Tom Skerritt And Holly Marie Combs Once Starred Together In One Of The Most Controversial Shows On TV
Picket Fences only ran for four seasons, but it wasn’t due to a popularity issue. This Friday night drama aired from 1992-1996 before it was pulled for being « too controversial. » The truth is, Picket Fences was just way ahead of its time. While some of the show’s topics were based on some more fictitious type ideas, it was the ones that actually pointed out [real] life issues that got them canceled.
Labeled offensive by some right out the gate, Picket Fences got a lot of heat show after show, season after season. With themes before their time like, gender identity, LGBTQ+, and even polygamy, certain CBS affiliate stations simply refused to air it. Even winning fourteen Emmy Awards and having a star cast couldn’t keep this show alive. The world was not ready for Picket Fences and their « taboo » topics. All four seasons of Picket Fences can be streamed on Amazon Prime [finally]; but in the meantime, continue reading to see what had everyone so upset over this once described « family comedy. »
The Premise Of Picket Fences
The Brock family, which consisted of the local sheriff (Tom Skerritt), the town doctor (Kathy Baker), their two sons, Zach (Adam Wylie) and Matt (Justin Shenkarow), and his daughter Kim (Holly Marie Combs) from a previous marriage, was the main focus of the drama « Picket Fences, » which was set in the fictional rural town of Rome, Wisconsin.
Picket Fences provided a setting to look a little deeper into both the societal and private issues that were considered a bit indecorous in the early 90’s but are now plaguing modern America. Picket Fences strength and weakness was that it got in the public’s face. What is your perspective? How does this make you feel? But audiences do not like being required to think.
Picket Fences ended so abruptly that four episodes never got aired. The network will say it is because viewers were down; however, they were up for five Emmys that year.
Picket Fences On Roe v Wade And HIV
An elementary school class is given basic dental examinations by the local dentist at the beginning of the episode. One of the children accidentally bites the dentist as he places his fingers in his mouth. The dentist instantly becomes furious and starts screaming profusely at the children.
It would come to light that the dentist is a gay man who is also HIV positive. The town is in an upheaval over this and the show goes through looking at it from every perspective as Picket Fences always did. This is a huge part of the show that was intriguing. Seeing it from every angle made the audience see it from every angle. One moment they side with one character and then the next they are enlightened by another point of view.
The other part of this episode comes when a mother arrives in town. The audience finds out that a doctor abducted her daughter after the hospital declared her brain-dead following an accident. Although she is technically dead due to the absence of brain activity, she is also 15 weeks pregnant. The usage of life support allows her body and organs to continue to operate. The issue is that the doctor is her husband and wants to hold on to her through the baby, but the mother says she did not want to be kept alive on machines.
Picket Fences On Incest And Polygomy
Due to « offensive » content, KSL-Ch. 5 decided not to continue airing the CBS network sitcom. They said unless changes were made they would not ever air it again.
The episode of Picket Fences that stirred the pot here was when a teenage girl got pregnant as a result of incest. When her polygamist father is accused, he identifies himself as a Mormon.
The Virgin Mary Is A Transsexual
The traditional Rome Christmas pageant is about to start, but a local rabbi is suing over the issue of church and state segregation. Douglas Wambaugh, played by Fyvush Finkel, is Jewish, yet he chooses to speak in favor of Christmas. The beloved school teacher who is leading the pageant and portraying the Virgin Mary is a transsexual. Yes, Picket Fences addressed transsexuality as a contentious issue in 1992.
The show takes the issues seriously. Tom Skerritt has the ability to truly develop his character here. As the likable Sheriff Jimmy Brock, he harbors some extreme bigotry over this matter. In a scene where Jimmy and Jill are disputing about this, Skerritt excels at making Jimmy utterly obnoxious and unlikeable. The program is willing to have major characters, exhibit dreadfully repulsive tendencies. It’s realistic and challenging.
The Episode That Sent The Nation Spinning
It was L.A. Law that introduced girls (lesbians) kissing as a publicity ploy for « sweeps week, » an annual time when networks sought high ratings in order to renegotiate greater advertising prices for their programs. Before it ceased to be the source of controversy that it once was, the craze persisted for little over ten years. Two years later, Kimberly (Holly Marie Combs) and Lisa on Picket Fences share a kiss, which causes a panic in their town.
Better yet, all of this is just in season one! It only gets better from there. Picket Fences shows people how to look at a source of contention from all different angles. If someone is willing to open their mind to it, they could learn a lot from this 90’s classic.