Tuesday, September 16, 2008

90210 (2008) - Parents and Infidelity

Some quick thoughts on the last two episodes of The CW's new revival series, "90210."

In the previous two episodes (including this evening) Naomi needed to deal with no doubt a difficult situation for a daughter - parental infidelity.

Now, I have no experience with a parent committing adultery. I would imagine that most kids idolize their parents. Most kids seem to glean their political stance from their parents and they are perhaps our greatest supporters.

Naomi's distress with her father's infidelity is certainly understandable. At least within the cohort of the "90210" universe, parents provide for their children in some way. And, regardless of how the offspring turn out, parents provide them with something, whether it be a car, guidance, or a trust fund. What the child does with these gifts is their business and their responsibility. Although they may not show it, they have never experienced any other world and have no idea "how the other side lives." The bottom line here is that most kids idolize their parents. Remember how we said in elementary school, "My dad can beat up your dad." We said those things for a reason. Our parents were (maybe are) infallible. They could do no wrong and when we see them fighting or betraying the other, their child's reactions may be volatile.

Lost in this discussion is the core relationship between the husband and wife. The real world and very public example of this is former New York governor Eliot Spitzer. Almost every pundit sympathized with the children and the possible ramifications of how such a relationship affects them - and I think for good reason. Most pundits also assume that Spitzer's wife must necessarily be upset and only left with the choice of leaving her husband.

I can only credit The Tony Kornheiser Show with this opinion. The show airs approximately from January to June. That opinion was that we, as the general public, have no idea the arrangement between husband and wife. It may sound ridiculous, but perhaps the wife allows the husband to "stray" from time to time. As much as the court of public opinion condemns such people who cheat on their spouses, their relationship is THEIR business and not ours.

Our culture sees this as despicable and that's fine. However, it seems quite presumptuous to assume that the spouse cheated on MUST sever all ties with the adulterer. We have no idea how they manage their relationship. And apparently this sentiment is shared by enough people to warrant a website such as AshleyMadison.com.

Bringing it back to the "90210" television series, Naomi confronts her mother about the issue and her mom tells her that she has known about the affair for some time. Naomi doesn't get it - fine. But the mom knows and is accepting of the situation. Clearly she deems it an acceptable casualty of their marriage. Obviously, there is some arrangement and is it our business what that arrangement is? I wonder...

3 comments:

Digitalwool said...

90210... back again? Le sigh.
Infidelity sucks.

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Crazy said...

very nice blog .. I liked the theme too! never thought they were going to write about it:) thanks

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