I have watched several seasons of the show and I have to say Billy Gray is not totally correct. I can't say anything about whether or not there were black people in the show because I haven't seen all seasons but in Father Knows Best there is sibling rivalry, arguing, back biting, lying, stealing, yelling, running away, laziness and more. You get the idea; family problems. In today's entertainment these situations are found also. The difference is that in Father Knows Best the problem is solved, usually in a moral way. Now I may not always agree with the way James Anderson, the father, played by Robert Young, handled the situation but I have to admit it is much better than what you might find on today's show. These issues may pale in consideration to the problems of today, especially with the internet and all electronics but in some ways they are very similar. Maybe these are the small issues but doesn't Solomon 2:15 say:
15 Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom."
In one episode of Father Knows Best, young Bud is caught lying. He tries to cover his lie by lying more. Finally in the end, he has to tell the truth. The response by the father I think is a very great response and IMHO one of the best responses in family sitcoms. He had already told Bud that if went to a certain place he would lose his allowance for 3 months. Bud snuck out of the house and went where he was not supposed to be. With a certain turn of events he needed to confess. The father told Bud because he told the truth and that he wanted Bud to know the weight of honesty he would reconsider the punishment.
Of course, today shows like Father Knows Best where we try to solve our problems in a moral way are gone. Lost. Shows are about sex and not even sex between a husband and wife, just sex and homosexuality and how it is okay to break up the family. These shows reek of immorality and are horrible examples to society.
The reasons I like Father Knows Best, The Donna Reed Show, Ozzie and Harriet, and the Dick Van Dyke Show is because they did not need to include sex to get a laugh. They solved their problems in ways that were meant to build the family. Meant to keep the family together. Were there problems in the families, yes, but morals were not made fun of and laughed at and called "syrupy". They were upheld. I did not grow up in that era and my family life had problems too and sometimes they were solved in good ways and sometimes in not so good ways. I wish my growing up years our family was closer. I know families that are close today and that is what I strive for and pray for; a moral, godly, Catholic family.
What we put in our eyes, ears and mind will shape our thoughts and our actions. Should we not watch something that builds us up?
In Miranda Prorsus, Encycyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Communications Field: Motion Pictures, Radio, Television September 8, 1957 he states:
"for these new means of communication clearly have a great influence on the way individuals and human society as a whole think and act."
Doesn't it seem that still holds true today.
"17. The remarkable progress made by modern technology in the fields of motion pictures, radio, and television have given rise to great benefits, and to just as great dangers. For these new means of communication are within the reach of almost everyone, and thus exercise a powerful influence over men's minds. They can enlighten, ennoble, and adorn men's minds, but they can also disfigure them with dark shadows, disgrace them with perversity, and expose them to unrestrained passions, according as the shows they offer present our senses with objects that are proper or improper.
18. During the past century the technological progress made by industry has often had this result, that the machines which were intended to serve man have actually reduced him to serfdom, to his great loss. And so today the mounting technological advances in communicating pictures, sounds, and ideas must be subjected to the sweet yoke of the law of Christ if they are not to become a source of countless evils which will be all the more serious in that they will enslave not only the powers of nature but also those of the soul. In this event, man's inventions would be stripped of that beneficent usefulness which, in God's provident design, is their primary purpose."
"43. Indeed, this should be the primary aim of motion pictures, radio, and television: to serve truth and virtue.
44. They should serve the spread of truth so that the bonds between peoples will be made closer, so that men will have better mutual understanding and will assist one another in time of crisis, and, finally so that there will be genuine cooperation between public authority and individual citizens."
"the heaviest responsibility falls on the authors and producers, though for a different reason. Awareness of this burden does not impede worthwhile undertakings, but ought rather to strengthen the minds of those who are endowed with good will and are influential in the production of films by reason of their financial position or natural talent."
There is so much more to that encyclical but you kind of get the idea.
True we don't all live perfect, loving lives all the times and our families don't always solve problems the way Mr. Anderson did, we are sinners and in need of Our Savior and his guidance given through the Catholic Church, but wouldn't it be better to strive for that loving atmosphere then to adopt a give up attitude that says, "my family is not like that and won't be so I am not going to watch it. Instead I am going to watch a show with worse problems than mine and I will feel better."
No, I am not Margaret Anderson or Donna Stone, for one thing I don't smile like that while doing laundry,
As Proverbs 31:27 states: She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
and Titus 2: 3 - 7 Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.
The best mother in the world was our Blessed Mother. It doesn't get any better than Mary for our motherly example but for television viewing and female influences to watch for entertainment, check out the old sitcoms. Were they perfect, no, but they were better and much more traditionally family oriented and couldn't we use a lot more of that today.