TELEVISION : The Most Perfect TV Family of Them All
The fall television season has some real nice shows about families. Yet those of us who regularly watch daytime talk shows are cognizant of what’s missing.
Nowhere in prime time--even those unconventional Fox sitcoms “Married . . . With Children” and “The Simpsons” don’t qualify--is there a series about typical families, the kind that we see graciously sharing their lives with us day after day on these talk shows that reflect the real America.
Once again, the networks have to be led by leash to the promised land of artistic creativity. Here for their perusal is a full season outline for “The Flaws,” a sitcom about a real family whose problems all of us can relate to.
The four Flaws are Mom, 29; Dad, 63; Bro, 13, and Sis, 11.
Episode 1: The whole family has a laugh when Sis repeatedly gets on Mom for being too fat, and Mom ridicules Sis for being flat-chested. The episode ends hilariously with Mom getting the shrieking Sis in a headlock.
Episode 2: Believing that some subjects are best left to parents, Mom and Dad are outraged to learn some of the things their kids are being taught at school. “How many times I gotta tell you?” Mom lectures Sis. “It’s ain’t , not isn’t .”
Episode 3: Sis reminds Bro that Montel Williams has urged kids with dumb parents to call his show’s 800 number. What does she have in mind? The uproarious last scene has Sis and Bro disclosing to Williams on national television that Mom and Dad are illiterate. Naturally, Mom is watching at home. “Them rascals,” she laughs. “I was wondering where they was for the past two days.”
Episode 4: It turns out that Mom and Dad are swingers who have an open marriage.
Episode 5: All of the Flaws are elated when Sis announces that she and her newest boyfriend, age 23, are contemplating living together. But then the Flaws find out he is a transvestite. “Well,” quips Dad about about Sis’ boyfriend, “at least this one ain’t married.”
Episode 6: After discovering Mom’s porno magazines, Dad asks Ann Landers for advice.
Episode 7: This time Sis has another new boyfriend, and he’s only 12. But wouldn’t you know the fur flies when she walks in on Mom making out with him in the kitchen?
Episode 8: Dad beats up Mom. “What am I, a punching bag?” quips Mom. “I love your sense of humor,” Dad says, landing a solid uppercut to the jaw. “Then stop knocking me senseless,” Mom laughs on her way down.
Episode 9: Dad and Mom are shocked and angered to learn that Bro has become a strutting neo-Nazi. “We try to be good role models, but it don’t do no good,” Mom cracks. After a rip-roaringly funny family blowout, there’s a compromise on Bro’s SS uniform. Dad tells him: “You can wear it on Halloween.”
Episode 10: Sis derides Mom for wearing plunging necklines and miniskirts. Mom tells Sis to shut up and mind her own business. The episode ends with a bang, as Sis and Mom settle their differences by wrestling on the floor and pulling each other’s hair.
Episode 11: Sis and Bro are watching “Ricki Lake” at home when Mom reveals to Dad on national television that she has been sleeping with his best friend for years. “What are you feeling now?” Lake asks the sobbing Dad.
“That two-timer,” Sis laughs about Mom’s lover. “Hell will freeze over before I let him sleep with me again.”
“Ditto for me,” chirps Bro as the picture freezes and the credits begin to roll.
Episode 12: Mom loses her head and tries to murder Dad.
Episode 13: Mom and Dad are watching at home when Sis and Bro tell Jenny Jones on national television that they are being sexually molested by their parents. “Oh, no, are we in for it now,” Mom laughs. “Are they in for it now,” Dad quips, slapping his knees. “What are you feeling now?” Jones asks Sis and Bro.
Episode 14: Sis and Bro notice that Dad is becoming an alcoholic.
Episode 15: Mom reveals that she’s a shopaholic.
Episode 16: Bro is treated for drug addiction.
Episode 17: Sis is arrested for prostitution.
Episode 18: Mom announces that she is moving out to live with Sis’ 12-year-old boyfriend, then changes her mind when he reveals he’s only 11. “I ain’t robbing no cradle,” she tells a relieved Dad, who joins her in a big laugh.
Episode 19: Sis refuses to apologize to Mom for their last knife fight.
Episode 20: The Flaws relate to the National Enquirer how they were visited recently by a family of aliens.
Episode 21: Sis accuses Bro of stealing her carton of cigarettes.
Episode 22: While holding hands with Mom, Dad discloses to Sis and Bro that not only is he not their biological father, he is actually . . . Mom 2.
Episode 23: All of the Flaws are in front of the TV set watching a “Sally Jessy Raphael” episode on families. “I’m relieved,” says Dad. “Me, too,” says Mom. “I used to think that we was different from everyone else, that we was oddballs or something. But now I see that we’re just like everyone else.”