WJLA-TV's Rene Poussaint says she's trying to get beyond "this Ozzie and Harriet facade that we've all been enamored with all these years" in her Focus 7 Special Wednesday evening, "A Change of Heart," airing at 8.
She says that most families really aren't structured that way anymore.
"It's basically a show about kinship relationships, about people trying to find love in various ways, and about the fact that most of the old traditional roles that we were all brought up with . . . no longer work, because society has changed so much. The show is really about people trying to create their own rules and their own families in nontraditional ways."
Among the folks Poussaint and producer Phyllis Ward visit are a lonely man in Boston, uncomfortable in singles bars, who as put a sign on his lawn advertising that he wants a wife; members of a traditional Amish family who describe their relationships; a local high school homecoming where they discovered that behind the "apple-pie scene" of pompons and smiles were some rather unconventional living arrangements.
"It's a very personal series of stories," said Poussaint. "We avoided 'experts' and preferred to let the people tell their own stories . . . We were amazed at how open people were in terms of sharing their inner thoughts and needs with us."
Poussaint said that the hour-long program points out that "most people, realistically, don't fall into that Ozzie and Harriet category now." She hopes to encourage people "to face the reality that very few people in this society conform to this . . . The reality behind the facade is very different from what we've grown up with."