Do Family Shows Exist Anymore?

The girl child is currently on screen time restrictions (again) for taking a break on some homework assignments. This is the second time it’s happened this school year. I really hope she learns the lesson this go round. Doubtful, but I’m cautiously optimistic. So, until her grades are back up to B’s or better across the board, she only gets one hour per day of her chosen screen, which is usually a game of some sort. The rest of the time she’s restricted to whatever we may be watching, which isn’t a lot usually!



A few of weeks into the restrictions, she started encouraging us to go back and watch Big Bang Theory from the beginning so she could see it more than just in snippets walking through the room. Sarcasm is basically her Mother Tongue, so she’s really attracted to the show. We struggled for a while on wether or not it was appropriate for her. She’s still just 11, no matter how much she wants to be 21. There’s not a lot of bad content in the show, but they do occasionally talk about sex. Let’s face it though, she hears way worse than that at school I’m sure! We finally relented and had been watching a couple of episodes a night after dinner until our blu-ray player got hit by lightening right before we went on vacation. That’s a whole ‘nother story of electronic angst that my husband is still sorting through…

I’ve always loved witty shows with fast dialogue that makes you think. Over the summer while her father was gone, we watched several seasons of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer because it’s one of my all time favorites and I thought it would be cool for her to see one of the iconic female leads. Plus, I think Joss Whedon is a god and I wanted something that she and I could share to make that time special. We kind of tapered off in the second season of the college years because I forgot about how dark it got for a bit; but, I’m sure we’ll finish it eventually and pick up with Angel. At some point I’ll suggest Firefly, because again, Joss, and this seems like a good time to be a Brown Coat. She has been know to hang out on the couch with me when I’m watching reruns of Star Trek: TNG and she loves the original movies. The X-Files are on the future list because she tends to like the geeky things and mysteries and Moulder and Scully shaped a lot of current television crime drama as well as showing another strong female lead.



I’m glad she’s gotten out of the Disney stage, not the princesses, the tv shows with the snarky teens. She watched them quite a bit at one point and I hated her behavior at the time. I’m obviously all for sarcasm, or snarkasm as she’s termed it, but there was just blatant disrespect in so many of those shows. Her behavior became horrid and she was constantly talking back to us. I actually hoped for reasons to justify taking it away from her and was amazed at how just a few days without it returned her to a semi-compliant, loving child.

I remember watching shows with my parents ALL THE TIME as a kid… Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett and because I lived in the sticks, Hee-Haw was always a given. But, it just seems like the bulk of prime time television isn’t really family friendly anymore. I have a low tolerance for animation so I don’t like a ton of cartoons and even most of those seem to be skewed to a higher age bracket. Are there any shows that don’t make you cringe at some point if your children are in the room? What do you watch on a regular basis as a family? Or do you avoid the TV completely?


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