Monday, April 27, 2009

The Smurfs are Messing with my Mind

Today was a long day. Like, a very long day. Between it being the first day back after spring vacation and a gorgeous day resplendent with blue skies and sunshine, it goes without saying that convincing a bunch of fifteen-year-olds to revise a piece they wrote in September was not going to go over well.

Long story short, Belle has been watching a lot of television this afternoon.

I was delighted when I learned a couple of months ago that one of my childhood favorites, "The Smurfs", is available on OnDemand cable, and I'm even more delighted that Belle is a huge fan of a show that gave me such great pleasure as a kid. Well, until today. Today, I'm just very weirded out by the episode that Belle was entranced with.

If for some reason you're not familiar with "The Smurfs", they are these little blue creatures that live in mushroom homes (yeah, the symbolism is not even remotely subtle). Anyway, their existence is constantly "threatened" by the evil but incompetent wizard Gargamel and his scruffy orange cat Azrael. Fortunately, each smurf has a special talent (and they're very creatively named to go with their noteworthy personality trait--Hefty, Handy, Brainy, Vanity, Dreamy, Jokey, Clumsy, and so on). The leader of the smurfs is the white-bearded (and red-pant-wearing--the other smurfs all wear white pants) Papa Smurf. There is one female smurf, Smurfette (because clearly her only talent lies in being an "ette").

Now, I've heard (and passed on) countless jokes about that one female smurf living with a village full of males. This was particularly funny when I was an adolescent, of course, and caught up in that sophomoric humor. Anyway, someone must have realized the issue because they added a female "smurfling", notable for pigtails and a tomboy personality, in later seasons.

The episode Belle was watching today caught my attention right away as I zoned out in front of the computer. The gist of it was, several of the smurfs were interested in ... uh, marrying Smurfette. The comical ways they tried to get her attention--and a promise of betrothal--was kind of entertaining, although it did tear a bit at the feminist side of my brain and heart. (And if any of my less mature friends had been with me, there would have been "blue balls" jokes ... but I've really outgrown that kind of thing. Mostly : )).

What totally threw me for a loop, though, was when I realized that Papa Smurf was in on the action. The father figure of Smurf Village was playing, "She loves me, she loves me not" with daisies over the heart, soul, and ... uh, smurfenhead of the lone eligible maiden. I just gaped. And gawked. And googled. And decided to post a blog about it : )

I'm kind of appalled that this episode was on television when I was a kid, never mind today. I mean, I get as annoyed with the hyper-politically correct world we live in as anyone, but I just COULD NOT believe this.

Thoughts?