I recall as a child sitting down to the TV with my parents and siblings and the family dog. Even with only the three stations our antennae could pull in, there were shows that a family could watch together that did not include gratuitous sex, violence, or swearing, lots and lots of swearing, and adult themes were very limited until after 8 or 9 when the kids could be expected to be in bed.
I’m not anti-Television. I am a kid of the TV generation who grew up watching family shows in the evening before being sent off to bed for the night. I recall murder mysteries were movies like Columbo with hardly any violence shown, and the most exciting programs were Charlie’s Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. I love TV but I don’t want my small children exposed to murder, rape, and the hook-up culture. I don’t want their vocabulary enhanced by swearing. I don’t want them to think the idiot behavior on the reality television programs is, well, reality! I resent that my good memories of shows like the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie with Mom and Dad in their favorite chairs and all of us kids and our dog, Patsy, on the big pillow in the middle of the rug cannot be repeated with my own children unless I go buy some old TV show on DVD.
Tonight, yet again, I have gone around the dial and except for PBS there is not ONE program on the stations I can get on our television that doesn’t have to do with murder, or rape, or both, with gratuitous sex or other adult themes thrown in– and it is only 7PM.
Come on people! I do not believe for one moment that people out there lack the talent to bring exciting programs to life that are not focused on the narrow band of themes we seem to be getting day after day.
I want a show that is interesting and exciting and still something I can watch with my small children, AND is still powerful enough to keep my husband from getting bored and leaving the room. Actual family shows.
Meanwhile, at a time of day when I would love to be snuggling the kids and watching TV before bed, I’ve turned it off and odds are good that I won’t turn the TV back on after the kids are in bed either.
I guess I ought to be grateful that television is so awful that I turn it off. Perhaps I should be glad that our entertainment people are making it plain that unless we want our children to grow up in a ghetto of sex and violence as entertainment then we have to have them grow up separated from TV all together. Perhaps rather than complain, I should thank them that TV is so bad I woke up and shut it down. It may very well be better this way.
Dear Lord, thank You that we can turn off the television and avoid the trash that passes for entertainment. Please help the young people who might want to make something BETTER of the medium of television to learn their craft well and produce good quality shows that improve people by inspiring them to seek to be virtuous even as they are entertained. Amen.