Television is so completely different nowadays than it was during the awesome eighties, it's almost mind blowing.
First of all, I don't even really watch tv. I watch some sort of internet streaming. Thanks to netflix, hulu, youtube etc...I can watch almost anything I want to at any time. That, in and of itself, would have been so over-the-top unthinkable during my childhood, it's like...wow. I feel so old telling my kids about tv before remote controls, or vcrs (what's that?).
Secondly, most of what is available is complete garbage. The over-sexualization of our media is beyond description. Yesterday, I was sick and so I made myself spend the entire day on the couch resting (moms out there- you know this can be difficult!). And, so of course, I watched a bunch of stuff on tv to pass the time (sadly, my hgtv and diy network passions are fading a bit so I didn't want to watch anymore home renovation shows) and the stuff available was awful! Just sick and disgusting, imo. So, as the day was winding down I searched for old episodes of Little House on the Prairie to have something decent to watch. By this time my kids were all home from school, and since I was the sick one, I had control over the remote, so they were subject to Little House. At first they were all so confused. It was like, what is this? When was this filmed? Is this the eighties? Mom, did you watch this in black and white when you were a kid? Blah, blah, blah...I'm all sit down and watch this children and you will learn a valuable life lesson, because that is what it is all about. Little House= learning valuable lessons.
So, we watched the episode called "sweet sixteen" where Laura Ingalls is becomes a brand new teacher and needs to fill in at a school close by for a couple of weeks. Almonzo Wilder is persuaded to chauffeur her to and fro. As the weeks go by, Almonzo begins to see that Laura is growing up and becoming a woman. Then he starts to fall hard for her (previously he had just seen her as a kid who was a family friend). Laura, on the other hand, had been in love with Manly for years, so she is kinda taken aback by his new vision on her. Anyways, they attend a church social on Laura's sixteenth birthday and they kiss after a very long and awkward conversation where he gives her a birthday gift (ugly scarf) and she tells him she's on his team(?). So, I'm watching this with my kids and I'm thinking two things; first, I love watching something like this with them that is not overly sexual and worldly. And, second, I love this love story. Sure, Manly is like ten years Laura's senior and stuff, but, the whole courting process is in full view and it is all so appropriate. He asks permission of Charles to date her. He opens doors and helps her into and out of the wagon. She plays a little bit hard to get. The look in each others eyes and speak from the heart (instead of texting- bletch!). It is real communication in an appropriate manor and it is teaching my kids something. I loved every second of it and I think, secretly, my kids liked it a little bit too. Oh, and another thing about Little House, they do hard things when it would be so much easier to try to take the easy way out. Remember the episode where Mary goes blind? The whole family is shaken down to their core, but Pa- oh I love Pa, puts one foot in front of the other and does some very tough stuff. He first decides he is going to be the one to tell Mary about her imminent blindness. Secondly, he and Caroline decide to send Mary to a school for the blind, even though she doesn't want to go and makes them feel very guilty. They do it anyways because they love her and know it is in her best interest. Such good examples these people are!
Third, tv these days is just so violent. It really is you guys. I know I sound like a stuffy old mom when I say it, but there really is almost no value given to human life in our entertainment industry. Kill people, torture them, blow up cities, be attacked by zombies...the list is endless and we call it entertainment for some reason. Now, I do understand that men, much more than women, get a "thrill up their leg" when they see and/or make something blow up. I know it must be some sort of primal, evolutionary thing, but the desensitization of our youth by showing such horrific images over and over again is not a good thing. I don't care if it is entertaining to you, it is terrible for society.
Fourth, what happened to good father role-models on tv? Honestly, I pine away for the days of old when men like Heathcliff Huxtable, Charles Ingalls, Steven Keaton and such were what we saw as father figures on television. Nowadays, the dads on tv are either absent, stupid, ineffective or criminal. The only one I can think of in recent history that has been fantastic was Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights.
And finally, on a lighter note, why in the world are the same people who were on Days of our Lives thirty years ago, still on it today? I just clicked by and saw Marlena, Bo, Hope, Roman, Jennifer and more. What in the world? Do these people not age? This is the best testament to the capabilities of plastic surgery I have ever scene. I mean, Bo must be in his 60's right? Oh my goodness, I cannot believe they are still on there and they still look virtually the same.