Rosanne’s post about “Aunt Jenny…Ten Year’s Younger”, got me thinking about television shows I enjoyed when I was young. I had a great conversation with her as we reminisced about television lore. One of my favorites was “Family Affair”. Monday nights were sacred, as I would make sure to be home for every episode. I longed to live in a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue with Uncle Bill and Mr. French. The closest I ever came to any semblance of this type of life is that my nephews call me Aunt Sissie (not Cissy, like the show—but close).
Consequently, I ordered all 5 disc of the first season of “Family Affair” from Netflix. I have been watching each episode with a nostalgic eye and expected to persuade the boys to watch it with me again, for posterity---most likely won’t happen, but I will give it a shot.
I made several observations while watching disc one that were NEVER apart of my childhood memories of “Family Affair”, perhaps age and prudence has more to do with my insights than anything else. In the very first episode, Uncle Bill returns from a business trip abroad. Mr. French, being his “gentleman’s gentleman”, begins reviewing Bill’s itinerary---while Uncle Bill is taking a bath (yes, an odd scene today). Of course Uncle Bill smokes on the terrace—a HUGE “no-no”, and in another scene, Buffy, is being dried off after a bath—totally naked. Even at 6 years old, you don’t see that on television today. It made me realize that we have lost societal innocence – for lack of a better term. A case could be made for this being a good thing as well as a sad state of affairs.
The most prevalent memory, which has tugged at my heartstrings, is that of Mrs. Beasley. One of my prized possessions as a child was my Mrs. Beasley Doll. If you remember, Buffy NEVER went ANYWHERE without Mrs. Beasley. They were constant companions. When I viewed Buffy carrying her beloved doll around the penthouse, it was like connecting with a long-lost friend. I am not sure what happened to my Mrs. Beasley, but I would love to have her today--“My bestest and closest friend,” as Buffy would say.
It is interesting how pop-culture defines our memories. We recall songs, television programs or movies that mark our most treasured life experiences. How about today? What will mark the life experiences of our children? The Family Guy? The Simpsons? Desperate Housewives? Hmmm….
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