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View Full Version : Is MITM a real view of Teenage life?



tjpeople
Sep 25, 2005, 06:54 PM
Now i have been pondering this for a while, do you think MITM is a real view of teenage life?

Now to start off with i know MITM isnt purely aimed at the adult market and was at first aimed in part to younger people.

I feel there is a lack of real teenage activites such as Drinking/Drugs/Sex

These are key thibgs that all the boys would definatly expericane, now we have a had a little bit of drinking 2/3 episodes and a few small referances to sex, and if im remeber correctly no referance to drugs such as Cannabis (and others)

These are key issue which i think would 1 make good story line and 2 make it feel a little real. I mean i know and am friends with some people who life for Cannabis/Sex/Alchole, and am surprised its not covered much.

I have in part the feeling that its sorta too obvious and would be expected therefore why do it?

Also becuase FOX wants to air this a Pre - Watershed times and for younger people it doesnt want issue like that (FOX is know for its supid censorshiip and how it doesnt live in the real world)

Your thoughts?

yardgames
Sep 25, 2005, 07:30 PM
I'm a teenager. And I think it's completely stereotypical of you to say that every teen experiences sex, drugs, and alcohol.

I've mentioned before that my father is an alcoholic, and I take that issue very seriously. I'm quite strongly against the whole drinking thing, and I don't know anyone under legal age who's done it.

You say that you know people who have done sex and drugs, and I would question how different your culture is from American culture. It's certainly more common in intercity areas like Chicago or New York, but in smaller cities, like where I live, and where Malcolm presumably lives, underage sex and illegal drugs are the exception rather than the rule.

Laws are pretty harsh for that sort of thing here, and if people do it, a lot of times, they spend the better part of their lives in jail. In Wisconsin, having sex with a minor is considered rape because anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally give permission to; and the alcohol is also almost-completely-zero before teh age of 21 here. I say almost because there is a loophole in the law (Wisconsin law, anyway) that minors can have a drink if they're parents are present; like a beer at a bar, or some wine at a Christmas party. But other than that, alchohol before age 21 is punished pretty severely. Same thing with drugs.

packer-backer
Sep 25, 2005, 07:32 PM
I think alchohol is a pretty big thing here in Wisconsin. Almost everybody drinks a lot. But underage drinking here I think is pretty rare.

lifeisunfair
Sep 25, 2005, 07:52 PM
Im a teenager and my life is pretty much like Malcolm's.

tjpeople
Sep 25, 2005, 08:20 PM
hmmm, im aware of the different age on alchole in the US and thats seems to make a big differnce, underage drinking is very comman thing in the UK, id say most teenagers have been drunk by about 15 (a general guess) and some of my best friends are quite big Cannabis smokers (for bout 2 years or so, there 17 like me now).

As far as sex, its legal at 16, and many people have sex before but thats normally between people of the same age.

i think my UK view may be a bad comparision for the US

however i still feel they havent covered these issues much malcolm 16/17 now and reese 18 and the issues have only been skimmed.

do u think FOX's influance has anything to do this?

welcome to the forum lifeisunfair :D

Garbage Kills Megan
Sep 25, 2005, 11:32 PM
Now, in my highschool tons of people tons of people drank at parties, and tons of people smoked pot. I do live in the biggest city in Oregon, so that could be a part of it. I never drank or smoked pot. I've never been into that kind of stuff. But if I wanted to do such things, it would have been hard for me to do that because my mom always knew where I was at all times. I think Lois is the same way with the boys. And anyway, I think the show has dealt with sex and alcohol enough. There was the thanksgiving episode, and then there was the Stereo store one where Reese was at that party where there was alcohol. I think that episode implied that the boys go to parties where alcohol is present, more than just in that episode. And there was also Watching the Baby. I think the show kind of makes it seem like social groups that they don't really belong to drink. And as far as sex goes, I think that really depends on location and the school. I've heard of schools where casual sex is the norm. But at the same time, I think there has a growing "sex can wait" trend in schools. There is a group called S.T.A.R.S (Students Today Aren't Ready for Sex) that had a chapter at my school, and many other schools.

I'm know there are a lot of teenagers who's whole life is centered around drinking and drugs and sex, but this is definitly not true for every teenager in america. The couple episodes that there have been are plenty. I really don't there needs to be more to make it more realistic.

samboo1
Sep 26, 2005, 02:54 AM
i think my UK view may be a bad comparision for the US It sounds like the UK is a lot worse than the US (or parts) with this issue.
I think its terrible how easy it is for people underage to get alcohol and cigarettes in the UK. My friend ,who is the same age as me, walked into a corner shop and bought some alcohol with no questions asked. It shocks me.
MITM, trys to reflect on teenage life, and sometimes does a good view about it. But there are certain things they cant go heavy on like drugs/sex/alcohol or it will turn into a different show.

NeCoHo
Sep 26, 2005, 05:38 AM
Well, my (trumpet playing) friend claimed he spiked his own water with "mucho tequilla" once,(he used spannish with me because he didn't anyone to hear him, and we were in the corner of the room) but, I really don't think so. He wouldn't let anyone drink it to see how much tequilla was in it, and he drank a lot of it, a lot, but he was in no ways intoxicated, and besides, he's a trouble maker. And another of the trumpet players has a beard, so he looks like he is 25, or sometimes 30, so he could get alchol anytime, and they all tell me last year before the Halloween parade, the drank 1 can of root beer, and filled the can up with real beer, so they want to do it again this year, again, I doubt it, unless they go into a bathroom stall and fill them up. Ahh... I'm rambling again.

Kratos
Sep 26, 2005, 07:02 PM
It sounds like the UK is a lot worse than the US (or parts) with this issue.
I think its terrible how easy it is for people underage to get alcohol and cigarettes in the UK. My friend ,who is the same age as me, walked into a corner shop and bought some alcohol with no questions asked. It shocks me.
MITM, trys to reflect on teenage life, and sometimes does a good view about it. But there are certain things they cant go heavy on like drugs/sex/alcohol or it will turn into a different show.
In the end if you want to do it your find a way no matter what country you live in. ;) The UK has a media that loves nothing more than to create moral panics, if you read certain papers like the Daily Mail or The Sun on a regular basis your start to think the world is ending. :p

I suspect that FOX does have a huge hand in what gets shown and how, although it does shock me about the huge amounts of gay suggestion in many of the episodes. Not in a bad way, shocking simply because most of it can be seen in a postive light, "Its OK to be gay" Pearl Habour had the brothers being supportive of one another, for me that's not normal pre watershed US TV. I think it was Standee which had the race issue... Normally both issues spark intense debate, by bringing out the bigots and Ida' wannabes:rolleyes: . But MITM deals with the issues in a comical way. YET it never really shuns away from a moral story behind them. :)

Wemboy
Sep 27, 2005, 06:59 AM
I think we have quite a different culture here in the UK, which is why it may seem to some of us that the way teenage life is treated in MITM is a bit sanitised. For instance, when i left school, (at 16) the way everyone celebrated was to go to the park and drink litres of cider. Some also smoked weed, and some took other drugs. This wasn't really frowned upon, it was kind of expected of us, the police came down, but it's not like anyone was surprised at the behaviour. This just reflects life across the UK, including the kind of small town i grew up in (Wem). This is obviously quite different from the right of passage that is prom night. There were no limos, but there were a few boy racers thrashing Vauxhall Novas around!

In Britain our social lives tend to be very focused on getting drunk, and from what i can tell, we drink alot more than in the US. So getting drunk as a teenager is not frowned upon so much, because everyone knows that's what people are going to do when they get older. I don't agree with any of this, i think our reliance on drink is an incredibly sad reflection on our society, but for now it's just the way things are. In the end, MITM is an American show, about growing up in the US, so it's bound to reflect this more than growing up in the UK.

One more thing, i can think of the odd, very subtle drug reference in MITM. Like Francis says at one point to Malcolm "did you find that coffee pot in the garage?", because he's acting all weird. They don't talk about drugs much, but they also don't try and pretend they don't exist.

MalcolmReeseDewey
Sep 27, 2005, 12:00 PM
Personally I think the program 'Malcolm in the Middle' is sending messages to viewers that it's what teenage life is about. It puts you in the position of one of the Wilkersons say if your a kid or adult. You always will have the annoying bothers taunting yuou, perhaps the zany dad or the Mum that shouts constantly. Malcolm's family are not in any way 'wierd'. Most family's are in some way like the Wilkersons. Say there was a little boy in Dewey's Situation: Fairly small, only had annoying brothers (older ones) and there was only Jamie he cxan turn to. Though Dewey to me seems to think quite a lot of Jamie (season 6ish!), hew can't speak. Reese is horrible to Dewey and if you watch it enough, you will see their rivalry like 'Reese Drives' when Dewey hits a toy sack on Reeses head whilst Reese is being tied up. Malcolm is the fairly nice and very intelligent one while Francis seems to know how to get out of anything so i think it is a real view of Teenage life!!

lala
Sep 28, 2005, 08:49 AM
i don't think that it is really based on teenage life because half of the things on the show would never actually happen......

Fantails
Sep 28, 2005, 08:52 AM
Thats true but its still a funny show.lol

fox123
Sep 29, 2005, 06:09 AM
I think that mitm is very true about teenage life. Obviously teenagers don't have all of those problems but teenagers always have problems.
I think that if you don't know what to do in a situation you should watch MITM to find out how Malcolm handles it.

tjpeople
Sep 29, 2005, 10:52 AM
I agree in part however, i think you should watch MITM to see what malcolm does and do the opposite! cause it allways turns out bad for him!

anit
Oct 1, 2005, 04:38 AM
I think that you're sort of right; the show isn't about being a teenager (although it was initially about being a kid) it's just about the characters and because of certain circumstances these boys aren't neccessarily a representation of your average teenagers even though in a sense they can be. I think it's largely cuz they don't get so many opportunities for this kind of behaviour - Malcolm and Reese aren't very well liked if you know what I mean.:D

Yay! First post! Hi everyone, I'm a junior... and willing to bet I'm older than a few ppl on this forum. hehe.

tjpeople
Oct 1, 2005, 07:00 AM
Welcome Junior, nice comments keep em coming :D Your right thats wat in part i meant to say they aint that typical.

So how old are you? active users ages range from 9 to about 25 (correct me if worng)

yardgames
Oct 1, 2005, 10:38 AM
Don't forget Ryebeach; he's in his thirties, I believe. :) (Sorry, Rye, I hope I don't make fun of you too often.)

Welcome to the forums, anit. Lookng forward to hearing more thoughts from you.

anit
Oct 5, 2005, 11:38 PM
Welcome Junior, nice comments keep em coming :D Your right thats wat in part i meant to say they aint that typical.

So how old are you? active users ages range from 9 to about 25 (correct me if worng)

Hehe, I may've been wrong, I've read a lot of comments by people about 12/13 here so I figured that my opinion didn't fit with the majority. I'm 17 in 9 days. Thanks for the warm welcome people!!!

tjpeople
Oct 6, 2005, 11:02 AM
The forum is generlly much older than 12/13, id say average is probly around 17/18

Emrysgirl
Oct 11, 2005, 02:20 AM
I'm gonna add the stuff that goes on at my high school to the other view points - just as another sample US school.

Drinking:
Of all the things you've mentioned, this is the most common at my high school. It's definitely not the rule - neither I nor any of my close friends has had alcohol. But, it's not unusual - I move around in the same circles as people who do.

I think the number really goes up senior year. Last year, I was really surprised whenever I found out about someone drinking. There have always been plenty of people who drink, but generally people who I don't interact with. But this year, almost every week I've been finding out about someone or the other I talk to on a daily basis and have classes with drinking.

Even in MitM, it's common enough that it's explicitly shown like 3 times (Stupid Girl, Watching the Baby and Thanksgiving) and refered to at other times.

Drugs:
On this one the divide is clearer. If someone who you know drinks, chances are, you'll still remain friends with them and interact with them. But with drugs, you have to join one group or the other. People at my high school who do drugs generally don't hang out with the one that don't. We still have many classes together and talk to each other, but only at school, and there's always the thought lurking at the back of you're head.

I would think it's the same with MitM. People aren't gonna talk to you about drugs unless you're close to them and they're sure you won't jdge them and that they can trust you. I doubt that Reese and Malcolm are that close to anyone.

Sex:
Again, less common than the others. It's not as openly talked about, so I don't know as many rumors.

Although MitM doesn't explicitly refer to sex in reference to the boys often, when they do talk about it, it's a detail not the plot itself. It's not meant to be a big deal. So, I think it's not that the boys aren't exposed to it but rather that it doesn't merit an episode.

Smoking:
Hmm...I'm not sure, but I think it's less common than the others. I'm not sure b/c I have friends whose friends outside of school smoke, but in my school, I think it's rare. People who smoke do harder stuff and people who don't - well, don't.

Fox's influence:
I don't think MitM is holding back because of restrictions by Fox. If you've watched The War at Home, it's pretty clear that all that 'family values' talk is pretty shallow. Also, remember, Fox is the channel that shows The O.C.

What a badly organized post...I'llcome back to it later and try to fix it :)

samboo1
Oct 11, 2005, 03:07 AM
Thanks Emrysgirl its nice to see the view of those things on your school.
At my school smoking and drinking are the ones that the students go for. Most of the students in my year/grade smoke and had been drunk. I havent and i just think theres no point. If they have to do that wait until the legal age.
Theres the few students, around 10 of them who dont give a damn and just do anything. My friend tried drugs and seemed proud of it! A girl in my class got pregnant! I mean whats the point. Bare in mind that all this happening to teenagers who are 13/14 years old!
Fox cant really show the real view of teenage life, it would be too bad for tv! I pretty sure there would be more swaring than the occasional word!

MalcolmReeseDewey
Oct 11, 2005, 02:09 PM
Here's my ideas about what i know:
Sex: Yep, i'm only 13 and i know two people (who remain nameless as i don't want to get into trouble) that have had sex. It is appauling that people can sink so low at this tender age. They're too young and need to focus on other things than sex!!
Drugs: I don't know anyone luckily!! It is a terrible habit that can kill
Smoking: In my school, people sit down in a shed next to the school and smoke (usually sixth formers). I haven't tried it and am not planning to!!
Alcohol: Nobody although my ex-friend had been drunk at a very young age as her cousin or someone made her drunk!

Wildcat
Mar 9, 2006, 07:42 PM
Very deep and interesting thread...any new thoughts?

Amigo22
Mar 12, 2006, 01:19 AM
I'm gonna add the stuff that goes on at my high school to the other view points - just as another sample US school.

Drinking
Drugs
Smoking

These exact same things occur at the school I went to when we moved to Australia. Most students smoked regular cigarettes and/or marijuana. A couple of girls got busted for starting a fire in one of the bathrooms. I heard of a few that got suspended for bringing alcohol to school. Writing on the bathroom walls/doors in twink was also common. And wagging (ditching) could just about have been a subject offering. I often see students (mainly guys) sitting at a table in the park behind the bus stop with their backpacks and regular clothing over their uniforms. The bus company doesn't let school students on during school hours without a note but it's surprising how many get on anyway (dressed in regular clothing).

yardgames
Mar 12, 2006, 11:22 AM
Actually there's been a drug problem at my school lately too. There's been a bunch of people suspended for not just having it but selling it. The principal's put up a reward of $500 for information leading the arrest of anyone with drugs or selling them on school grounds.

han_keep_smilin
Mar 12, 2006, 12:13 PM
well at my school lots of people gat drunk and smoke
a few year 10s smoke non-stop in the girls toilets it puts me off going in there:)

my form tutor told me there was a girl my age that used to go to my schools he got pregnant and she left our school and she had te baby!

if i got pregnant and mi mum and dad found out tey would kill me!!:D

rzombie1988
Mar 12, 2006, 03:28 PM
I think Malcolm can be considered a real view of teenage life. Generally alot of the bad things that teenagers do occur more often(especially around here at my schoool). Especially smoking, it's a pastime at my hs. Drinking almost everybody does as well. Sex isn't as spoken of, but from what I know around 60%-75% around here have done it. I'm against the three and do none of the three. I'm only 17 too.

I don't know if Fox is holding back or possibly MITM is. Personally, I don't think MITM needs it at all.

Another way I think that MITM relates with teenage life is through parent control. Sure most mothers aren't as extreme as Lois, but most have some of her qualities. That's one of the reasons I can related towards Malcolm and Reese because I can never seem to get one up on most adults. When I do though, they just brush it off and continue to push their point, even when they are wrong.

samboo1
Mar 12, 2006, 04:14 PM
schools he got pregnant HE got pregnant eh? That's new.;)

yardgames
Mar 12, 2006, 05:44 PM
I think Malcolm can be considered a real view of teenage life. Generally alot of the bad things that teenagers do occur more often(especially around here at my schoool). Especially smoking, it's a pastime at my hs. Drinking almost everybody does as well. Sex isn't as spoken of, but from what I know around 60%-75% around here have done it. I'm against the three and do none of the three. I'm only 17 too.

I don't know if Fox is holding back or possibly MITM is. Personally, I don't think MITM needs it at all.

Another way I think that MITM relates with teenage life is through parent control. Sure most mothers aren't as extreme as Lois, but most have some of her qualities. That's one of the reasons I can related towards Malcolm and Reese because I can never seem to get one up on most adults. When I do though, they just brush it off and continue to push their point, even when they are wrong.
Wow, that's a really high percentage of teenagers that have done that--that amazes me.

Nico21
Jul 23, 2006, 03:27 PM
To my mind, MITM is more a view of family life than simply teenage life.

I read an interview of Jane Kaczmarek and I agree with her point of view: although it appears strange, MITM shows a perfect working family !
Even if children do bad stuff, they have diner with their parents every day, and they see the consequences of their stupid things.

And we do not only see the children's life and the influence of their parents into it, these parents are part of the story and they have their own problems !

All along the episodes, we can feel the evolution of the characters, which brings us to many different subjects that appear in a real family life: first job for the children, mariage and divorce, unemployment, social issues, financial issues, neighborhood issues...
And to my mind, alcohol, sex and drugs are part of this, even if they are not always dealing with it they don't ignore it neither (remember when Hal found the beers in the garage...)

So Malcolm in the Middle is to my mind an humoristic view of a whole family !


And I think this view is not very far from a real american family, the story is told with humor but subjects of everyday's life are about the same !

To my mind real teenage life doesn't seem to be very different from the series neither, I can often identify myself to the actors !

(hope you'll understand me, English is not my mother tongue...)

tony_montana
Jul 23, 2006, 03:34 PM
Hey Nico! Welcolme to the Voting Community! :)
Fantastic first post, and I agree with you completely. I, for one, always found one thing in particular to be a stand out moral quality for MITM...that being Hal and Lois. Most shows now days have two people who aren't married just having sex without commitment and such(which is a big problem if you believe in what God says). MITM, though, had Hal and Lois, who were completely dedicated to each other and were totally in love. That was an aspect I always loved about MITM.:)
Anyways, and like you I view MITM as a view of family life, not just teenage life.:)

Nico21
Jul 23, 2006, 07:09 PM
Hey Nico! Welcolme to the Voting Community! :)
Fantastic first post, and I agree with you completely.
[...] :)
Thank you very much :) !
(and happy to know you understand me, I'm french and this is one of my first messages on english forums).


This view of family life is one of the reasons why I really like this series.
It is not only a compilation of kids' stupid things, above all it shows the strong link between the different members of the family.

(French TV channels didn't understand it, as they only consider the show as a series for children, and cut "violent" parts)

tony_montana
Jul 24, 2006, 12:28 AM
You communicate in English very well. I understand you completely.:)
And the French stations really cut out the violent parts? That's weird.:confused:

Nico21
Jul 24, 2006, 07:08 AM
And the French stations really cut out the violent parts? That's weird.:confused:
Yes, they cut a few parts they judge too violent for young public... :(

For example, in the french generic they deleted the scenes of boxing, fights with the giant turtle, the monsters, the brain... they only kept the parts that came from the series.

The original Pilot episode lasts 3 minutes and 30 seconds more than the french one (before the closing credits for both) !

Gozatron
Jul 24, 2006, 07:28 AM
Living wher ei do in england there nearly no drugs thinkign at all really. I suppose people talk and chat about booze and sex cause its "Cool"

tony_montana
Jul 24, 2006, 01:55 PM
Well, that's the redeeming aspect about MITM. Everything that had to do with sex was morally correct(like Hal and Lois, and in "Thanksgiving" when Malcolm wouldn't have sex with that girl, etc). Now that I think about it, the "Thanksgiving" episode also showed why you shouldn't drink, so that's cool too.:)

Alfista Junior
Jul 24, 2006, 04:35 PM
I think the boys are actually confronted to sex-drugs-alcohol stuffs. The show talks about these topics without any restriction. But they've never been directly affected by this kind of issues: I guess that what TJ meant to say. For what reason should it be different? Based on my teenagehood, the show is rather near from what I've lived. Every teenager has not mandatory problems with alcohol and drugs but these things should have approached him sometimes..

What could be contested is the fact that some shows try to do as if sex drugs alcohol homosexuality didn't exist or as if their characters were totally untouchable by these "strange things coming from nowhere". But you've not to be on drugs to be aware of the proximity of this problem and to deal with it.

To my mind.. Malcolm is in the middle... ^^ (Nice one, isn't it?)

tony_montana
Jul 24, 2006, 11:31 PM
Great post, Alfista, and I agree with you completely.:)
Something I love about Malcolm is that they take these serious problems and present them in a hilarious but positive way on the show.:)

Alfista Junior
Jul 25, 2006, 04:12 AM
You communicate in English very well. I understand you completely.:)
And the French stations really cut out the violent parts? That's weird.:confused:

Thanks Tony. However I don't share Nico's point of view (I've just dicovered it). Actually they're not used to cutting violent scenes over here. The actual problem is that Mitm was initially targetted as a kid show, so they normally act in consequence. Obviously the show is something special and mixes genres and I understand that somebody who doesn't really pay attention to the show will assume it's for kids. Otherwise there is no similar problem in other shows.. That's my view point.

Nico21
Jul 25, 2006, 06:29 AM
I 've watched some episodes of the first seasons both in french and english, and there are some -little- differences !
And french episodes are shorter than english ones, for example the pilot lasts 3 minutes and 30 seconds more in english than in french (from "this is the world" to "so what do you want me to do about it ?").

I agree there are no cut parts in the last seasons, but at the begining there was !

yardgames
Jul 25, 2006, 11:01 AM
Welcome to the forums, Nico! It's great to have so many wonderful new members lately--no matter where you're from or what language you're native to. :)

Tony, you hit the nail on the head with your comment that MITM is great at taking serious situations and presenting them in a humorous light. That's always been a strength of the show; from a debillitating disease to losing a leg. :D

I think the extent to which sex/drugs/alcohol are actually a problem for teens varies geographically, and it can be hard for a national--indeed worldwide--show to present an accurate view of the entire world. I think the solution of not ignoring the problem but not exaggerating it either really is a brilliant one.

tony_montana
Jul 25, 2006, 02:32 PM
@Yardgames-And that's what MITM is great at, not overdoing it but not underplaying the problem either, and like I said, presenting it in a hilarious manner.:)
That's one thing that I love about MITM too is that it differs from the other so called "funny" shows directed at teens and such. On most shows, when a problem like the alcohol arises, there is always(usually) a big, sappy, fight between the parents and the kid and then it's always resolved in a sappy crappy manner. MITM, on the other hand, had Malcolm, in "Thanksgiving", get drunk and then he has the oppurtunity to have sex with that drunk girl, but he uses his better judgement and doesn't do it, and it just showed, in a VERY funny manner, that he takes responsibility for what he does. Plus, when he gets home drunk, he faces the consequences from Lois in a VERY funny manner.:D
There's another area where MITM differs...the mom. Moms on most of these comedy shows with teens are pushovers who mainly let the kids get away with anything....not Lois, though.:D What did she do with Malcolm after he got the tounge ring? He had to clean the toilet with his own toothbrush. Tell me any other tv mom who would make their son do that.:D
Anyways, sorry if I went babbled on, but I love comparing a great show like Malcolm to other crap.;) And that last part of my post just gave me more love for Lois.

Nico21
Jul 25, 2006, 05:35 PM
Welcome to the forums, Nico! It's great to have so many wonderful new members lately--no matter where you're from or what language you're native to. :)
[...]
Thank you for your welcome !
It doesn't appear so late to me, because the 7th season of Malcolm haven't been aired here yet ! It only starts on september !
So I've seen some episodes in english, but I have to wait to watch it in french !

I agree with your point of view about sex, drugs and alcohol, this is a good solution not to talk about it all the time nor hide it.
I think it's not so far from reality, for example they often talk about drugs when Malcolm says something weird, that's a joke I could hear from my friends !

bluecobweb
Aug 18, 2006, 03:43 PM
I think MitM portrays teenage fairly well. Except they make some kind of trouble everyday but that is part of the show. Most people I know do not drink or have sex, and I live in a town that's similar to where they live. I mean if Lois found out they are doing drugs or drinking, the punishment would be harsh. Except the time that Reese agreed to do drug testing in Stilts. My brother is 10 years old and he watches it too, and in episodes such as Houseboat where they do refer to sex it's kind of from the kids' point of view. I think Reese, Malcolm, and Dewey have enough on their hands with making trouble so drugs, alcohol, and sex aren't a huge part of their lives.

Bentheredonethat
Aug 20, 2006, 05:34 PM
I think the show is a fairly accurate, albeit exaggerated, representation of teenage life. Although most teens don't sneak in Swedish girls during blackouts, the show does consider some real issues. The first that comes to mind is popularity. None of the boys are terribly popular, save for maybe Francis in the past and Dewey in the future, and the ways they deal with that are very convincing, such as when Malcolm first went to high school. Then, of course, there are the typical sitcom situations, such as two dates to the school dance, which MitM handles much more realistically than others. But even past the scenarios we've all seen a hundred times, the show really shouts out the message that it is emulating a real household with real people that have real personalities. That's probably why it was so successful -- people can relate to what goes on. It isn't portraying a perfect family that always gets through every problem within 22 minutes, ending every episode with a tear-jerking hug, but rather a normal family of which the members still share a strong bond despite frequent (non-trivial) mishaps. This is pretty clear in Reese Comes Home, an episode in which each character's role revealed a lot about their personalities and resolves. And to keep up with this kind of "normal" approach, it makes sense that the writers of MitM would try to emulate teenage life fairly accurately, which I think they accomplished, and with a laugh at that.

yardgames
Aug 20, 2006, 08:46 PM
I think that's an accurate idea, and I believe that's how Linwood originally intended it to be. He didn't intend the family to be perfect by any means. There's tons of times where MITM plots are relatively realistic. But the plots that MITM does best are the ones that are realistic in principle, but exaggerated in execution. It's great to step back and see these scenarios from a third-person perspective, and even if you can relate to perhaps the worst MITM plot, the Wilkersons version is usually worse. :D

tony_montana
Aug 21, 2006, 12:13 AM
And Im sure everyone here on the VC has had at least one "MITM Moment" in their life. By that I mean we probably have had at least one teacher we despised and a teacher who despised us(like Mr.Herkabe and Malcolm). I know I did, back in 8th grade, I had a teacher who I couldn't stand and he couldn't stand me.:D Another one that we have all bound to have had is a idiot of a boss(like how Craig is the boss of Lois and Malcolm, yet he's an idiot). I remember working these little odd summer jobs around this place where I live, and my boss was a total moron who reminds me alot of Craig.:D
So yeah, sans some exaggerations, MITM IS a real view of teen life and just life.:)

yardgames
Aug 21, 2006, 11:02 AM
You found a job in Easley, SC!? I couldn't find one in all of Green Bay! What did you do?

tony_montana
Aug 21, 2006, 10:26 PM
It's not what I would call an official job, but I was part of a lawn care team and our boss happened to be like Craig. Lovable, but sometimes whiny and an idiot.:D
Oh crap....this is post 900 for me!!! WHOO! :D

yardgames
Aug 22, 2006, 10:07 AM
Why is that crap? Congratulations on your 900th post--you're getting closer to the dancing stars! :)

Wildcat
Aug 22, 2006, 12:24 PM
Sorry about you're boss Tony. I think I'd rather have a boss like Craig, rather than someone who's always yelling and screaming for me to do stuff. :D

Congrats on your 900th post. Guess what, This is my 1000th! I finally have 5 stars. :D :D

Murph
Aug 22, 2006, 01:57 PM
Teenage life is just beginning for me, and I've already had two girlfriends :D I don't intend to drink, and hopefully won;t face too much peer pressure.
I sure as hell won't do drugs, or smoke, due to having Cystic Fibrosis, but I plan to have a good time anyway.

yardgames
Aug 22, 2006, 02:04 PM
2 girlfriends at 13? Damn! You're a lucky boy!

Murph
Aug 22, 2006, 04:54 PM
Well, the first was all made and broke off by our friends, we got asked to go out with each other by separate people, and broke up through messages. A very "we're 11 and have no idea how to do things" relationship. I talked to her friends a hell of a lot more than I talked to her!

As for my second one, back in May, that was easily the better of the two, hand holding, dancing, ACTUAL talking, but ended very messy with a break up, getting back together unofficialy, then breaking up again, only to "remain friends".

For more on my wacky goings-ons, just ask :D

yardgames
Aug 23, 2006, 07:38 PM
Perhaps when taken as a whole the series is more than a little exaggerated. I mean, how many people can say they've pushed their mom down a waterslide, taken weird skating lessons from their dad, gone on a houseboat, and went to Vegas to compete in a bunny-eating competition? Yet, if just one of those situations were to happen to you, the results suggested on MITM aren't so far out there after all.

@Murph humor us with more stories. :D

Murph
Aug 24, 2006, 10:18 AM
I could, but they wouldn't exactly fit into this thread at the minute. But the next time there's a thread related to disco's or clubs, I'm right in there!

AlexTheMartian
Aug 24, 2006, 11:35 AM
I am from Los Angeles, and being that most clues point that the family is probably Californian (although the facts hardly ever match up) I think it is an realistic view on life but in an exaggerated way. I disagree that sex, drugs, and alcohol is a standard of every boy's teenage life. Yes parties with alcohol and stuff in High School exists, but if you compare the number of people who attends these parties to the total number of people in the school, it is not a majority at all. Hollywood and TV love to focus in at this aspect of teenage life because it is entertaining. A majority of teenagers life probably will not be entertaining enough to put in a movie. Do you want to watch a teenage girl talk on the phone for hours, or watch a teenage boy listen to his ipod for hours? No that's boring.

OK back on the topic of MITM and it's lack of what I'm talking about, we realize that both Malcolm and Reese are somewhat "loners" in their school (I forget the episode where they find this out, but I think it has to do with a party). I think this a brilliant idea on the writers'/creator's part, otherwise they will not be the characters we know and love today, instead it will be 'just another teenage TV show' focusing on the popular kids' lives, that is more like The WB type of stuff, not FOX. i can not remember one FOX sitcom ever that had popular kids or teenagers, usually they are loners, losers, and bullied.

Malcolm is not popular because of his personality and smartness/vainness (we all know how Jessica bring out his flaws), and Reese is not popular because i think in high school he was somewhat a loner, he never really did have any friends, and in his younger years he was a bully and people were afraid of him.

And to be honest, you will not see anyone of Malcolm or Reese's types at any high school party.

Amigo22
Aug 24, 2006, 06:43 PM
Perhaps when taken as a whole the series is more than a little exaggerated. I mean, how many people can say they've pushed their mom down a waterslide, taken weird skating lessons from their dad, gone on a houseboat, and went to Vegas to compete in a bunny-eating competition? Yet, if just one of those situations were to happen to you, the results suggested on MITM aren't so far out there after all.

@Murph humor us with more stories. :D

I've been on a houseboat twice, and the first time was kind of reminiscent of the MITM episode. My brother was bored (without having TV etc) and spent the whole time picking on me. By the last night I couldn't take it any more. It was pretty much a re-enactment of the Abe / Kitty storyline.

rzombie1988
Aug 24, 2006, 07:12 PM
2 girlfriends at 13? Damn! You're a lucky boy!

That is nothing, trust me :Wink:. I atleast tripled that.

tony_montana
Aug 24, 2006, 11:02 PM
@Rzombie-Suuurrreee.:D ;)
And Murph, it's great to hear you won't get into drugs and alcohol and all that crap. You can enjoy your life fully, the way God intented.:)
Anyways, back to topic...I have already stated it, but yes, MITM is a true view of teenage life. I can probably tell you guys about people at my own school who mirror Malcolm and Reese in at least some way(if you want to hear about those people, just say so and Ill make a post about them).