Over on Slate.com today there’s a column about my favorite new show “Little People Big World” (Sat. 8/7c on TLC). I watch very little television, but I’ve actually been making an effort to try and catch this one simply because I think the family involved is so wonderful. The show is about a family where mom and dad are little people. They have 4 kids – 3 are average sized and one who is also a little person. The columnist for slate.com thinks that a big part of the appeal is allowing people to stare as much as they want without feeling bad about it. After all, the show isn’t exactly edge-of-your-seat drama. I disagree. I enjoy watching it because we see this family defying whatever expectations we may have and being such a neat, better-than-average family. So often when we see people who face challenges on TV, the urge for Hollywood is to “make them real” by having them deal with the sort of sorrid-ness and disfunction Hollywood seems to think is normal. However, this show has a real family who, while not perfect, are refreshingly functional and really wonderful human beings. I think that is the essence of why it’s such a fun show – we relate to this family not because of their disfunction but because they’re people we’d actually like to have over for dinner. I think that any show which can cause people’s physical differences to become secondary to our admiration for them as people is doing something right.