Monday, January 25, 2016

The Marilyn Syndrome

I've mentioned that I watch very little television anymore. I don't have cable or a dish. Instead, I find myself watching documentaries on you-tube. My favorites are the ones about TV series like The Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch. Truthfully, I doubt I can even name ten series on all the networks combined. Not sure what I'm missing but my guess is that it's not much. Last week, I watched a short documentary on The Munsters, the CBS hit which ran for several seasons from 1964 to 1966. Based on the monster movies of the previous generation, the Munster family was a spoof of a clan of macabre characters who considered themselves a typical middle class family. Three of the five roles were cast with very famous actors: Fred Gwynne as Herman, Al Lewis as Grandpa, and Yvonne De Carlo as Lily, Herman's wife. The Munsters was a rousing success for seventy episodes until running up against the TV version of Batman on ABC. But like so many shows of that generation, The Munsters lives on in syndication, endearing itself to new eras of fans who love watching the family that lives on Mockingbird Lane. 

There were two other characters besides the three I mentioned in the first paragraph. Butch Patrick played Eddie, Herman and Lily's widow peaked little boy. And then there was Marilyn Munster, Fred's niece. For the first thirteen episodes, Marilyn was played by Beverly Owen. But Miss Owen grew homesick for her boyfriend and subsequent husband and left the cast almost as soon as the show began airing. The producers replaced her with Pat Priest who looked so much like Beverly that few viewers noticed. Here's what I always thought was clever. Marilyn, whose character was modeled after Marilyn Monroe, was very pretty in stark contrast to her ghoulish relatives. But in that family, her beauty was perceived as ugliness. She couldn't keep a boyfriend; one meeting with the rest of the Munsters would send the would-be beau sprinting off in terror. She wondered what was wrong with her and Fred and Lily pitied her for her oddness and lack of beauty. In a world full of weirdness, the normal one was the curiosity. I thought it was the perfect reversal of societal stereotypes.

You know, I think there should be a little bit of the Marilyn Syndrome in us if we as believers are living as we should. The Apostle Peter put it like this in his first epistle, chapter four and verse four:In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (NKJV)
The these Peter refers to are, from the previous verse, lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
The world has not changed much from Peter's day. The sins he mentions still predominate our culture and the cultures of other lands. Keeping ourselves clean in any filthy era is never easy, especially as we strive to reach out to those who don't mind wallowing. Truthfully, many of us have wallowed ourselves but have emerged clean through the blood of Jesus and we should be an encouragement to those trying to escape. When Marilyn looked in the mirror, she saw a hideous form in her reflection. And yet, the rest of us saw a gorgeous young lady. Today, redemption still lies within the grasp of a searching world as we model the beauty of a loving God and His only Son. In a battle for the souls of humanity, be a Marilyn. The Lord will see.

Applicable quote of the day:
Lily Munster: [Taking Marylin's temperature] "Oh! She has a fever: Ninety eight point six."
Marilyn Munster: "But, but isn't that normal, Aunt Lilly?"
Lily Munster: "Oh heavens, no. We Munsters average in the low fifties."

To watch the episode, A Man For Marilyn, click or copy and paste the link below. You only have to watch a minute or two to get the idea of what I've been saying!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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