I like sitcoms a lot. For some reason it feels like I should be embarrassed by that. I’m not sure why. I mean, I liked Lost and still watch CSI and sports and stuff. But for some reason, I really, really love sitcoms.
I used to watch an episode of Friends on my lunch break almost every day for at least a year, I would sneak down and watch The Simpsons before I was allowed to (even though my parents knew and just let me think they didn’t), and I own and have watched every episode of Seinfeld AND all the DVD extra features.
In addition, I absolutely love and watch The King of Queens, Family Guy, and Home Improvement.
But I began to notice something.
All of the men were morons! I mean, they’re obviously very funny, but it seems like across the board the men on sitcoms are immature, frequently bad husbands, usually bad fathers, irresponsible, terrible employees, destructive home owners, poor members of society, neglectful neighbors, and so much more!
Granted, it’s all with hilarious results and by the end of the half hour, everything works out alright, but looking at characters like: Tim Taylor, Homer Simpson, Doug Heffernan, and Peter Griffin, they all have these immature, irresponsible personalities that just require their understanding wives to clean up and still accept them for who they are.
And I love all these shows and all these characters so much! They make me laugh!
But I began to notice that subconsciously, they were subtly affecting my behavior. Me being a husband became more about being funny in the face of irresponsibility, rather than owning it. I became more focused on the punch line or making Lindsay laugh or acting stupid and ridiculous, rather than focused on honoring her or making her feel loved or special. Or simply accepting responsibility or doing the right thing.
I mean, obviously I wasn’t being abusive or cruel or blatantly ignoring her or being a terrible person. But I found myself just wanting to be the funny, dufus husband who got the laugh, instead of truly embracing what it means to be a husband and father and the man of the house.
So, I don’t think I’ll stop watching these shows, necessarily, but it did help my perspective to realize this and make sure I focused on the man/husband/father that God made me to be, and not the one that comedy television tells me to be.
That, or maybe I should start watching 24 on my lunch breaks now instead.