This will be the first in a series of posts about fiction which influenced me as a writer and a person. Though I’m trying to find success as a novelist, it’s probably television that impacted me the most. My TV was my live-in nanny.
The shows in the image above are some of the more prominent television series I watched as a kid. Four of them include a whole lot of no-blood violence (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron: Defenders of the Universe, Transformers, and Power Rangers). These shows had moral lessons here and there, probably at least one per episode, but they’re mostly about beating up bad guys. Watching these shows, I started my life long love of self-righteous violence.
Then, we have two infamous Fox shows, The Simpsons and Married… with Children.
Yes, I watched Married… with Children as a kid (it’s not all that crazy, considering the role Family Guy has in today’s society; then again, it probably paved the way for Seth MacFarlane). The main reason I started watching Al Bundy’s antics is because my uncle would sometimes visit our family and would watch Married… with Children at whatever time it was on—when my siblings and I were supposed to be asleep. I remember one evening my older brother was watching the show with my uncle, and I stealthily made my way downstairs to “secretly” watch the Bundys get into trouble from behind the couch.
The Simpsons is one of my all-time favorite shows. With its decline in writing I haven’t been watching it very often in the past few years, but it still holds a very special place in my TV-loving heart. A lot of my speech mannerisms are probably derived from Simpsons quotes.
What I particularly like about both The Simpsons and Married… with Children is that despite the comedic callousness the characters show each other throughout the series, there are a few episodes when you get an awesomely touching moment where they demonstrate their love for one another.
I guess I’ll go ahead and blame Fox for making me into a sympathetic, yet sarcastic jerk.
Honorable Mention: The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) wasn’t a TV show, but an animated movie spin-off of Alvin and the Chipmunks. The film follows the chipmunks as they travel around the world doing a bunch of awesome stuff and haphazardly foil some sort of illegal diamond trade. This movie may have inception’ed a love of travel (and spontaneous song and dance) in my mind as a kid.