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10 Shows That Weren't Afraid To Get Real With Their Audiences, Even When It Broke Our Hearts

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There were a lot of people telling us not to watch too much TV when we were young. I always remember that my Grammie would tell me that if I watched too much TV my eyes would go cross-eyed.

But the thing is, watching TV was how we learned a lot of our really big lessons! Growing up in a small town before the internet existed, I tended to miss out on a lot of the big issues that our world had. I was in the self-contained bubble and while it was a nice and safe place to grow up in, it means that we were blind to a lot of real topics. That's where TV came in.

TV taught us all about the real issues in the world.

There were so many shows that made us realize that not everyone was experiencing life the same as we were, and it helped us become more understanding people.

Here are 10 examples of shows that weren't afraid to get into the deeper issues in the world.

1. Punky Brewster

Punky Brewster went through a lot on her show, but the one episode people remember more than anything was when she rescued her friend Cherie when she got stuck inside of a fridge. They were playing hide and seek, and the young girl got stuck inside.

Punky discovers her unconscious and thanks to the CPR class she had taken earlier, she knew just what to do. She saves Cherie's life while also delivering a message to kids that it's not safe to play inside old fridges.

Punky Brewster Fridge Episode

It was really scary for kids to see, and the producers said that even though they took the back of the fridge off when they put the young actress in there, the children in the studio audience were screaming "get her out!"

But the episode worked out, because after the show aired the producers got a call from a woman whose husband was saved by children who had seen the CPR episode.

2. Saved By The Bell

A lot of people joke about the episode when Jessie was taking caffeine pills because it was so over the top, but when you find out that the original intention was for it to be speed, not caffeine.

Saved By The Bell Jessie

The network forced them to change it but kept the rest of the episode the same. It's heartbreaking to watch her break down, but it was an important lesson about addiction that we needed to learn.


MASH was already in an interesting territory because they were constantly in a war zone, but when Hawkeye tells a story about a woman who is trying to keep a chicken quiet while the enemy was attacking everyone watching fell quiet. When he later revealed that the woman wasn't trying to keep a chicken quiet, but instead her child, it got too real.

MASH Chicken episode

Hearing Hawkeye breakdown while he told the story of a woman who had to smother her own child to save the group of people who were hiding together was absolutely devastating.

4. Blossom

A lot of girls seemed to get crushes on the cool, popular boys, but when Blossom ended up going on a date with him, it goes very badly. He ends up hitting her right in the face and it's horrible to see.

Blossom Abuse Episode

Assault against women is not often shown on TV, especially on family comedies. The show really gave a look into what a lot of others aren't willing to.

5. Boy Meets World

Remember that happy show where the two soulmates fall in love when they are like 14 years old, and then there's that really good teacher? Yeah, remember that time one of the main characters joined a cult? Yeah... That happened.

Boy Meets World Cult Episode

There was an episode where Shawn was going through a lot, and then he ended up finding this new "group" that took over all of his time and tried to pull him away from his friends. But then, Mr. Turner was in a motorcycle accident and his true friends reminded him of who really mattered.

It was kind of scary to see how easily Shawn was manipulated, and it probably made kids a little more wary when it came to the people they surrounded themselves with.

Those aren't even the most dramatic episodes...

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