Tag Archives: Anna Karenina

All Happy Families Are a Load of Crap

This essay was originally published on June 15, 2012.

Anyone who has slogged their way through Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is familiar with the line, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anyone who is of my generation and grew up watching “The Brady Bunch,” “Leave It to Beaver,” “Father Knows Best,” and the rest of those happy-go-lucky family shows, and wished they had June Cleaver or Carol Brady for a mother, knows exactly what I’m talking about. Once the masses tired of the Carol Brady/June Cleaver unattainably perfect mom hooey, we were given shows like “Eight is Enough,” “Family,” and my personal favourite, “Dallas,” to sink our teeth into. I bring this up because the re-boot of “Dallas” premiered this past Wednesday, and at first glance, Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing has lost not a lick of his implacable cruelty, which is comforting in a sense, but deeply disturbing in other ways.

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