney Channel’s Good Luck, Charlie, the parents are oftentimes very immature and are insulted by their children without consequence.
The N’s (now known as TeenNick) second-highest rated program a few years ago, Instant Star, had so many parental problems, it can be difficult to know where to begin. So here’s a quick summary:
- Dad is the more likeable parent of the main character but cheats on her mom. He isn’t remorseful except in how the affair hurt his two daughters.
- After divorce the mom gets in a relationship with her divorce lawyer, marries him shortly after and leaves the country, never to be seen again in the next few seasons of the show.
- Dad had been kicked out by Mom after the affair but comes back to live with daughters after Mom takes off. Dad seems like the good guy. The “other woman” is never mentioned again so we don’t know whether he’s still seeing her or not.
- Dad decides to take an extended overseas soul-search early in the last season and never returns to the program. The daughters are living without either parent for the remainder of the series. At this point the daughters are 18 and early 20s.
What’s the moral of the story? That parents are messed up and irrelevant? That life is better without them?
How have you seen parents portrayed on television?