I am writing this halfway through the first episode of The Michael J. Fox Show, and I can already tell you, with 100% assurance; this show rocks-and not just because the main character shakes for the majority of the hour long first episode, but because it is genuinely funny. This show heats up my Thursday better than a Billy goat’s butt in a pepper patch. The way this man, Michael J. Fox finds happiness in an otherwise unhappy situation is brilliant. I write this during the commercial break, and worry that I may miss a segment or two if I go into detail, so forgive my haste.
Parkinson’s disease is something my family has been acquainted with, as my grandfather, God rest his shaky soul, suffered from it most of my life. I never remember a breakfast at Grandma’s that did not include all of us grandkids making hopeful eye contact that this time, Grandpa would actually spill his Bloody Mary. This show; it finds my funny bone more than most these days, and it brings me to a happy place of nostalgia that no other has been able to provide.
Some may find his attempts at humor too scripted or too attacking of himself, but I find it rather hopeful. Hopeful that one day, should I be faced with a debilitating disease, I too can remain constant in my humor, gratitude, and relationship with family. I say he heats up my Thursday because not since September 20, 1984, when Bill Cosby gave me my first belly laugh have I been able to say a Thursday has brought me this kind of comfort in amusement. Sure, Friends and Seinfeld brought me joy, but there is never one as powerful as the first, right?
The constant banter between Michael J. Fox and his television family is simply perfection, and the relationship between he and his news director/ longtime friend, Harris Green (played by actor Wendell Pierce), could not be any more genuine or realistic. This show provides me with that which I have missed over the past few years of television viewing- a comfort in laughing at that I find funny, no matter how politically incorrect it may be.
Michael J. Fox takes on issues that plague every family in this country. Fears are faced, children are, well, children, and perfection is something not expected from this family, only a sense of giving it your all. This is a lesson many of us could use on a daily basis. As a modern family, mine is one that sees much diversity, and that is something not often captured the right way on American television. This time, though, America has done it right. Michael J. Fox, I applaud your comfort within your own skin. I give props to you and your writers and anyone involved with a show that helps us feel a bit more human. I thank you for giving me back my belly laughs, and I especially thank you, as does my family, for heating up my Thursday night. That’s just my take, though.
Written by: Amy Magness Whatley