"thirtysomething? You actually like that show? I don't believe it!" my friend said in total astonishment. I will not deny it - I am addicted to"thirtysomething."
By now I have heard the criticism of this show: it is a materialistic yuppie drama that occupies a perfectly good time slot that could be put to better use. I know that some of the characters are a tad bit whiny at times (okay, all the time), but I can't help it, I love the show.
People argue that thirtysomething is at best, a superficial soap opera. After watching the show since it began, I have to disagree. thirtysomething is so much more than an afternoon soap; it touches on issues such as abortion, child care, financial security, aging, divorce and personal relationships to a greater extent than all those soaps combined. thirtysomething is real life, like it or not.
Take, for example, the episode involving the divorce between Elliot and Nancy. In soap opera-land, there would be a huge custody battle for the children, a lot of screaming of words I can't mention in this article and a mistress thrown in for good measure. Instead, thirtysomething showed the divorce from their son's, Ethan, eyes. His feelings of panic and loneliness were illustrated through the book Nancy was writing with Ethan as the main character who battles dragons and makes his way through a forest. The battle represents the divorce. As the book's pictures came alive, Ethan was transformed into a fairy tale hero. By presenting the painful subject of divorce in such a manner, thirtysomething conveyed what divorce was really like, without the melodramatics.
Though you may rather hear Lee Press-On Nails on a chalkboard than listening to some of the characters, thirtysomething touches on issues that make viewers think about life, love, anything. .If you have time on Tuesdays, watch the entire show, not a few minutes or seconds of thirtysomething. You will see the show unfold, for there are many surfaces not discovered in only a few fragments. Give thirtysomething a try, after all what have you got to lose? At the very least, you can make fun of the characters and get your jollies out of that. And who knows, one day you too might be a whiny yuppie. Don't forget to take notes
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.