I'm a couch potato. Anyone who knows me knows that I can waste a good four hours in front of the television. Some people garden. Some read. I watch mind-numbing trash in an effort to escape my reality. My genre of choice is reality housewives or psychic housewives.
Lately I've gone against type. I've been enjoying a more thought-provoking, scripted show. A work of fantasy that makes me contemplate life. The show, nay, masterpiece, is Sofia the First. It's on Disney Junior and I go to bed early Thursday nights so I can wake up Friday mornings at 6:30 to watch.
It's about a "village girl" named Sofia who's "doin' all right" who "became a princess overnight" when her seamstress mother marries the King. So sayeth the opening title song.
It's a Disney fairytale and for 22 minutes I suspend disbelief and attend a royal slumber party. (Not pass out in my sweats with a toddler's foot in my face. ) I ride a flying horse. (Not a filthy car with an unexplained b.o. escaping through the air conditioning.) And I make music with the local trolls. (Not alone at my piano contemplating my operatic comeback at age 37.) Friday mornings at 6:30 I'm not a couch potato mom in need of a root touch-up and a manicure. I am Princess Genna.
But here's where they lose me.
Never has Sophia mentioned her father. Not once. In fact, the moment her mother marries the King she immediately calls him Dad. That's not her Dad. Where is Sofia's father? Why is there no mention of him?
Okay, so maybe, just maybe, and this is just me spitballing...
Sofia's father cheated on her mom with many, but ultimately left the mom, Miranda, for some local hotsy-totsy. So the King, known for being "down with the villagers," takes pity on her. He drops in on Miranda's little shop just to let her know that the whole kingdom is behind her and that she'll be "doin' alright" in no time.
Their eyes lock. There's heat, but he's the King and married, and she's certainly not going down that road.
The King and Miranda see each other from time to time at local ribbon-cutting ceremonies and Best Pet in the Kingdom competitions. Things like that.
At some point, the Queen notices their mutual attraction and in an attempt to control the situation commissions Miranda to make her a gown to be worn at the big Inner-Village Peasants and Noble People Ball like they have at Downton Abbey.
Knowing this is the job opportunity of a lifetime, Miranda slaves for days over the gown. She works her fingers till they bleed. She calls in the local woodland creatures to help. The gown is a masterpiece.
Miranda shows up at the ball knowing she has ensured a better life for herself and Sofia, only to find that the Queen has done a full switch-a-roonie. She's wearing some other local designer's gown. The Queen whispers in Miranda's ear, "Stay away from my husband, you whore."
Miranda runs out of the ball in tears. Is it not humiliation enough that her scumbag village photographer husband left her for a young circus clown? Must she endure the humiliation of the Queen as well? The King sees her leaving and runs after her. He takes her hand and apologizes for his wife's behavior. He explains that she struggles with bipolar disorder and is hideously unattractive. He apologizes because he knows he has been inappropriate with his advances. He begs her forgiveness and gently kisses her wet hand. It's raining.
The Queen watches the exchange and comes charging after Miranda but a mischievous woodland creature trips the Queen and she falls in a mud puddle. The poor Queen has humiliated herself in front of the entire Kingdom of Enchancea.
That night, in an act of great selflessness, the Queen hangs herself. The King is beyond thrilled to find her lifeless body dangling and immediately heads to the village to claim the seamstress and her, let's face it, bastard child. The King's teenage children are told never to mention their mother's name again and poor little Sofia, the kindly bastard child of the local seamstress is now Sofia the First with a talking pet rabbit named Clover, played by American treasure Mr. Wayne Brady.
That's just one possible theory. There could be a different back story but I highly doubt it.
Yes. It's my favorite show but that doesn't mean it gets a free pass.
To this day, I struggle with what happened to Carole and Mike Brady's spouses. There's no "every other weekend" for that Bunch. Cindy never went to behavioral therapy because her father abandoned her. If Mr. Brady's wife had died why didn't they discuss her? What? She dies and they all just pretend she never existed? And none of the girls rebelled? Their father up and leaves Mrs. Brady for some chicky and gives up all custody of his kids? He's got some new young trick who spends all his money and the kids are all cool with that? Please. That's not real life. In real life, those Brady girls are slutbags.
Here is real life. You marry. You have the best of intentions. You try your hardest. Sometimes it ends. You share your kids with people who have hurt you in ways you can never describe. You smile through it, cause you're "doin' alright." You watch your young boys love another woman. It hurts. You smile. You make the best of things. You cry when you don't get to spend Mother's Day with them. You pray that only kind words are said about you and you do the same, though it kills you inside. You meet a good man. A kind man. A man of integrity. They call him Zack, not Dad. You lead your children by example and you carry on.
And every Friday morning, you wake up at 6:30 to watch the fantasy version of divorce and mixed families with your two young boys. You force them to sing the opening song with you. Sometimes you wear costumes. You squeeze them and hold on for dear life because you know these days of fantasy are fleeting and soon there will be real questions to answer. The holes in the story will need to be filled and they will realize that life is not a fairytale after all.