My family in exchange for…

famn damily

This was at least 20 years ago and missing a few essential characters, including me, but obviously none of my family’s silliness.

HA! My family in exchange for Modern Family? The Waltons? Father Knows Best? Prince of Bel Aire? Star Trek? X-Men? The Cosby Show? Dallas? Malcom in the Middle? Six Feet Under? The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings? True Blood? Any of the CSI franchises? American Horror Story?

No need. My family is its own Situation Comedy, Dramatic Tragedy, Crime(like) Procedural, and Exhaustively Boring Number of Multiple Sequel Movies. Its audience is a small and very select group, so its nothing the folks at Neilson Ratings would ever consider as anything “significant.”

A mostly a PG-rated bunch, they do have their adorable “fun for the whole family,” G-rated episodes, but also their embarrassing and awkward R-rated tirades, moral dilemmas, and late night oo-la-la liaison scenes. Save maybe two world travelers who have had interesting adventures (and not including the distant extreme sports rock climbing cousins), I wouldn’t place them in the Action or Thriller genres. And, mercifully, you will not find any of us in either the Murder Mystery or Horror genre (though we do have a couple of lawyers and a politician in our midst).

Like all good shows and movies, my family has their fair share of guest artists who make one-time and cameo appearances. These come primarily in the form of a wide variety of 6-degrees-of-separation relationships: several movie/tv actors and a couple of certifiable stars; professional sports personalities; a regionally well-known journalist; popular authors (at least, according to them); a past-generation playwright; a celebrated blacksmith; a cartoonist everyone ought to know about; politicians that many know about (though they wish they didn’t); community advocates who have made more of a difference than anyone really knows anything about; and a wonderfully odd collection of local characters that everyone loves to know everything about.

One thing’s for sure: I wouldn’t like to write the final season or sequel of my family’s show or movie. Naturally, I’d like to think we will go on and on for generations to come. Maybe we could be like one of those TV shows that comes back after 25 years, or a film that gets remade 50 years after its first release, or a Jane Austen story that, 300 years later, is still relevant to a contemporary audience. I’d like to think my family’s story is timeless like that. In the meantime, think of my family as a fantastic 1950s-to-21st-Century costume drama/comedy series, like Mad Men, or Downton Abbey, or Modern Family; one that always sweeps the awards shows!