Why I Love “Murphy Brown”

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This article has been simmering on the back burner for a while and I hope it comes out saying what I intend it to say and understood in the way I intend it to be understood.

When I look back on my life, I see a lot of dualities.  I am a city girl who was a country girl who lived on a farm after living in town.  Eventually, I returned to live in a semi-country area. 

I am the country kid who appreciated things kids my age had no real understanding of or interest in – the arts, books, life outside the bubble we were living in.  In other words; the World.

I am a city girl who appreciates her country roots.  I know how hard people work on farms and in jobs that require more physical than mental labor.  On the other hand, I can also appreciate the more mental jobs because I know what is required to do them.

I say all this because, as we have been reminded repeatedly in the past couple of years, our country is Us vs Them.  How each individual defines “Us” and “Them” can change a lot depending upon the questions asked.

When “Murphy Brown” hit the television airwaves back in 1988 it was revolutionary.  Its main character was not married.  She was no shrinking violet.  She wasn’t out to snare a husband.  Murphy was a graduate of the Betty Ford program who had to learn how to navigate a stressful life without drinking.  She couldn’t sing worth a damn and she barely knew she had a kitchen, much less knew what to do with one.  She was strong minded, willful, arrogant and a bit (?) much.  Let’s be honest, to many people Murphy was a holy terror.

Murphy was, in many respects, the woman I hoped I grew up to be.  I also idolized Julia Sugarbaker from “Designing Women” for similar reasons.  🙂

As I look back, I recognize that I really, really appreciated seeing a woman who had a backbone and a brain, who didn’t let her fear rule her life and who managed to live up to her own standards, not those others would prefer to impose.

Creator Diane English and performer Candace Bergen created not only a wonderful show full of original characters and thoughtful commentary – and some seriously great comedy, they created Murphy. 

This last week, I sat back ready to visit once again with a few old friends.  I was not disappointed. Feisty, opinionated, combatant, Murphy was back.  While I enjoyed reconnecting with the old timers (Miles living at the Watergate?????!) I really enjoyed seeing a grown up Avery Brown.

Avery Brown intrigues me because I see his mother’s influences and I see his own experiences.  I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of human, man, reporter, journalist, thinker Avery Brown has become.  And I’m interested to see how he influences his mom.  And he will.

As I have grown older and wiser, my point of view has broadened and evolved.  Because of my experiences, I see things in a different manner than some folks.  I have also surprised some folks because I do not see things the way they assume I would.

I get the political influences – and I’m amazed/shocked that You Know Who hasn’t commented on the show…yet.

I understand that there is an entire generation who really has no clue who Murphy Brown is/was.

I’m looking forward to sharp writing, on point acting and thought provoking material that will not only make me laugh, but make me think.

For me “Murphy Brown” is thinking people’s comedy.  Multi layered, multi faceted, not afraid to share a joke or poke some good natured fun, but not afraid to call a spade a spade, either.

Frankly, as far as this new television season goes, in my mind at least, “Murphy Brown” is refreshing, and a lot of fun.

Categories: Musings TV

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