Monday, September 9, 2013

Honest moments and honest emotions over 'funny' jokes.

One of the best moments in Bill Hicks' last interview (my post about it) was when he said that 'you never see honest emotions on tv' and that 'there's a voice of reason inside us that needs to be confirmed'. 

Bill, of course, was right and and what he said is something that I have wondered and worried about too. We just don't tend to see stuff on tv that's honest enough or real enough.

Well, most of the time at least. There are - or have been - of course some exceptions to this 'rule', but most of the time what you see on tv consists of entertainment that doesn't make you feel that good inside. Something just isn't right.

For example, let's take a look at a show that I think is the best comedy on tv right now - Modern Family. It's a well made show that usually manages to entertain me and makes me think that there are still pretty good people left on this planet.

At the same time, it's a show that also tends to disappoint. This is sometimes when it comes to having honest moments on the show. The jokes, those funny moments, are usually pretty solid, but there are moments when they manage to take the wrong route when it comes to story and drama.

I don't know if there's a better example than the episode 'Our Children, Ourselves' 2x12. For some reason I happened to re-watch it - maybe because The Cam & Mitchell storyline had all the potential to be a very serious, honest one. Something that at least I wanted to see.

It was about Mitchell bumping into a woman that he used to date when he wasn't honest to himself about being gay. Sounded pretty interesting to me. Seemed like it was going to be straight drama.

The way this storyline went is that there was a chance that Mitchell was the father of her kid - a high stakes situation if there ever was one. It could have been really touching and could even have included a 'Forrest Gump' serious moment.

Neverthelesss, in the end it turned out that not only was Mitchell not the father of his ex-girlfriend's kid, it was revealed that the kid wasn't actually a kid, but a grown-up midget that was her current lover. So much for having an honest moment and showing honest emotions.

Of course there was basically 'no way' that Mitchell could have been the father, but in retrospect the way they handled the storyline made me feel pretty sad. Especially when I think of what Bill Hicks said about lack of honest emotions on tv.

Honest moments really are that precious and sometimes a serious storyline and a serious moment simply works better than a supposed funny one with a twist. Sometimes serious needs to be serious. Sometimes 'funny' just isn't enough.

In many ways the world that we live in keeps getting more complicated and more superficial. Life just keeps getting harder and harder to understand. In that sense it's crucial that every once in a while we see something honest on tv that confirms the voice of reason inside us.

At least that's the way I see it. As an audience member, you have a right to experience something that is honest, real and genuine. Something that makes you feel that you're not completely insane after all.


  1. My family had a hilarious incident that I think would make for a great Modern Family script. Would anyone have an idea how I could contact someone to pursue the idea?

  2. Well, you can't submit ideas to the show because everyone is soo afraid of those possible lawsuits. Nevertheless, in theory it's possible to give them ideas but you really have to be vague enough about them.