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Father Knows Squat

The Washington Post
January 1995

Father Knows Squat: Parents used to be wise and stable.

Now, they're stupid or dead.

by Megan Rosenfeld

In the opening episode of the new television show "MSCL," the lead character, a depressed 15 yo. girl, says to herself, "Lately I can't seem to even look at my mother without wanting to stab her repeatedly." You could call this reality, or you could call it gratuitous parent-bashing...

...What's happened to all the moms? There either bad or dead...

..."Maybe it's because people are so freaked out by their mothers," suggests Winnie Holzman, the writer and creator of "MSCL." It's a common fantasy to not have a mother."

"Television is a reflection of things going on in the country and in people's psyches," Holzman says. There may be a feeling of 'let's ignore the moms.' Moms are obliterated or shunted aside. You find that is what happens in society when you become a mother."

Holzman, 40, has a 9 yo. daughter. And her own mother? They're getting along now, she says, but there have been times...

...For Winnie Holzman, the goal was to show parents who are not perfect..."My intention is to present parents who have the right to be flawed human beings. I think parents have been idealized on television. We're not trying so such to put them on a pedestal as examine some of the real challenges they face."

So that's the deal --- flaws are in, pedestals are out...


“Ignore her. She got up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.”

Enrique (Rickie) Vasquez, Episode 9: "Halloween"