to think it's rather odd that we are always being told that the nuclear family is ideal but that they make so few appearances on children's TV?

(81 Posts)
spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 13:11:32

Weird isn't it? Balamory is all single people as far as I can see. Granny Murray is about 35 so she was clearly a teenage mum, as is her daughter. Charlie and Lola's parents seem fairly competent but never appear. Only the Pontipines and Wattingers appear to be couples with children and the Pontipines are neglectful in the extreme.

nancy75 Wed 25-Mar-09 13:12:33

who is granny murrays daughter?

ArcticLemming Wed 25-Mar-09 13:14:09

Grandpa in my pocket is fairly nuclear (although you could argue that having a shrinking Grandparent is fairly dysfunctional).

spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 13:15:30

I don't know nancy but I assume she has one or she wouldn't be a granny. She could also have a son I guess

nancy75 Wed 25-Mar-09 13:16:47

the large family have a mum and dad, but they are elephants.

nickytwotimes Wed 25-Mar-09 13:16:57

Lol at shrinking Grandpa being disfunctional.

There are two parent famillies in Me Too - Raymond and Lisa - though how real THAT marraige is is anyone's guess...

Tommy Zoom is a 2.4 job too.

<pmsl at seriously discussing this!>

nickytwotimes Wed 25-Mar-09 13:18:13


Postman Pat.

Both nuclear families.

spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 13:19:05

LOL @ Raymond and Lisa's marriage being a sham.

Good point about Tommy Zoom, I'd forgotten about him.

nancy75 Wed 25-Mar-09 13:19:16

lisa looks like raymonds mum!

ArcticLemming Wed 25-Mar-09 13:20:00

My DD went through a phase of being quite upset because Makka Pakka didn't have a mummy hmm. I had to make up a story that she lives elsewhere and he visits her often (just not on air).

Botbot Wed 25-Mar-09 13:21:00

Samuel and Muffin in Third and Bird have two parents.

Not sure where Rudy's are, and everyone else is clearly single.

nickytwotimes Wed 25-Mar-09 13:21:05

She does look like his Mum.
I find their relationship very unconvincing.

They are both very fond of musical theatre adn if Lisa's taxi isn't a metaphor for, ahem, fanjo, then I'm a monkey's uncle.


wishingchair Wed 25-Mar-09 13:21:39

Fireman Sam has both mum/dad and single families.

nickytwotimes Wed 25-Mar-09 13:21:59

Botbot - waht about Mrs Billingsly though? Widowed, perhaps?

ArcticLemming Wed 25-Mar-09 13:22:02

Dora is also from a nuclear family. But I can just imagine the response to a thread "am I being unreasonable to let my 5 year old play out in a snake-infested jungle all day with only a monkey for company?"

nickytwotimes Wed 25-Mar-09 13:22:58

Peppa Pig?

MamacitaGordita Wed 25-Mar-09 13:23:42

PMSL at this- especially the neglectful Pontipines. Poor little Pontipine children...

MorocconOil Wed 25-Mar-09 13:25:17

What about the Simpsons? grin

spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 13:25:42

Peppa Pig has grandparents too. But she is a pig.

Does Postman Pat have a wife? I am trying to think of families in the Little Red Tractor but there seems to be all dads and kids and no mums. Are there any women in LRT? Hmm ...

nancy75 Wed 25-Mar-09 13:27:23

postman pat has a wife, infact most of the families in postman pat are 2 parent families, i think its only the doctor that is a single parent, and maybe the male teacher?
i also think i need to get out more and stop watching so much cbeebies smile

Sunflower100 Wed 25-Mar-09 15:24:29

Granny Murray isn't 35! surely!! God I feel very young looking (which isn't a familiar feeling). grin

coochicoo Wed 25-Mar-09 15:33:15

There are a few single parents in Postman Pat: PC Selby, Julia Pottage, Dr Gilbertson, Mr Pringle. (ds' current dvd of choice!)

Stayingsunnygirl Wed 25-Mar-09 15:44:35

When I see the phrase 'nuclear family' it always makes me think - 'yes, ready to explode at any time!'

Fairynufff Wed 25-Mar-09 16:20:18

Granny Murray always looks like she's just sniffed something illegal to me - especially when she's so ultra chipper with all those dull kids.

Our kids have moved on from Cbeebies and now love the most perfect of nuclear families - The Simpsons!

Countingthegreyhairs Wed 25-Mar-09 16:32:09

The clangers have very stable interpersonal relationships grin

MillyR Wed 25-Mar-09 16:34:26

Troy Bolton lives in a nuclear family.

NormaJeanBaker Wed 25-Mar-09 16:35:35

I still miss the Munsters and The Addams Family. Must be a gap in the market for weirdo occult family surely.

MillyR Wed 25-Mar-09 16:37:27

Lockie Leonard is also part of a nuclear family.

spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 16:42:35

I don't know how old granny murray is but she can't be more than about 40 surely?

edam Wed 25-Mar-09 16:55:18

I think I once read on MN that another, much older actress had the Granny Murray part but was taken ill or something so current 'Granny' got the gig. Should have renamed her 'Auntie' or something.

juneybean Wed 25-Mar-09 17:18:12

shock of course postman pat has a wife! her name is sarah wink

upon googling to confirm this before i posted, i never knew pat's surname was clifton shock

georgiemum Wed 25-Mar-09 17:21:12

Well it took me a while to figure out that the one with Justin and Sarah Jane wasn't about 2, erm how shall I say this... care in the community types.

I remember when I was little in the 1970s the books we got were all 'right on' ('Joe has 2 dads' type of thing).

Tigerschick Wed 25-Mar-09 17:22:44

Peppa Pig lives in a Nuclear Family and has Grandparents - tho it's never clear whether they are paternal or maternal grandparents.
There are single-parent families too, Danny Dog has a mum and a grandad. No sign of Mrs Elephant, Mr Cat, etc.

Can you tell what DD likes most atm grin

2shoes Wed 25-Mar-09 17:44:15

pmsl at the pingu family being a nuclear family

rosisdreamingofchocolate Wed 25-Mar-09 18:03:49

Tigerschick, Peppa Pig's gps are maternal, there's an episode with them going through things in the garage & Peppa's mum talks about her favourite record as a child. I've seen a lot of PP as you might've guessed grin

What about Lazytown? Stephanie lives with her uncle but don't think you see her aunt, & you never see the other kids parents.

georgiemum Wed 25-Mar-09 18:11:38

I think that Granny Murray looks like the kind of woman who has a deep dark secret.

rosisdreamingofchocolate Wed 25-Mar-09 18:13:17

georgiemum, yep, she's way too cheerful. Ds1 always asks to turn it off as 'its a bit scary'!

georgiemum Wed 25-Mar-09 18:18:29

I think Grandpa Murray is buried under the patio. Or she used to be a stripper.

Tigerschick Wed 25-Mar-09 18:21:28

rosisdreamingofchocolate - Thanks. I've never seen that episode (and have always wondered blush)

I was thinking of Lazy Town when I re-opened the thread but you beat me to it!

Miggsie Wed 25-Mar-09 18:24:41

..and who let Sarah Jane adopt in the Sarah Jane adventures then?

Exposing him to daleks and God knows what.
Tut, tut.
Get the social services round right now!

She is mentally imbalanced, she thinks her computer is her husband.

Dear dear dear.

rosisdreamingofchocolate Wed 25-Mar-09 18:46:24

tigerschick - great minds! (Btw, were we on the Harry Potter threads together?)

Tigerschick Wed 25-Mar-09 18:49:48

rosisdreamingofchocolate - ah, the good ol' days grin
Can't wait for 17th July ...

rosisdreamingofchocolate Wed 25-Mar-09 18:55:28

I thought so, I miss those threads! I have to start being nice to dh now so we can go grin

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 25-Mar-09 19:46:56

Rosie - its the attic. Can you sense I watch too much Peppa pig? The sheep go moo and the cows go baa...the birds go woof and the dogs go tweet moo baa woof tweet moo baa woof tweet...or something like that!

Daddy pig has a brother who is uncle to peppa and george - he and his wife also have two children - cousin chloe and the baby (cant remember his name lol).

Am a bit worried about Danny dog though - he is only ever with his grandad and I worry he has been orphaned.

I think Rebecca Rabbits mum must be a single mum though as she works about 27 different josb - have seen her selling christmas trees, working at the fayre...she gets everywhere lol

Saltire Wed 25-Mar-09 19:50:29

Granny Murray was born in 1970! She (the actress) was hilarious as Isa in Still Game, but at least she looked old in that

nancy75 Wed 25-Mar-09 19:53:39

i cant believe that granny murray is only 5 years older than me, either sha has had a tough life (sorry granny murray if you are reading this) or i look bloody young for my age! ( idont by the way)

TheOddOne Wed 25-Mar-09 20:02:16

I think Charlie and Lola's parents go out every night on the lash with Max and Ruby's parents.

You never see either and they always leave the wayward younger sibling to be looked after by the older, more responsible one.

Ooh, I agree that Granny Murray looks like she runs a specialist website for discerning gentlemen hmm!

Ds has taken to watching The Flumps on DVD, a bit eyebrow-raisingly northern stereotypes by today's standards, but they've got got 3 generations of woolly hats living together.

PlumBumMum Wed 25-Mar-09 20:08:55

BUT Postman Pat defiently didn't have a wife or a dc when I was a little girl

I know someone who refuses to let her dd watch disney princess as all the mothers are dead grin

Ceebee74 Wed 25-Mar-09 20:08:59

Peppa Pig - I clearly have seen more Peppa Pig than you blush Peppa's little baby cousin is called Alexander and Mrs Rabbit does have a husband - there is an episode where George and Peppa go and visit the burrow and both parents are there.

Now that is embarrassing that I know so much about Peppa Pig - double blush

PlumBumMum Wed 25-Mar-09 20:09:34

exp sleeping beauty but she was hid in the forest for years

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 25-Mar-09 20:25:03

Ceebee - you mean to tell me there is an episode I havent seen? What on earth is Mr Rabbit doing with his days then as you never see him and poor mrs Rabbit's head must be spinning with all those jobs! Remember baby is called Alexander now - I could only remember he didnt do much apart from go "wahhhhh" lol

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 25-Mar-09 20:25:14

Ceebee - you mean to tell me there is an episode I havent seen? What on earth is Mr Rabbit doing with his days then as you never see him and poor mrs Rabbit's head must be spinning with all those jobs! Remember baby is called Alexander now - I could only remember he didnt do much apart from go "wahhhhh" lol

Ceebee74 Wed 25-Mar-09 20:40:31

Peppa pig - you really need to try harder with your Peppa Pig knowledge grin

I think Mr Rabbit must be a SAHD - it is the only explanation.

edam Wed 25-Mar-09 20:44:51

Pingu lives with his parents, and an extended family IIRC...

Think the issue for children's drama, especially for older kids, is fundamentally that it's hard for children to have adventures if their parents are around - look at classic children's literature, it's all orphans or evacuees or some other device for getting rid of dramatically inconvenient personages.

Plus in TV terms you'd end up with a bigger cast (expensive and you'd then have to write storylines for them all).

spicemonster Wed 25-Mar-09 20:49:48

I'm sure that's right edam and it makes perfect sense. Was thinking more of stuff for younger children (my DS is only 2) where there isn't any logical reason to exclude families, especially as they manage it with animated characters. There are not really very exciting storylines in Balamory and yet there are no families at all. Except for the two women in the shop. They might be related but not sure ...

And in Roary (which is favourite du jour) the guy who owns the racetrack has a mother but he's the only person with a relative at all.

Perhaps it is preparing them for the stage when parents are but a mere hindrance to dramatic adventures!

Kimi Wed 25-Mar-09 21:09:12

Dysfunctional is the new normal don't ya know grin

edam Wed 25-Mar-09 22:33:13

Balamory, like the blasted Tweenies, is based in a nursery, so you wouldn't expect parents to feature much.

edam Wed 25-Mar-09 22:35:08

(wait until your ds is old enough for CBBC, mine thinks it's entirely reasonable for a lady of a certain age to have a workforce of children in her attic, defending the world against aliens and telling their parents massive lies about where they have been all day... if the Sarah Jane Adventures is still on then!)

Prosecco Wed 25-Mar-09 22:43:09

pmsl at this thread.

I think in Lazytown, Stephanie's uncle is single at present but has an eye on the woman with the blue hair.Or do I have that all wrong?

2rebecca Thu 26-Mar-09 00:01:39

I got fed up with wifeswap though because apart from always having to have a posh bird and a chavvy bird they also always had to have nuclear families. Where were the stepkids? Where were the wives without kids? Too often it was more mumswap than wifeswap.
When my kids were young it was tweenies and tellytubbies so no families nuclear or otherwise. When kids were shown the classes always seemd very multiethnic compared to life in Scotland, but perhaps that just reflects life in London.

rosisdreamingofchocolate Thu 26-Mar-09 07:35:11

peppa pig/ceebee - Mr Rabbit works with Daddy Pig (see episode Daddy Pig's Birthday) grin.

2rebecca, I've watched one episode of wife swap & that had a single mum. But generally its all families!

edam, think you're right re the reasons! It obviously had an effect on me, every story I wrote in school I was either an orphan or had to deal with one of my parents dying & then going & having lots of adventures. I think my parents were a bit worried at parents evening when they read them lol

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 26-Mar-09 08:32:59

HELLO HUNNYPIE!!!! lol. Granny Murray scares my partner! lol. I never figured out that Raymond and Lisa were married!!! I'm watching so much Cbeebies at the moment, I'm trying to find soap storylines in the cartoons!

Peppa Pig has a nice family. And Charlie is the loveliest brother to Lola in the world. They set a good example.

Wifeswap where one didn't have kids would be great 2rebecca!

But if they don't have to look after children what do they do all day? It's not like you could have a lawyer and a nurse swap and do each other's jobs.

I think the lack of 'nuclear family' might reflect a general lack of adults. Adults are boring, who wants to watch what they are doing?

Eve4Walle Thu 26-Mar-09 08:44:00

Horrid Henry has parents who live together, and look how he turned out! grin

amybswansea Thu 26-Mar-09 09:13:34

Rosi - cant believe I have missed him! Presuming you mean the one where Daddy pig has to go to work despite it being his birthday lol. Am going to watch when I get home from work hmm now debating sanity

Dysgu Thu 26-Mar-09 09:21:50

Regarding Peppa Pig. I used to think that Mrs Rabbit was something of an entrepreneur having so many jobs BUT, having watching the entire collection several times (with my DD aged 2!!) I now think these are all Rebecca Rabbit's aunties. They are called 'Miss Rabbit' and well, we know what rabbits like doing so no wonder there are so many of them! Or now, thinking about it, maybe they are all Rebecca's older sisters!
Just watching Granny Murray - I always reckonded on her being in her 40s. To think, she's only 2 years older than me ...

Housemum Thu 26-Mar-09 09:49:08

Wifeswap does have "different" families - I'm sure there was at least one where no-kids woman went to big family, they have also done "partner swap" ie gay bloke swaps with ultra-conservative mum. Not that I watch that sort of trash, naturally... grin

Charlie & Lola's parents definitely concern me - the mother occasionally makes an off-screen appearance to drive the car. But apart from that they are on their own. "I am definitely mostly a latchkey kid" must surely be the next episode...

Parents are a nuisance in childrens' books/programmes though - the Secret Seven/Famous Five wouldn't have caught half so many dodgy men with mums and dads around. And they certainly wouldn't have had lashings of ginger beer (you'll rot your teeth, come and have a glass of water - George, you're a girl now get cleaned up and put a frock on we're going out, Timmy is a dog now leave him outside)

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 26-Mar-09 09:56:49

I think Charlie and Lola manage quite well, but I too fear for the popintipine childrens safety. The last time I saw them they were stuck up a telephone phone <or something> and Mr and Mrs just went home and left them there. Probably to have a shag, I mean how do else do you end up with so many children?

2rebecca Thu 26-Mar-09 09:57:44

Swapping no kids for lots of kids is still more about parent swap than wife swap though. I've yet to see a family on there where the kids come alternate weekends, or go elsewhere on alternate weekends, presumably it wouldn't fit the formula.

fruitstick Thu 26-Mar-09 10:24:24

Postman Pat did have a wife when we were little but we never saw her. I only know this because I saw an old episode recently when Pat was in the local paper and he said he would take it home and show 'the wife'.

I reckon Sarah is probably his second wife by now though!

Peppa Pig is a lovely nuclear family, and DS loves it as he applies it to our family (DH looks remarkably like Daddy Pig). Uncle Pig (with Chloe and Alexander) is Daddy Pig's brother.

I don't think Miss Rabbit is Rebecca Rabbit's Mum though - and is clearly rubbish at everything as it's always her first day on the job (balloon riding, bus driving).

There is a nuclear family in Little Red Tractor although I'm convinced Stan is the twins' real rather or at least is seeing there mum on the side (their Dad is the one who's always out jogging - clearly supressing something)

Must get out more.

BTW Spicemonster

Helloooow, thanks for the competant comment grin

Bella73 Thu 26-Mar-09 10:38:55

Dysgu - that is my theory on the Miss Rabbit(s), I think they are all aunties (or older sisters possibly) as you say, that's why they are "Miss". There are two parents in the Rabbit household/burrow and two parents in the Zebra household too.

And is it troubling anyone else that it is Raymond and Tina who are married, not Raymond and Lisa (Lisa is their [alleged] child). I know it's just a slip of the keyboard but it's been bothering me wink Though yes, very "interesting" relationship there. For a start, Raymond looks about 18 years old...

Also in Me Too, Rudy and Louie are a couple and are the parents of Jack (though Louie mainly wanders the streets with her trumpet and never seems to drop Jack off or pick him up from Granny Murray).

PortAndLemon Thu 26-Mar-09 11:53:18

Diego's family is two parents and two children, all living and working together in a heartwarming display of family unity but possible violation of child labour laws (although arguably being an animal rescuer is a vocation rather than a job, or so I expect they'd argue in court). Baby Jaguar may be from a family headed by a lone parent, though, as I don't think we've ever seen his father.

Cornflakemum Thu 26-Mar-09 12:14:47

LOL at this thread - (bunch of saddos !)

The Simpsons is a nuclear family.... 'ideal' or what!!!!

rachyrachyrach Thu 26-Mar-09 14:43:31

little red tractor they must all be related as they each only have 3 fingers, poor things

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 26-Mar-09 14:46:59

Oh yes there's Dora too, but her mum seems to let her go wandering around the forest alone getting up to allsorts.

I am worried she may have PND, or have too much on her plate with the twins. SS would be very interested in the fact that her eldest takes unsupervised hot air baloon rides with farm animals.

angelene Thu 26-Mar-09 15:39:03

2rebecca most of the inserts in Teletubbies are done in the Midlands area, not London. Of course that is also a very diverse area.

On a slightly different note, is anyone else concerned about the Criminal Justice System in Toyland? Mr Plod acts as police (obv), judge and jury by himself, to me this flies in the face of all natural justice and democracy. The goblins have never yet had a fair trial.

rosisdreamingofchocolate Thu 26-Mar-09 17:35:20

I can't believe I keep coming back to this thread but...

Just watched Space Pirates, Captain DJ has a mum & dad!

Right, I'm off to get some kind of life though I fear it may be too late!

UKVeggieMum Thu 26-Mar-09 17:46:05

Max and ruby's a bit odd, they seem to live on their own, although there's a grandma rabbit they visit sometimes.

Ceebee74 Thu 26-Mar-09 20:28:48

Does anyone else think that Alicia must get mightily p*ssed off with Diego getting all the glory??

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