Friday, September 18, 1964. “The Addams Family” makes its debut on network television.
An odd family of eccentrics prone to violence and overt sexuality is unleashed on Americans. Looking back, especially compared to the current-day offerings of prestige TV like “Game of Thrones”, “Orange is the New Black” and “Black Mirror”, “ The Addams Family” would be considered a sweet, wholesome experience from a bygone era.
But what that kooky TV show got right, and what we seem to struggle with now, is acceptance of “the other” and of our own “otherness.” As someone who grew up watching the original show and subsequent movies, “The Addams Family” personified what it means to have a deep sense of self-acceptance and self-love.
Escapist Magazine in their piece “The Ugly Americans: The Addams Family and The Munster” observed:
“In a note of irony frequently raised in regard to the show, attempts to show the Addams supposed”weirdness” in contrast to the”normal” image of the All-American Family instead made them look rather preferable and even”ideal”(in a progressive sense) to subsequent generations who made the series a classic in syndication. Whereas other TV dads were stern authority figures whose role was to gently discipline their misbehaving children and keep them on the straight and narrow, Gomez (and Morticia) generally had nothing but enthusiasm, support and encouragement for Wednesday and Pugsley’s self-expression– even when it involved trying to mortally-wound one another.”
As we enter into the Halloween season, let’s all take a page from their spell book. Remove the mask and be unapologetically you.