It has been 50 years since “The Flintstones” first premiered on ABC in 1960. It’s easy to forget about what a huge influence the Yabba-Dabba-Doo had on our existence, but those boneheaded cave-dwellers were the original gangsters of prime-time cartoons. Thirty years before we were quoting Homer Simpson, Fred Flintstone was our man with a plan. They graduated cartoons from Saturday morning to prime time! If it wasn’t for Hanna-Barbera’s contributions to society, we might have been forced to grow up and watch (gasp) un-animated shows, losing out on the genius that is “South Park” and “Family Guy.” And because it’s such a special time in history, we’re going to look back on everything “The Flintstones” have given us. Obviously, the family husband-wife archetype didn’t originate with “The Flintstones,” but they certainly did a good job of carrying it into the cartoon genre. Fred is the accident-prone, easily-angered husband figure and Wilma is the more intelligent, sensible and better-looking wife. Now look at Homer and Marge or Peter and Lois. Even with five decades of technology, the animated rom-com has not changed all that much and its lessons have remained relatively constant. As girls, we were taught to have relatively low expectations in finding a husband and that we can secretly maintain control while pretending our husbands are the brains. Meanwhile, boys were taught that someone will inevitably love them despite their apparent flaws and that you’re never too old to get into mischief.
I guess from Barney and Betty, we learned that if you’re willing to marry a short guy, he’ll probably be nice to you? I think we all learned that you don’t mess with redheads and that it’s important for a woman to learn self-defense. The ladies taught us about keeping a clean house and accessorizing with animal prints. Pebbles taught us about crop-tops and high ponytails. We learned how to cook Woolly Mammoth, which has proven quite useful in the modern age. They also taught us that married life will be full of disasters but ultimately, love and family will conquer all catastrophes.
And perhaps most importantly, they taught us to always take our vitamins. Thank you Flintstones, for 50 years of lessons!