Monday, February 9, 2009

TV's Guide to the World

The world has become a conglomerate of old television shows and each nation or group of people are playing their parts.

The United States has become Robert Young as James (Jim) Anderson in “Father Knows Best.” Whenever something goes wrong in the family everyone turns to him and expects him to do the right thing. Father will fix it. And if you are caught doing something bad, well, “Wait till your father gets home!” Jim is not always right but he has the power and the belief that he is so he acts accordingly.

Great Britain is Jean Stapleton as Edith from “All in the Family” or “Till Death do us Part” as the show was originally called in England. (They had it first but we took it to new heights.) She is the mother figure. She goes along with father even despite her own opinions. If she voices them she does so mostly in private hoping that father will agree and incorporate some of her wishes into his final decision.

Israel is Jerry Mathers as the Beaver, Theodore Beaver Cleaver to be exact. The ‘Beave’ is a great kid who is blessed with above average intelligence and always getting into trouble because his peers hate him. They think he just a big shot. The Beave’s parents (mom and pop noted above) are constantly being asked to get him out of trouble and at times some consider him a ‘cry baby.’ But when all is said and done he is just trying to carve out a niche for himself in the family and in the scary neighborhood of his life.

The Palestinians under whatever terrorist group is controlling them when you read this (currently Hamas) are collectively Ken Osmond as Eddie Haskell as in, “How are you Mrs. Cleaver, Mr. Cleaver? Wonderful day we are having isn’t it?” Eddie is always causing and getting into trouble with dirty tricks played behind the backs of the grown-ups but acting so pure when confronted. He says he is misunderstood and deserves to get help against bullies. In old terms he would be called a creep but give him the power and he can and will be dangerous, hell he already is!

The other Arab countries of the Mid-East are “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” At least they are so far and that is lucky for Israel and the world. Okay technically “The Gang…” was not a TV show but it did air on the tube and I think the TV Guide’s blurb about it is quite apropos, “What a waste of money, time, and talent.” These countries could be so much better if they only had a brain.

China is the entire cast of the “Addams Family” in one way or another. Ted Cassidy in his role as Lurch, the scary large butler allowed all the shenanigans to continue around him, commenting only with a growl. He seemed inscrutable, thinking scary thoughts. You would not cross him. Part of the show’s jingle said, “…mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky, The Addams Family.” Just don’t try to win them over speaking French – They won’t get it.

North Korea is ‘Number 2’ in “The Prisoner,” a weird entertaining show about oppression and secrecy from the sixties. Patrick McGoohan’s number 6 never escapes from Number 2 no matter what making his life all the more frustrating. You never see number 1 and don’t know what Number 2 wants so he is stuck in the conundrum that is North Korea.

In many ways other than the obvious South Africa could be “The Jeffersons.” Sherman Hemsley as George wants his place in society. He deserves it due to his long hard struggle for respectability. Apartheid is gone as shown by the interracial couple Tom and Helen Willis (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover.) The show lasted 11 seasons showing they have arrived if not yet fully understood and respected. They will hopefully succeed.

All of Europe is the Ponderosa from “Bonanza.” Each grown up character has his own view but they realize they are connected and must work together despite their differences. Trouble happens only when they venture away from home. But they end up retreating to the safety of the ranch and good old home cooking. Thanks Hop Sing.

Congress has become the entire cast of “F Troop.” The major difference is the show was funny rather than pathetic. The Heckowie Indians of the show got their name when they were misunderstood by a stranger who wanted to know who they were. They answered with the question “Where the heck are we?” And the tribe has been lost ever since. No further analogy needed.

Our intelligence agencies under the Bush administration were more “Maxwell Smart” than Don Adams ever was. They could not prevent the first strike but through their bumbling ways they have been lucky enough to thwart further damage, so far!

Americas CEOs are each Phil Silvers as “Sgt. Bilko.” They speak the sweetest words to Colonel Ford’s wife buttering her up to deflect the Colonel from their real agenda; gaining time to plan their next scam.

Getting all the countries and characters to live together peacefully is a job for Peter Graves as Jim Phelps on “Mission Impossible.” “Good afternoon, Mr. Phelps… Your mission, should you choose to accept it… As always if you fail the secretary will disavow…” In the show the mission was always accomplished but in our world the title is prophetically real, at least so far.

Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-That's all folks!

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