Monday, November 27, 2006

Rienstra Family Jumping the Shark?

AP - Grand Rapids -- The Rienstra Family show, after many successful seasons, may finally be jumping the shark. As the children get older, the daily family cute-o-meter has been seeing a steady decline, despite compensatory gains in chore accomplishment, musical advancement, and political humor. Mia is now fully entering her cranky adolescence, and Jacob and Philip are growing in testiness (or testosterorneriness).

It was long ago that a toddling Pip asked for a hug by saying "Pweease?"...

...and even longer when a cuddly Jacob hid by climbing into his clothes cubby...

...and back in the mists of pre-history that Miriam put a stick in her mouth and asked Dad to play fetch on the beach.

So, in what some see as a desperate bid to recapture the prized 'grandma' demographic, we have been seeing more and more of next-door neighbor and Cute Overload poster boy, Nathan Williams. With his big brown-eyed wonder at the world, his precocious vocabulary, and his only-child forthrightness, he's become a regular and delightful visitor in the Rienstra household at playtime.

Whether this old ploy will work remains to be seen. The cultural consensus is that the classic family show, the Brady Bunch, jumped the shark when they brought onto the show the way-too-cute-next-door-neighbor Oliver. The same fate could await the Rienstras. Or they could go even further in their desperate bid for cuteness: rumors suggest that negotiations are currently underway for a permanent addition to the family -- a puppy.

Is that a dorsal fin I see in the water?

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