Carla and Frank

Carla en Frank van PuttenIn the first half of the 1990s, Kees van Kooten and Wim de Bie appeared in twelve television skits as Carla and Frank van Putten, mother and son. Each installment follows a fixed plot development, in which Carla’s domineering behavior causes deep frustration with Frank. I investigate how these skits relate to Momism: a psychiatric and sociological discourse that ascribes a large number of “disorders” with men – including asthma, autism, homosexuality, and schizophrenia – to an incorrect upbringing by a mother who suffocates (too hot) or neglects (too cold) her son. Van Kooten and De Bie are commonly thought to make subversive satire. However, by way of a narratological analysis I show that, with the exception of the first two skits, the viewer is consistently invited to laugh at Carla as a bad mother.

Oever, Roel van den. “Carla en Frank van Putten, moeder en zoon: Een narratologische analyse van de Van Kooten en De Bie filmpjes.” Tijdschrift voor genderstudies, vol. 16, no. 3, 2013, pp. 44-53.