Monday, November 23, 2009

Things TV Taught Us, by Unpro and Sister Unpro

My sister and I came of age in the late '80's and early '90's, when sitcoms were in their heyday.  On Friday nights (and later, Tuesdays), you could not pry us away from our heavy-ass basement television with the beige plastic cable box when Full House was on.  We would then tape it and re-watch it until our mom yelled at us to a) go outside or b) read a book.  (We did plenty of both of those things, don't worry.)  In short, we were obsessed with the misadventures of that crazy Tanner/Katsopolis/Gladstone clan. 

Oh hell, we still are.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Sister Unpro and I had way too much fun whiling away our day on Twitter.  Inspired by a writer friend of hers, we picked up the hashtag #thingsTVtaughtme and went to town.  Whether it's love and sex, school, family, home, or anything in between, we gleaned a wealth of knowledge from our sitcom-saturated childhoods.  Even today, with the onslaught of CW melodrama and reality programming, the lessons just keep on comin'!

So without further ado, Unpro and Sister Unpro present Things TV Taught Me.  TA-DAAAAA!

Love American Style

Hot young women LOVE fat manchildren who whine a lot.

The bad boy has a heart of gold. Unless he's a special guest star: in that case he'll a) die, or b) teach you a lesson. Or teach you a lesson while dying.

Sex with coworkers = more fun than dying patients.

Following amazing sex, all couples sleep in the spoon position.

There will ALWAYS be a hot, unattached sensitive coworker for you to chastely flirt with and eventually marry.

Weddings always begin with "Speak now or forever hold your peace."

Weddings: always big, always wacky. Someone WILL get arrested, shave their head, or have an inappropriate hookup.

That process of giving people roses and eliminating them one by one? IT'S TOTES GOING TO WORK THIS TIME.

School's Out

School is for dances, hookups, parties, and the occasional class with the teacher who breaks all the rules.

There is always a totally cool, non-alcoholic, all-ages hangout nearby.

You and your friends will land all of the lead roles in the school play.

Once you join your high school choir, you will magically gain the ability to burst into prerecorded pop songs.

You and your friends WILL go to the same college, located conveniently in your hometown. At least 1 teacher will come with.

A Family Affair

You are NOT the father.

Your little sister may go upstairs one day and never be heard from again. Don't worry about it.

Your family and friends may look like COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE from year to year. Just go with it.

Your baby will emerge from your invisible uterus as a smiling three-month-old with no blood or goo in sight.

And your baby weight? Competely GONE in the span of a week!

Children between the ages of 1-4 do not exist. If you have a baby, it will be five years old within three months.

Be irresponsible with fertility drugs, give your family corporate sponsors, and all your problems will be solved!

In the House

Celebrities randomly show up at your door.

No need to say "goodbye" at the end of a phone conversation. Just hang up.

That annoying stalker-y neighbor? NEVER GOES AWAY. And will probably marry your daughter.

You will never go to the bathroom, unless it is completely disgusting, hilarious, or involves a little kid saying "potty."

The couch is never set up against a wall.

Your house has infinite space available to convert to bedrooms for adult losers who never leave.

No punishments, just a minute-long talking-to set to soft piano and a hug.

Looks Can Kill

When you are 16, you will look 24. No exceptions.

Also, when you are a 40-year-old parent of a 16-year-old, you will look 24. No exceptions.

Your hair always looks amazing, even if you don't have a mom to do your hair.

Everyone has an endless supply of the latest fashions.

Ladies: even midsleep, your hair and makeup will still be intact.

Glasses and a ponytail make you ugly.

Miscellaneous Schtick

The world used to be in black and white.

No one tears open a present. They come in a pre-wrapped box and you lift off the lid.

Just in a fiery car crash/plane crash/massive explosion? No biggie, just a scratch on your forehead.

Struggling writers, fear not: in less than a year, you'll have a bestselling book AND you'll get to direct the movie!

It is possible to have a yearlong dream.


What has TV taught YOU?  Leave a comment!

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving!  I'll be spending the morning watching the Macy's parade, applauding the Broadway performances, and ignoring the "you are insane for clapping at the television, and can I watch football now?" looks from my dad.


  1. I never thought about couches never being against walls, but it's true. In every sitcom I can think of. Huh.

  2. "Glasses and a ponytail make you ugly."

    Hey hey, what if you're Stephanie Tanner and you learn that wearing glasses is just peachy keen? :D

  3. That presents-in-a-box thing...I thought it was an American thing, I didn't realise it was just an American TV land thing. Until right now.

    Also...actually no, it's all gold and I can't pick out one to comment on. Brilliant!

  4. These two always bothered the crap out of me:

    "No need to say "goodbye" at the end of a phone conversation. Just hang up." Seriously, who does that?

    "The couch is never set up against a wall." I get that it's because there are only three walls on a set. But still, bothered me.

  5. Sarah--I too didn't think about it until my sister brought it up! But it's on EVERY sitcom I can remember! (P.S. Are you a new reader or just a first-time commenter? Either way, welcome!)

    Sadako--it's true, Steph did ROCK those ugly-ass glasses. I saw Jodie Sweetin's autobiography at Borders today and came thisclose to buying it.

    Laura--it's totally an American TV thing. Americans as a rule do NOT pre-wrap their presents. Ripping wrapping paper off a present is half the fun!

    Nikki--what also bothered me is how someone gets an automatic dial tone when they're hung up on. Maybe it was just our phones growing up (remember land lines?), but I always had to press the hang-up button before getting a dial tone again.

    I think the couch thing was also so it could be the center of the room and there could be action in front of and back of it. If it's up against a wall, the blocking options are way less. Still, it's just WEIRD when you think about it!

  6. Jodie Sweetin has an autobiography out?! WANT!!!!!

  7. You can get over drug addiction or alcoholism or an eating disorder in one day. Remember DJ's "problem" or Jessie on Saved by the Bell? lol

  8. Unpro - I've been checking your blog out for a few months, but that was my first comment.

    Sadako: I (embarassingly) did get her autobiography. Read it in a day. It made my body hurt on behalf of her. I don't know how she is still alive. She did SO MANY drugs.

  9. Sarah, I hope you keep commenting! We are a very friendly bunch here. :)

    I think I'm going to have to read Ms. Sweetin's book now. I'm just too morbidly curious. I realize she may have used drugs even if she'd had a normal childhood, but why, oh WHY, do people put their kids in professional modeling and acting? 90% of the time it just doesn't turn out well for the kid.

  10. there's two thing that I can remember perfectely from this show, number one Lori Loughlin and number two Candace Cameron, why? I don't you don't know jajajaja