Sunday, September 05, 2010

Confessions of a TV-watching father

I really never thought much about what TV shows I'd be watching after kids came along.  Of course, no one knows what shows will be around 2 years down the road let alone 8, 10, or 15 years.  While Tyler was growing up, we watched countless hours and episodes of shows like "Barney" and "Pokemon."  He was (and still is, actually) also fond of watching "Full House" and "Cosby" reruns.  I'm sure there were plenty of others, but those are the ones that stick out.  Oh yes, there was also the animated "Adventures of Pooh."  Somewhere along the way, the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon moved further to the forefront.  Must have been during those "Blue's Clues" days, I suppose.

Now, Nickelodeon came out when I was a kid. I remember when it first came on with shows like "You Can't Do That on Television."  That is still one of my all-time favorite shows.

Emily is much more about "Hannah Montana," "iCarly," Disney musicals, and shows like "Full House" reruns.  I just realized that both of the kids like "Family Matters," too.

So, the confession?  Ever since I saw "Grease," I have been a casual fan of musicals.  And because that has never really gone away, I actually enjoy watching the shows the kids watch.  Yeah, I'm talking about shows like "High School Musical" and, most recently, "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam."  I also happen to enjoy "iCarly," "Hannah Montana," "Phineas & Ferb," and a plethora of other "kids" shows.

In a lot of ways, I'm partly a kid that has never really grown up.  That has served to get me into trouble on more than one occasion, but it has also served to keep me feeling young.  Oh, I'm not looking to find some "second childhood" or anything, and I am certainly not trying to some "hip, cool" parent.  The fact is, I enjoy the shows.  I also like shows like "Big Bang Theory," but that's for another post.

Now, being .. er.. experienced, I could point out all the problems with shows like "Camp Rock," and will happily do so with anyone wishing to join the conversation, but for this post, I am just admitting that I tend to enjoy the kids' shows on TV right now.  Of course, there are shows ("Degrassi" comes to mind) that I think cover topics way beyond what kids, and even teens, should be presented with.  But, that's just my opinion as a person and a father to my children.  What you let your kids watch is up to you, and I do not judge that.

I am a sucker for a feel-good movie that features music and dancing.  One of my favorites is "Save the Last Dance" with Julia Stiles.  Certainly not a kids movie, but I'm just making a point.  In relation to kids stories, "High School Musical" is not realistic enough for some people. Uh, DUH! It's a movie! On top of that, it's a MUSICAL!  Ever see (or hear of, for that matter) "West Side Story?"  How about the aforementioned "Grease?"  Of course musicals are not realistic, but that is part of the point and appeal - they let us escape into a world where singing and dancing out of the blue DOES make sense.  (Side note: I was one of the 4 people on Earth that actually *liked* "Cop Rock")

Of course, the best part of watching these shows, or any shows really, with the kids is just that... watching the shows with the kids - laughing, getting excited, feeling the pain, talking about the movie/show.  I cherish those moments. 

I hope when my kids look back at their childhood, they recall memories of the things we all did together, including the shows/movies we watched together.  I know I have those memories.  My most vivid are those of us watching "All in the Family" and "Fish."  In fact, if memory serves, I was given special permission to stay up late to watch "Fish." 

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