Of all the popular '90s shows, 7th Heaven was often one of the most cringe-worthy. Despite the sanctimony and self-righteousness of Reverend Camden and his wife, Annie, the show was wildly popular, even among younger viewers. Everyone loved the 7th Heaven characters. The problem is that, although the show presented itself as morally infallible, there were actually a lot of questionable parenting decisions. Bad TV parents who deserve to have their kids taken away are nothing new but the kids on this relatively Christian show had direly problematic parents, and no one noticed.
Even some of the best episodes of 7th Heaven contain examples of objectively bad parenting. Here is a myriad of instances in which the Camdens should be criticized for their parenting technique instead of blindly celebrated for it.
Eric's Not Overly Concerned By Apparent Inter-Familial Relations
In this supposedly whimsical scene, Mary has convinced her older brother to give her a kissing lesson. Father Eric walks in, sees them, and does indeed look a little disconcerted but when Matt says, "It's not what it looks like," Dad simply responds, "That's a relief." Then he walks away. It looks like his two oldest children are about to kiss each other, Eric Camden is allowed to freak out. Instead, he reserves his freakouts for more minor offenses.
Reverend Eric Threatens To Drug Test All Of His Kids, Even The Little One
In the second season episode "Who Knew," Daddy Camden finds a joint in the house and straight up interrogates his family (he actually finds it in the dog's mouth). He sits the kids on the couch and demands to know whose it is, even threatening to drug test all of them if they don't come clean.
First of all, Simon appears to be around 11-years-old at this point in the series, so maybe he should be exempt from the urine testing. For that matter, he probably shouldn't be there at all. Lucy then pipes in to suggest that maybe it's mother Annie's weed because it was found in her dresser. Apparently, Mom isn't allowed to speak as she just sighs while the reverend's anger spikes. Finally, Matt admits to narcotic possession and the family is dismissed so the good Reverend can scream at his son like he had dragged a metric ton of cocaine into the house.
Annie, to her credit, tries to talk Eric down afterward, revealing that she had smoked pot as a kid. Her hubby doesn't respond well. “How could you just drop a bomb on me like that and then serve eight people and a dog a meatloaf like nothing happened?” asks Eric.
Yes, the '90s were a confusing time but to react as though marijuana is the end of all things and traumatize your kids over it is a little much.
Annie Is Undisturbed By A Midnight Make-Out Sesh That Both Of Her Daughters Participate In
In "Letting Go," the 19th episode of the sixth season, the Camdens awake to a disturbance in their house at 2am and go down to the kitchen to investigate. They find Lucy and Mary making out with their respective boyfriends in the kitchen. There's nothing wrong with adults kissing. The weird part is that these sisters are making out with their boyfriends, who are brothers, all in the same room in the middle of the night. That's just a little messed up.
In this case, Reverend Eric is actually justified in being a bit put off but Annie is just so thrilled to see them that she starts making sandwiches for everyone. Annie ought to be at least a little creeped out. What would have happened if the parents hadn't discovered them?
Eric Needs To Know When To Walk Away, Like During His Daughter's Sensual Dance Routine, For Instance
In this scene, which is supposed to be funny, Eric walks in on his high school daughter practicing grown-up dance moves. Instead of being comical, it ends up being one of the most uncomfortable scenes in television history. The reverend watches her for about 15 seconds and walks away. Now he's clearly disturbed by what he's seeing but that doesn't change the fact that it takes him entirely too long to walk away. Given the disturbing news of Stephen Collins's sexual misconduct with underage girls that has since come to light, this scene becomes even more upsetting.