Sunday, October 13, 2013

All Hallows' Grim 2013 - So Good, So Dark: The Addams Family

First up, thank you to the lovely Magaly, of Pagan Culture blog, for hosting All Hallows' Grim 2013. The theme, "So Good, So Dark", triggered so many permutations for posts in my brain, both light-hearted and thought provoking, that at first I was completely overwhelmed by all the possibilities. I decided that I'd better narrow my focus just a tad. This blog is dedicated to the delightfully dark and the darkly delightful, so over the course of this blog fest, I thought I'd concentrate on some of my favourite things that are both so good and so dark.

Okay, for dark goodness, I simply must start with The Addams Family television series from the sixties. Transferring the wickedly amusing cartoons of Charles Addams into a TV comedy was fraught with all kinds of potential problems. They had to find a way to move beyond one-panel gags and create a fully fleshed out storyline with characters who were appealing despite their strangeness. What they delivered, in my opinion, was genius. The show dripped with irony. The members of this bizarre and macabre family were loathed and feared by anyone who crossed their path, but despite their peculiarities, they were actually loving, generous, polite and loyal. The show's so-called normal characters, by contrast, were invariably rude, nasty, selfish and dishonest.

Even psychologists and psychiatrists of the era took note of how functional the seemingly dysfunctional family was.  John Astin, who played Gomez Addams, commented on this in his forward to The Addams Chronicles, by Stephen Cox:

"They said we were, in fact,
the healthiest family on the air."

 
The Addams Family was also about tolerance, it was, as John Astin also wrote:

"A celebration of the unconventional
in a world of conformity."

 The Addams Family television series was indeed, the very definition of, "So Good, So Dark". To see the list of all the other participating blogs in All Hallows' Grim 2013, just click here.



28 comments:

  1. When we watched the first episode of this season's AHS I longed for new black dresses. Black IS such a happy color :)
    And the "normal" people of this world are nasty and selfish, that's just the sad truth.

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    1. It is indeed such a happy colour, Ms Misantropia! :D

      Yes, sadly there are a lot of very superficial, judgmental people in this world.

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  2. It's true that whenever I encounter strangers in public, like clerks or other shoppers, they don't smile at me or say hello or hold the door for me, so I make sure to be the first to smile, to say hello, to ask them how their day is going, to hold the door, etc., just to help them understand that "weirdos" can be polite and helpful. It usually works, people return kindness with kindness and the next time they see a "weirdo" they might smile or say "hello".

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    1. Good for you, Undergroundfortea! That can't always be easy and shows a lot of class! I really hope your graciousness makes an impact on people and they pay it forward. :)

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  3. I just recently found The Addams Family on one of our TV stations. woo-HOOO!! I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. And you're totally right, they DO make a much better impression than most "conventional" Americans. Being "loving, generous, polite and loyal" isn't what most people seem to care about anymore, although they definitely want others to be that way to THEM! So I agree that it's even more important that we "weirdos" show the rest of the world what it's all about. ;-)

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you got the opportunity to rediscover the wonderful Addamses, Lucretia! :) Yes, it's our duty as "weirdos" to go forth and propagate the principles of the Addams Family. ;)

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  4. Some people return your "kindness' by hatefully destroying the thing that you love the most...
    one such individual trashed my home and some rather expensive pieces of my beloved collection.... did about $3,000.00 worth of damage including my TV and DVD / VHS player....
    all of the destroyed things are now well out of my small monthly budget... and cannot be replaced... even destroyed both of my Sweeney Todd figures... we are in misery....

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear this, Dr. Theda! People can be truly hateful! :(

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  5. "The members of this bizarre and macabre family were loathed and feared by anyone who crossed their path, but despite their peculiarities, they were actually loving, generous, polite and loyal."

    Exactly––the Addams family was about tolerance, and they were indeed very functional. That was always what was so amusing to me. How ironic it all was. Not to mention that goths everywhere, no matter their kindness, are still feared. We're always having to prove ourselves.

    But overall, a wonderful post. :) You have a delightful blog.

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    1. Hi Justine,

      Yes, even as a child, before I understood what irony was, I was aware that in 'The Addams Family', the good guys wore the "black hats" and the bad guys wore the "white hats". It instructed me early on that judging a book by its cover was not a wise thing to do.

      Thank you for your kind words about the blog! :)

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  6. I love the Adams Family! Thank you for bring up such fine memories! Please Stop by and enter my giveaway for the party!http://www.sanctispirituscoaching.com/2013/10/the-dark-art-of-unfolding-rock-your-art.html

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    1. Hi Mario! Nice to meet you! I'll definitely check out your blog. :)

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  7. Absolutely Lovely! I adore the Addams! They were brilliant! "A celebration of the unconventional in a world of conformity." is a wonderful way to describe them. I had never heard that quote before but I love it!

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    1. Thank you, Jessie! :) Yes, it's a brilliant quote, isn't it?! Love John Astin!

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  8. Thank you so much for this "blast from the past". I adore the family of Adams. Every episode has something to teach if you are willing to pay attention.....yes? Great post. I hope you will come by my blog and have a read: http://lindaomasoldebaggsnstuftshirts.blogspot.com/2013/10/so-goodso-dark-entry.html
    Oma Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda! :) I will absolutely be dropping by your blog. Can't wait to see your "so good, so dark" entry!

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  9. I use to enjoy watching the Adams family the few times I got to see it. Black is indeed a happy colour and a staple of many a woman's wardrobe. People worry about others who differ from the norm, but they then can become the vary people they assume us to be.

    J x

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    1. Well said, Witchy J! :) Many people can't see that there is nothing to fear from people who are a little different or choose to march to the beat of their own drum. Prejudice and intolerance on the other hand... definitely scary!

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  10. I've always said that Morticia and Gomez were the happiest marriage on the telly. They also reinforced the splendid notion that desire between a husband and wife was a good thing. I can't think of many other TV couples that clearly kept the hots for each other. (The most tragic relationship on TV? Smithers and Mr Burns.)

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    1. Hahaha. Yes, poor Smithers! Thanks for dropping by, Rhissanna!

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  11. That's really funny they were considered such a "healthy" family. I don't remember too many of the 60s sit-com families, and I guess that's a good thing! :-)

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    1. The only sixties reruns that I watched were 'The Addams Family', 'Bewitched', 'I Dream of Jeannie', and 'Lost in Space', all of which were somewhat unconventional families. Apparently, not seeing the conventional family sitcoms was a good thing for me too, Lexa! :D

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  12. I've always been enchanted by The Addams Family , by the way they take care of each other and are always willing to give their lives (or someone else's) for a loved one. Their eccentricity is what makes me love them best. And there is the bit about me always wanting to be Wednesday ;-D

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    1. Yes, it was a delicious irony that all the Addamses were so cavalier about death, and yet at the same time they were brimming with joie de vivre. I guess they were the ultimate example of accepting (or embracing) the inevitable and thereby living life to the full.

      I was very young when I first saw the show on television and I remember thinking that Wednesday was the most perfect, adorable, living doll. :D

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  13. You know, the Addams Family was a HUGELY anticipated afternoon event in our home, although I gather they were reruns by then, they were the perfect family, it's those other socially acceptable and politically correct families you have to be wary of ;)

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    1. The most utterly perfect family, Sunshineshelle! And yes, one must always be on guard against those pesky "socially acceptable and politically correct" families. ;D

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