Finding the Balance Between the Vogelchecks and the Bravermans
There is a here and there about every topic that will come out of this year long look at all the aspects that go with being an adult, and this one is no different. Last year when I sat down and mapped this out, the idea of being too close to your family as a grown up was weird to me and I instantly thought of The Kissing Family on Saturday Night Live. You know the one…the one where Bill Hader and Co. are supposed to be related and find it 100% normal to shove their tongues down one another’s throats. When you think of families that are almost always together, that mentality does pop up. You look at sisters who spend all their time together and think without really giving it an actual thought, shit…they may be into one another. Okay, maybe not everyone thinks that but The Kissing Family represents an extreme case that I hope in reality no one is a part of. If you kiss your brother on the lips in a passionate way, you need Jesus – and I’m not even religious. I just like to say that while fanning myself like an older black woman in the summer heat.

On the flip side, I noted yesterday that my own family was far from the family you’d see if you had TV taste and watched Parenthood. If you have not, it’s not streaming on Netflix, so do yourself a favor and carve out some time to cry because it’s an emotional ride. Anyways, that’s a family that I would view as a little too close as well, but not to the point that it’d freak anyone out. They look out for one another but can sometimes be a little too on top of one another. Like I noted this week, I don’t really know what goes on in the day to day with my own cousins so when you see that on TV and your own friends have that same relationship with theirs, you rethink and figure, some families just open their arms a little wider than others. My family likes to keep things local and exclusive.
So where’s the balance between the two? How can you be close without featuring incest but also without being in one another’s business all the time? Modern Family clearly isn’t the optimal choice here as they weave in and out of each other’s lives just as often as the Bravermans. Going through my own TV schedule and looking to the past, I landed on a show I’d watched very recently just because I couldn’t get this quote out of my head about sticking together when the shit hit the fan. The Gallaghers on Showtime’s Shameless have to be one of the best families in small screen history. Are they trashy in most ways? Yes, but what I love is that like my own, they are close enough. They band together when times are hard, but they also aren’t afraid to live their own lives and do their own things. They even have a matriarch in their own older sister who’s finally realizing that she needs to start living for herself. They’re close when they need to be, but they don’t always step on one another’s toes.


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