The Addams Family was one of those 1960s TV classics that should get a prize for its impact on young brains. Sure, it was a little twisted perhaps, but a brilliant comedy. The premise and characters may have been weird, but the dialogue was ripe with irony and wit. A lesson in subtle sophistication for little 10-year-olds who eventually figured out what the canned laughter was reacting to.
The family values were good. The relationship between Gomez and Morticia, superbly played by John Astin and Carolyn Jones, was one of a loving couple and devoted parents, albeit tending to all sorts of creepy and far-fetched details in their bizarre family life. But hey-- it was an intact, multi-generational family. Well, intact except for the dismembered Thing. But they were all so kind and thoughtful to that ... hand. Such good manners!
More important, in a subtle way it inspired learning French. Well, mine, anyway. It is my firmly held but completely unsubstantiated belief that the Gomez-Morticia lovebird relationship gave a generation of young girls the impression that if they just spoke French, their knight in shining armor would be immediately transformed into a passionate, adoring Romeo. No matter what crazy activity Gomez was in the midst of, all it took was one little word of French from Morticia -- like savoir faire, or ensemble, and he dropped everything and rushed to passionately kiss her arm from wrist to shoulder. "Tish! I just love it when you speak French!" he crooned.
Ever cool, oh-so-femme fatale, Morticia would reply with a coy smile, "Don't torture yourself, Gomez, darling. That's my job..."
Gomez and Morticia: an unabashedly tender and passionate vie de couple while being loving parents and caring for older family members. Doesn't seem so bad, does it?
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