Entertainment, Highbrow Family Values

I Feel So Dirty Redux

It’s been two weeks, and we are still watching American Idol. You may wonder how I can possibly stand to do such a thing, or to live with myself in the face of doing it.

Just before leaving for his symphony rehearsal, Snowman gave me a lecture about how his sister will be ruined forever by watching such a show. Her values, he feels, will be marred and skewed beyond redemption. She is already, he tells me, far too concerned about things like boys and social life and image.

I feel sure there was something I ought not have let him watch at 11, but I couldn’t think of it quickly enough.

I do have a vague recollection that The Father of My Children allowed the children to watch Seinfeld repeats, a show about which I had bitter feelings after hearing him laugh over the episode in which George’s fiancée died after licking toxic glue on the envelopes for her wedding invitations. Perhaps I took it too personally. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

He, on the other hand, gave me a hard time for letting #1 Son watch The Best Damn Show on Television, Homicide: Life on the Street. I’ve had a chance to watch some of the DVDs recently, and I stand by my decision. That was good acting, and it was good bonding time, too.

Snowman, meanwhile, has been my Lost watching buddy, and we got into 24 together. Neither of those is exactly highbrow, is it? But he’s not turning into a terrorist or a counter-terrorist, or even an Other.

Here’s what I think. I don’t really care what the show is, as long as it isn’t obscene. If my 6th grader wants to watch something with me, and spend time with me, and GET ALONG with me, I’m saying yes. Even if it makes me feel a little dirty.

7 thoughts on “I Feel So Dirty Redux”

  1. Okay, so there were some really good scenes last night but, overall, I was disappointed. Let’s get over The Others already!!
    I totally agree with what you have said. Bebo and I stop everything to watch Lost. We have also gone through The 4400 seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. It is our time and I fear that I will not have as much of that in the years to come.

  2. yeah, I’d say anything that a teen or pre-teen is willing to engage in in the same room as a parent—as long as it’s not illegal, I’d be doing it.

  3. You just reminded me of the evening I camped out on my couch to finally finish addressing my wedding invitations…which happened to be the night that the Seinfeld episode you mentioned aired for the first time.
    (I was more than a little creeped out.)

  4. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that 9-year-old daughter has watched Buffy with me on occasion — and has seen bits and pieces of quite a few episodes. She knows every word to every song from the musical episode (yes, I have the CD). She doesn’t get scared by the vampires and demons, but I do keep her away from the — um — hawt sex scenes in Season 6. That probably says something bad about our American acceptance of violence and abhorrence of sex…
    I can’t get 13-year-old to watch anything I like. She doesn’t like Buffy, she doesn’t like Veronica Mars, and I haven’t even tried Battlestar Galactica with her.

  5. I do pretty much agree with what you said here, but (and maybe I’m doing little besides revealing how much I don’t understand what it means to have a teenager) I wonder about your claim that watching tv together is actually spending time together. I mean, if you’re watching tv isn’t it more like spending time in each other’s vicinity? Maybe that’s less true with American Idol, which I don’t like as a show but it seems like the one appeal to it would be talking about the contestants’ performances?
    I really don’t have very clearly defined ideas on this point, but it just seems like watching television is as usually more about being disconnected from the people around you than anything else.

  6. That’s a good question. In this case, we are responding and commenting throughout the show, basically carrying on a conversation while the TV show does its thing.
    The Princess really hasn’t watched any evening TV before, with the exception of a special movie from time to time, so if we’re choosing to watch something together (and this applies with the boys and Pure Luck, too), we’re engaged with each other as well as the show.
    That is not true when I have CNN on as a backdrop to knitting or blogging.

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