There is a certain population that is missing from television. You so seldom see this demographic that when you catch a glimpse of the mythical creature you wonder, “Why isn’t everyone doing this?” The missing population is: old people. To be more specific, TV is missing old people with chutzpah.
Television doesn’t have a lot of space for the elderly. The Golden Girls filled that grandma shaped hole for a while. Today, more matured and experienced characters are left out to dry like a withered plant on the lanai. The Big Hollywood Machine feels more comfortable putting the elderly characters somewhere where the food is soft and the smell is more fecal.
The void is so big that when you do see more venerable characters on television, your heart warms. You realize you’ve been missing this beloved demographic.
Here’s what we’ve all been missing since the purge of elderly people on TV.
Traditions Worth Honoring
This week, I found out that if I mention Food Network people reply with just one thing (or two depending on your definition.) I found that people equate Food Network with Giada and more specifically Giada’s well-endowedness. Food Network has more to offer America than a chesty television host, who wears outfits that are not kitchen appropriate.
The series, My Grandmother’s Ravioli, is the antithesis of Giada’s bustiness. (The show also happens to be on the Cooking Channel. I don’t think there is really a difference between the two channels.) Each week, the host, Mo Rocca, interviews an elderly person who has perfected a family recipe. In this season’s first episode, Rocca interviews a 91-year-old woman named Ruth. Ruth talks about her life, her late husband and her desire to never retire. Ruth is awesome. Ruth is spunky. Ruth is my hero.
The cooking on My Granmother’s Ravioli is not anything you couldn’t find in a leisurely search on pinterest. What you gain from My Grandmother’s Ravioli is getting to hear from people who have made these recipes for hundreds, if not thousands of times. You get to hear from people who are not bitter. You get to hear from people who value all of the obstacles they have overcome, all while breaking up Matzo for a soup.
If Giada tried to tell me about her hardships, I’d probably tell her to go find a chiropractor.
Less Serious Programming
TV can be a place for serious people to talk about serious things. Even the topic of sports can become as heated as any political debate. TV needs people who don’t take themselves too seriously. This often comes in the form of people who have sat and marinated in the skin for a while, people who are original and own it.
I’d like to crown Papi, Dan Le Batard’s father on ESPN’s Highly Questionable, as the most original man. Papi is the kind of guy you hope to end up beside on a flight. He is excitable, sometimes indecipherable and entirely genuine. Everyday Papi and company run through the news of the day. The familiarity of each segment helps make the show feel like it needs to be part of your everyday routine. Papi feels like a familiar friend. You will start incorporating phrases like, “Oh si, si” and “next up on my son’s TV show…”
Also, I feel like at any age, THIS will always make me happy.
If you google image seach #LifeGoals you get a picture of an astronaut getting his face licked by dogs. That is an impressive life goal. I think we can all agree that the ultimate life goal is to live a long, happy life. Having elderly people on TV who are happy and creative is a good measurement for what a long and happy life should look like. Often, people associate old age with death. When in all actuality, old age should be a time when your student loans are paid off, you can stop worrying if you should try crop top trend and just enjoy the company of those you love. Also, old age is the time when you make youtube videos where people watch you “whip it.”