Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

Fave Televison Moms
Matt Seinberg

From birth, we know our mothers, first, then our fathers. From there, we get to meet all our other family members, as we softly coo, scream loudly, eat, sleep, pee and poop. Those are the basic things all babies do and all those adults gratefully accept it all.

When my first child Michelle was born, she of course did all those things and I wore a white mask when I changed her diapers. Unfortunately, it didn't help. It only made my glasses fog up and then I couldn't see what I was doing.

I also sang to her as I did that, hoping to make her laugh and smile. The songs I used were "Rock Me Gently," by Andy Kim, and "Rock My World Little Country Girl," by Brooks and Dunn. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

I only made such efforts because I saw television moms do it. As I've said in the past, I watched an excessive amount of television as a kid. I still do, today. I really think the television moms from the 1960's and 70's were the best at being mom's and not sex symbols. To me, there is one exception, so read the next paragraph.

One of the most famous television characters is Lucy Ricardo, portrayed by Lucille Ball. Lucy was married to Cuban musician, Ricky Ricardo, portrayed by her off-screen husband, Desi Arnaz. On 8 December 1952, Lucy and Ricky told the world that she was "expecting" a baby. CBS would not let them use the word pregnant.

On 19 January 1953, Lucy gave birth to the Ricardo's first child, little Ricky. This was actually Lucille Ball's second child, the first being Lucie Arnaz, who was born 17 July 1951. For reasons of propriety, circa 1951, Lucy Arnaz never came up during the first or any season of "I Love Lucy."

Lucy Ricardo was funny, scatterbrained and always bewildered at what the world threw at her. We all still laugh at the scene when she and Ethel Mertz got a job at a candy factory on the packaging line. They tried various ways to get the job done, but always failed in some comic way.

The second favorite television mom is Marion Cunningham, played by Marion Ross. She had a great personality, knew how to run a house and take charge when needed even when chaos was running wild around her. She was also a little sexy; we all saw how Richie's friends looked at her, especially Ralph Malph. Wasn't there an episode where Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, played by Henry Winkler, kissed her?

Edith Bunker, portrayed by Jean Stapleton, was quite the opposite of Mrs. Cunningham. At the beginning of "All in the Family," she was nothing but a submissive foil to her loudmouth, bigoted and ethnocentric husband, Archie, portrayed by veteran character actor, Carroll O'Connor. All he wanted her to do was bring him a beer and "stifle it," that is, be quiet.

As the show grew over time, Edith developed more of a personality and stood up to Archie when she needed to. No longer was she his doormat, but an equal partner in their marriage. You had to admire Jean Stapleton for developing Edith from a mouse into lioness.

Laura Petrie, portrayed by Mary Tyler Moore, was the demur, shy wife to television writer Rob Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." One of the things I find truly amusing today is watching reruns and seeing twin beds in their bedroom.

In the 1960's, not much was allowed in the way of sex on television. Heck, they couldn't even use the word sex, or use the word pregnant! Mothers were "with child" or "expecting." As a kid, I didn't know the difference and didn't care.

One of the strongest television mothers of all time was Miss Ellie Ewing portrayed by movie star, Barbara Bel Geddes. Miss Ellie took crap from no one, her "evil" son, JR, portrayed by Larry Hagman. Miss Ellie was the rock that kept the Ewing clan together and the buffer that kept her other two sons Bobby, portrayed by Patrick Duffy and Gary, portrayed by Ted Shakelford, from killing literally JR.

The hottest mom on television, today, is Gloria Delgado Pritchett, on "Modern Family." Sofia Vergara portrayed Pritchett. One word, wow, describes Pritchett, with her fiery personality and exceptional looks.

Manny, her son, portrayed by Rico Rodriguez, has to endure lustful leers, at his mother, from his friends and his stepfather, Jay, portrayed by Ed O'Neill. I asked Dan O'Shannon, one of the Executive Producers of the show, for an autographed cast picture. I'll settle for one of Sofia, Dan.

Also on "Modern Family" is more conservative mom Clair Pritchett Dunphy, portrayed by Julie Bowen. She is sexy in a much more subdued way than is Gloria; still, she is hot. I admired Bowen when she also starred, in "Ed," as Carol Vest's, the dream girl of the title character. The show cancelled before she and Ed got a chance to become a couple.

Last, but certainly not least is Melinda Gordon, portrayed by Jennifer Love Hewitt, on the just cancelled CBS show "Ghost Whisperer." I'm really hoping that it gets picked up by another network but I think the chances are slim to none after reading that ABC is not picking it up for a sixth season.

Melinda didn't become a mother until the end of season four and then season five went fast forward five years. It's amazing how she didn't age at all and continued to wear those revealing dresses. Come on, how many mom's do you know dress that way on a regular basis at work, home and when chasing ghosts? How many moms like to show off their goodies the way Melinda does? Maybe Melinda is oblivious to what she does. Nah, when you are the proud owner of such nice breasts, it is your obligation to show them off for others to enjoy them.

My kids make fun of me because I like Jennifer Love Hewitt and ask when she is going to be my next wife. The problem is my current wife, Marcy, does not find that amusing. I just laugh and hope to meet Hewitt once in my life. If not, maybe we'll meet on the other side when the light opens up to us. Sigh, I can hope and dream, can't I?

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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