Ok, I know what your thinking things are just going from bad to worse on this blog, 7th Heaven, the next thing you know Lisa will be reviewing episodes of Home and Away. Ok I might, I’m not drawing any lines in the sand. But I am reviewing this show for a reason. When it comes to picking a TV show to watch people often feel like different things at different times. Sometimes you want violence, sometimes romance, sometimes adventure, but other times you might just want to feel better, to be comforted and that’s what the world of 7th Heaven is all about.
Did you know that 7th Heaven is the longest running family drama ever created, lasting a whooping eleven seasons, that is 243 episodes in total. Long running dramas like 7th Heaven seem less present in the television landscape today. When in the 90’s we had 90210, Melrose Place lasting 10 years and 7 years respectively, what do we have like that now, can you think of any purely drama programming that has lasted that long in this decade. Crime shows last a long time for sure but drama has really decreased in its shelf life. Most of my favourite shows from the 2000’s lasted about four or five years. I would argue that this change is a positive one and is due to the changing landscape of invention and creativity that has formed in TV that used to be delegated to films. But while I am happy things have changed, there is a comfort and familiarity in TV shows like 7th Heaven that makes you realise the old days had their merits. I wonder if concepts have become so out there and inventive that they no longer have the scope that these more basic concepts created. A family of 7 children growing up and getting older, confronting moral issues into their small neighbourhood, may seem lame or basic but the scope is endless and as long as you understand and relate to the characters the story can go on forever.
OK, Now I have to admit something shameful. I have watched at least 7 full seasons of 7th Heaven. Why you ask? Because it makes me feel safe. 7th Heaven is a world full of beautiful people, where there is always a right and wrong, no one does anything but kiss until their married and everyone is always there for each other. The world of 7th Heaven is not one I would ever like to live in, no sex, no drinking, charity work and helping others, God it sounds exhausting. But I do enjoy visiting it once and while. It’s a world full of committed loving parents, moral obedient kids and complex issues solved simply and easily in one episode no matter how ludicrous the solution may be. The Camdens live in a simpler, moral world and when I’m feeling sad I like to imagine it exists.
In one recent episode I watched Ruthie Camden make friend with Muslim girl. She invited her to her parents neighbourhood block party to welcome her family to the neighbourhood. The family said they couldn’t come because they didn’t want to be discriminated against for being Muslim. Reverend Camden convinced them to come but then discovered that his parishioners were pulling out because the family was Muslim. So he sat them down scolded them and then they all came to the party. Yay racism solved. Now sure this is the most pathetically simplistic storyline ever and would never actually work in real life but it is comforting, it makes you believe in a nicer, better variety of human beings are out there.
So if you are ever feeling disappointed in the world, or your family or your choices watch 7th Heaven and be transported to a simpler moral world that only exists in TV land. Trust me you’ll be smiling in no time.