For an assignment in French class, my daughter had to describe her family. According to my daughter, the teacher said you could invent a family. So, my daughter, who is obsessed with "30 Rock" -- (and, yes, that is probably not good for a ten year old, even less for her 8 year old brother. How did it happen? I am not sure. One day, they were watching such inappropriate shows as "The Simpsons" and kid shows like "Phineas and Ferb" or "iCarly," and the next they were laughing at Jenna's affair with a man who plays her as a drag queen, or the man Liz meets who seems perfect but turns out to be into plushies. Along the way, they added "Suburgatory" -- which my daughter uses as a template for everything she can roll her eyes at -- and "Modern Family." I swear I am not pushing this stuff. I don't want my kids to be hip, or too grown up. I'd be okay if they wanted to watch "Spongebob Squarepants." But the boundaries keep shifting. My daughter drives the engine, and my son follows. She wants to be sophisticated. She wants cultural references. Even when she was little, she watched slightly weird out of-her-bracket stuff, like "The Monkees" and "Star Trek." ) -- well, anyway, when asked to create a family, she created hers out of the characters from "30 Rock." Her mom, Liz Lemon; her dad, Pete; Kenneth as her brother; and Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy as her grandpa.
I accept a good family romance. Kids are supposed to want to find out that they are orphans and that their real parents are richer, prettier, better than their real ones (I actually discussed this with my son the other day because he was having his own more traditional wish that daddy and I would turn out to be phonies). But how bad are we that she replaces us with such messed up characters? Or does she want us to be more messed up? Heaven forbid.
I'd love to say I am nothing like Liz Lemon but the appeal of that character is that every nerd girl who had trouble finding dates, didn't know how to wear eye shadow, and didn't like most guys she met finds herself in Liz. Maybe my daughter is finding herself, too.