Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taming the TV too

I'm a sucker for tv shows. It doesn't take much for me to get hooked on a new show. When I was growing up we didn't watch a whole lot of tv but we did get to enjoy the Friday night ritual of "TGIF". In college I remember arranging my schedule around "Must See TV" and going to my friends' dorm room to watch Friends and ER together. My hubby and I were big Lost fans (though we disagree on how we feel about the way it ended).
Over the years I have noticed the quality of television changing. In some ways its getting better; the acting, special effects, etc. But in others I think the quality is going down. I cannot think of any shows that are genuinely family friendly anymore. When I was a teen we watched Saved By The Bell now teens are watching Gossip Girl, Secret Life of the American Teenager and Skins. I read an interesting article comparing what teens in the '80s were watching versus current trends in teen viewing. What a huge difference in the content of shows marketed toward teens now. The media is encouraging teenage sexuality and substance abuse more and more.

According to an article on the Presidential Prayer Team's website: “Television carries the imprimatur of acceptability for all kinds of activities,” according to popular culture expert and Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson. “Once prime time television decides to absorb something, it becomes a stamp of normalcy. It’s no longer controversial. It’s no longer a big deal. It makes it a casual, accepted sort of thing.”

As someone who has pretty traditional family values I have had to reevaluate my own tv viewing. Do I want to support shows that do not share my values? It seems to me that most tv shows now do not have any values at all. I have been convicted about my tv choices for awhile. And over time I have chosen to say goodbye to a few of my old tv shows... Glee, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries... I have by no means found any perfect shows, but because it is so hard to find quality tv viewing, we primarily are watching older shows on Netflix now.

Everyone has different views on values and tv viewing. I am not trying to convince anyone to give up anything. Just sharing about what I have been thinking about. Do you need help deciding what tv shows and movies are appropriate for your family viewing? Here are a few resources to give you the needed information to make educated decisions about your screen time.
Plugged In - gives reviews and content breakdowns for movies and tv shows - full content reviews - offers a Christian look at pop culture

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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