Thursday, December 28, 2006

I've had the chance this last week of the year 2006, to watch a late afternoon comedy called Reba. I'm at the part of the series where an unemployed Texan woman, Reba, is finalizing her divorce, learning how to tolerate her ex's annoying new fiance, and raise three young kids. Here's the catch: her oldest girl, 17, is at least 3 months' pregnant, recently married to the high school boyfriend who knocked her up, still attending school, and they both live with Reba under the same roof, because the guy's parents kicked him out of their household.

Now...I like the show, and I'm not sure why. It's definitely not the comedy - the jokes aren't original, and in fact, I'm downright disturbed by how screwed up and dysfunctional the characters are. Ok, it's one thing to watch The Simpsons; it's another to see a family in real color. Perhaps it's the Texan accents which draws me to the show. I find that refreshingly unusual as compared to all those other New York / East Coast / Little Italy sitcoms. But I doubt it. I think it's because Reba's life has the potential to be utterly out of control, and yet she's managed to pull it together and hang on to her sanity. She's managed to take care of her children, despite ostracism from her own mother and the school that her daughter attends.

The character of Reba is real. She represents the choices - right and wrong - that people have made over their lives, affecting their journeys down the road. Comedy, I suppose, is a good way of presenting the issues and the problems...But I find it harder to laugh when I watch a show like that. There's too many "what ifs" that suppress the laughter (which doesn't happen often with this show).

Incidentally, the middle child (forgot her name) is played by the same actress who was Naomi Wildman, first child born aboard the Starship Voyager. She's grown, and NO, I'm not a Trekkie!

Happy New Year, folks. May life's infinite decisions take you down the paths of your dreams and amibitions. And if not, well, you didn't evolve your survival skills, your kiasu/kiasee iron determination, for nothing


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