Remember the TV comedy, “Third Rock From The Sun?” It was about four aliens (interstellar, not international) who, having been sent to Earth – the third rock from the sun – attain human form to try to understand human behavior.
They posed as the Solomon family. Dick, Sally, Tommy and Harry – Father, Sister, teenage son, and… whatever Harry was.
Well, last fall we took a day and visited the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford. Why is it there? I’ll tell you. The museum is located six blocks from the factory that made the “Kissel Kar” until the Great Depression depressed car sales.
You should go if you like old cars. As a bonus, you’ll see the red 1964 Rambler American that was featured as the Solomon’s vehicle in “Third Rock.” It’s the actual car, donated by the producers of the show.
Lately we’ve been binge watching episodes of “Third Rock” on Amazon. I find it has more moments that make me laugh than any current sit-com, though another cosmic-themed show, “The Big Bang Theory” is close.
“Third Rock” is about the intrepid travelers and makes fun of how they react to human traditions, emotions, and such. But really, the show also makes fun of those same traditions and emotions. Face it: much of what humankind does – even we socially evolved types – might look pretty silly to someone seeing us for the first time.
Imagine your first time seeing a bunch of people clap. If you had never seen anyone cry, wouldn’t it be odd? Sally in “Third Rock” starts to cry and thinks she’s leaking. She’s discovering sadness.
The show is mostly about relationships. All four of them struggle to have romantic connections to humans with various levels of success. They don’t understand all the subtle secrets of human interactions, like when telling the truth is good, and when it isn’t, and why we don’t attempt to seduce our office-mate with a strip-tease on the desk at work.
If you think about it, newborn babies might as well be from outer space in terms of what they know. Bit by bit we learn how things work, including relationships. Judging from what I’ve seen, just about the time when we’ve got it all figured out it’s time to depart this third rock for heaven.
At the end of each episode the Solomons get together to share their conclusions. Sometimes they are laughably wrong, and sometimes they are painfully right.
They stay longer than planned because the find humans fascinating.
So do I, and I hope to as well.