(Hanna-Barbara Cartoon Families)
Apparently, the stone age was just like a 1950s American Sitcom. Who would’ve thought it? The Flintstones contains so many factual inaccuracies it would take a whole review to list them. So I will. For a start, no matter what Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell might tell you, at no point in history did man and dinosaur coexist. In the era of the dinosaurs the only mammals were little furry mice. Even considering some kind of Lost World style enclave which survived extinction, the dinosaurs portrayed in The Flintstones (those that had any basis in reality) would not coexist. They’d eat each other, then Fred Flintstone. Plus, all the inhabitants of Bedrock are Caucasian, but it is implicit that the series is set in America, judging by the climate and fauna. Yet there were no Caucasians in America, save a few Vikings, until 1496. Even the indigenous population were fairly late arrivals archeologically speaking. And to hypothesise that, not only was there a society of white people and dinosaurs living together in harmony, but that this society had progressed to the stage of developing currency, buildings, even rudimentary transport, for goodness sake, it just stretches the imagination a little too much. The Flintstones makes Braveheart seem historically accurate.
Now this is more like it. A worthy extrapolation of what the future will be like, and in the 21st century it’s uncanny just how much they’ve got right. Sure we don’t have robot maids or flying cars yet, but video phones, computers and short bad tempered bosses are all common place. But, the genius of the show is how it used the future as a mirror to satirise the society of the time. Kids unintelligible dances and fashions become even more unintelligible and alien. The increasing mechanisation of the workplace is represented by George’s job consisting of pressing one single button. By looking at the future the show forced Americans to look at themselves. But it was satire with a heart, and that heart was George and his family. They all loved each other, even the hired robot help, and it was reassuring that love and family would still be around, even though they looked in danger of collapsing at the time. The future’s bright, the future’s The Jetsons.