Addams Family ahead of its time
I watched the first episode from 1964, in which a truancy officer visits the Addams family house because they are not sending their kids to school. Gomez explained that the kids didn’t need to go to school because Grandmama was in taking care of their education. This was apparently absurd in 1964, but today homeschooling has become, if not normal, common enough that it would no longer seem absurd to anyone.
Morticia decides to let them go to school so that they can make friends with other children. But after the first day of school, little Wednesday comes home crying, upset that she was read a story in which a dragon was killed by a knight. Gomez and Morticia deplore the violence of killing an innocent dragon, so they complain to the school and request that Grimm’s Fairy Tales be removed from the curriculum. This must have also seemed absurd in 1964, but today traditional fairy tales are out of favor. As reported by the Telegraph:
Favourites such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Rapunzel are being dropped by some families who fear children are being emotionally damaged.
A third of parents refused to read Little Red Riding Hood because she walks through woods alone and finds her grandmother eaten by a wolf.
One in 10 said Snow White should be re-named because “the dwarf reference is not PC”.
Rapunzel was considered “too dark” and Cinderella has been dumped amid fears she is treated like a slave and forced to do all the housework.
The Addams Family was obviously way ahead of its time.
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This is a much better show than The Munsters which is simply a Leave It to Beaver/Honeymooners type of show. Herman Munster is a Ralph Kramden archetype who happens to be a monster (with the running joke being that he doesn’t realize he’s a monster). Gomez and Morticia aren’t like anyone from any other show from the early days of TV.
Gomez and Morticia are more interesting because they are wealthy. Wealthy people are able to be their own selves and are not forced to conform to society in order to make a living. And because he doesn’t need to earn a living, Gomez is able to self-actualize within the confines of his spooky mansion.