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The Golden Girls (1985)
Dealt with serious issues with respect and sensitivity
One of the funniest shows ever, but also dealt with some serious issues on occasion in a thoughtful, respectful and sensitive way. The show always gave me laughter, but many times also brought tears to my eyes and made us think about issues...thanks to the writing, directing and acting. Issues dealt with in one or more episodes include HIV/AIDS, death of an offspring, interracial marriage, dementia/Alzheimers, homelessness, illegal immigration, GLBT acceptance and so many others. It was never "in your face", for lack of a better expression, like "All in the Family" (also an excellent series), but unlike most sitcoms of the time was courageous enough to deal with serious issues occasionally while maintaining the humor on a consistent basis.
Family Guy: Quagmire's Dad (2010)
A sympathetic portrayal of an oft misunderstood minority
Some have posted reviews blasting the hatred and violence against transsexualism in this episode. There wasn't so much hatred as confusion and ignorance based on what most have been brought up with to feel is normal (disclaimer: I have nothing against transsexuals...it's their choice). Violence against transsexuals? Not depicted in the least (and I watched a few times to make sure). The only violence was Quagmire beating the crap out of Brian for...well spoiler alert. Quagmire's Dad/Ida was portrayed very sympathetically and "this is what I am". Brian's puke moment was very accurately typical of most anyone who may have "slept" with a transsexual and found out after the fact without being told up front (exaggeratedly, but accurate). Ultimately, Quagmire supported his transsexual Dad. This episode, while really treading controversial territory, remained sensitive to its subject matter. The important thing to remember is that this is a COMEDY show! It's not preaching or trying to tell the public how to behave. It's shedding a light, comedic beacon on society and human nature. Just accept it for what it is and don't expect it to change society. It's a friggin' cartoon for Heaven's sake!
The beginning of a legendary career
I fell in love with Jackie, like so many others, when she sang as a contestant on America's Got Talent...just in total awe of her natural vocal gift, and endeared by her personality. For those who fell in love with her for the same reasons, this presentation will not disappoint. Flawlessly singing an array of songs from pop to Broadway to opera, and just kicking butt in all the genres covered, Jackie remains America's Sweetheart (but an amazingly talented sweetheart). The production values of the filming are top notch, and the setting at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida at the time of day when day is turning into night just enhances the performance. I'm especially happy that the end credits list every musician and backup singer by name rather than just naming the orchestra and choirs. If you enjoyed watching Jackie on AGT...if you enjoy great music...this is a must watch. (I still can't get over the fact that she's just 11 years old)