Over the weekend, I told my dad about our new favorite show, Shameless on Showtime. William H. Macy plays a fall down on the floor type of drunk, who scams the system for social security and disability checks which he blows on booze at the corner pub, while his kids raise themselves and pick his pocket to pay the electricity bill. They live in Chicago next to the L, which shakes their house as it rumbles by. Dad didn't think it was so funny, because he grew up in a drunken, dysfunctional family in Chicago.
I tried to explain that the show is so engaging despite the poverty and the alcoholism, because I think we relate more to this imperfect family more than the families in shows like Parenthood. The Shameless house has crap on the kitchen counters. The kids shove a bowl of Cheerios in their mouths before they rush off to school. The kids aren't wearing nice clothes or waking up with a face of makeup. There's no time for long soul searching discussions among family members. There's lots of running around and drinking. Hair is thrown into messy ponytails. The kids aren't on the honor roll. Well, one is, but he's trading in his tutoring skills for blowjobs.
I think a lot of have abandoned the idea of the perfect family and are embracing our weird and unhealthy selves.