Hi Arnold the writer is considering making Helga’s mom an alcoholic

Hey Arnold! Writer Joe Ansolabehir reflects on the decision to make Helga’s mother an alcoholic on the show and the studio’s response to it.

Hey Arnold! Writer Joe Ansolabehir pondered the decision to make Helga’s mother (Francesca Marie Smith), Miriam (Cath Susi), an alcoholic on the show. Hey Arnold! It is an American animated comedy show that premiered on Nickelodeon in 1996 and was one of the most mature children’s shows of that time period. The show follows Arnold (Alex de Lenz), a fourth-grader with a football head who lives with his grandparents in a boarding house in Hillwood, Washington. The show focuses on his adventures and the adventures of his various friends as they navigate the urban lifestyle and deal with the bully Helga, who is secretly crushing on Arnold.

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One of the most unique aspects Hey Arnold! is that it contained many mature themes that many children at the time missed, but later came to identify with as adults. In fact, the whole premise was very mature and thoughtful, considering it was a rare depiction of children from a working-class neighborhood who didn’t have much money. Hey Arnold! He also tackled heavy topics such as parental neglect and the painful effects of war, as well as challenging the ideal American life and nuclear family ideals that continued many of the sitcoms at the time. In addition, the show also addressed alcoholic parents.


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In an interview with Slash movieAnd the Hey Arnold! Writer Ansolabehir hoped to make Helga’s mother an alcoholic. At first, Ansolabehere’s writing partner, Steve Viksten, brought up the idea of ​​a character on the show who was an elderly alcoholic woman. When this idea was discarded, Viksten had the idea of ​​making Helga’s mother an alcoholic. The studio was originally against him but ended up letting him be subtly included in the show. Check out his statement below:

We will never see her, but she will always drink in her hand.


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Ansolabehere went on to describe how Helga’s mother’s alcohol addiction became a legendary ingredient on the show. It became so because he failed to notice most children at the time. It was only as the children got older that they suddenly began to notice hints that she was indeed an alcoholic. All the signs were there – the mother was often seen sleeping, woke up confused and overwhelmed by her words, she was constantly making drinks in the blender, and she always had a drink in her hand. While the kids will probably accept that she was just making “smoothies”, adults can easily put the pieces together.


Myriam’s addiction to alcohol Hey Arnold! It was definitely a surprising item to be included in the children’s cartoon show at the time. Nevertheless, it meshed well with the show’s attempt to present a realistic picture of children from a working-class neighborhood. Just like the show that sought to talk to kids who weren’t rich and didn’t come from the happiest families, the show tried to talk to the reality of kids who grew up with alcoholic parents. In addition, he brilliantly showed what alcohol addiction can look like from a child’s perspective. A child could only vaguely realize that something was out of reach, but he might still explain it away by thinking that the parent just likes to make a lot of juice. However, as they get older, they begin to recognize the signs and understand the seriousness of the situation. In making Helga’s mother an alcoholic Hey Arnold!The book manages to make the show more relevant to children who have grown up in less than ideal home situations.


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source: Slash movie

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