Monday, October 01, 2007

Drug of the Nation

One of the many ridiculous things that FoxyJ and I have been known to be proud of is the fact that we don't have cable and therefore we and our children are not corrupted by the evils of television. "S-Boogie doesn't even know who that is," we say smugly when other parents talk about annoying children's television characters.

Well, no more.

Last Monday night I finished watching Smallville Season Six (Tom Welling=nice to look at but not a great actor=the perfect Clark Kent), which I had checked out from the library, and then realized that Season Seven was premiering on Thursday night. So Tuesday morning I somewhat impulsively went online and made arrangements to have the Comcast guy stop by on Thursday afternoon.

It's only twelve bucks a month (plus horrendous taxes and fees) for the most basic thirty channels. I decided it was worth twelve bucks a month to be able to watch Smallville, Legion of Superheroes, and The Batman (can you spot a trend?), plus the occasional new episode of The Simpsons (which I would care more about watching regularly if the new ones were nearly as good as the old ones). The irony in all this is that it ends up the former three shows are all on one of the two channels we get clearly without cable. Oh well. Now we have other options.

Like this afternoon, S-Boogie watched two hours of PBS instead of two hours of Dora the Explorer on DVD. Which isn't that bad, I guess. PBS has good kids' shows. On Saturday I let her watch Legion of Superheroes and The Batman with me. Both are a little more violent than I'd ideally like my four-year-old watching, but they're no worse than the Justice League and Teen Titans DVDs I often let her watch with me. It's a compromise I make to be able to watch the shows I like while she's awake, and to spend some time doing something with her that we both enjoy (because, I'll be honest, I was sick of Dora the Explorer months ago). What I realized on Saturday, though, is that the worst part about letting kids watch TV is not the programs themselves; it's the commercials. If I keep letting her watch those, she's going to start asking me to buy her things and getting opinions on what brand of cereal she has to have RIGHT NOW!!! I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

But then I guess it's the price I pay to have my direct link to the united states of unconsciousness. And really, what kind of parent would I be if I deprived my daughter of her weekly dose of animated superheroes?


Rebecca said...

Ugh - turn down the volume on the commercials. Or make her go get you a bowl of ice cream. Or both. I remember being a kid and wanting - SO MUCH - the toys I saw on TV. And everything else. I love DVR - I can just record everything and watch it the next day, fast-forwarding through the commercials. What a GREAT invention.

Kristeee said...

I second the DVR nomination for best TV companion ever. I love skipping through commercials and lame parts of shows - and the ability to pause it to run and do something else is especially great.

Comcast often has an OnDemand feature where you can watch the same 5 episodes of say, Sesame Street (or whatever) as often as you like, when you like, without commercials. My nieces and nephews love that at Grandma's house.

Switch said...

I just broke down and got cable too. I haven't had it for about five years.

But I've worn my poor media library out, and I know every song on my mp3 playlist too well, and it's somewhat seclusionist of me to get my world news second-hand from blogs and co-workers. So, in preparation for the incoming winter when I'll be cooped up alone in my little den for days on end, I finally caved. For the price of four dvd's and a bottle of scotch, I can have television instead. Firsthand Daily Show, here I come!

Behold, many small justifications in action.

Th. said...


Commercials are the circumcision of media.

Edgy said...

With a promo pic like that, I may have to start watching Smallville again, which I haven't done since the middle of the second season.

Earth Sign Mama said...

That was actually the secret of our having a smallish Christmas for many years, focused around He Whose Birth We Celebrated: no commercials. We didn't have tv for a long time, and when we got it, it was severely restricted. So if you don't get told---repeatedly---you MUST have it, you don't know you NEED it.

Katria said...

I guess I just don't understand the whole television show thing.

two forks said...

a little dose of smallville never hurt anyone... well except maybe lex luther! as for the cw, i was the biggest wb junkie before it joined forces with upn! oh the shame!

Kengo Biddles said...

I'm going to fight the cable urge as long and hard as I can, especially since PBS is antenna friendly here, and we really only watch TNT, FX, and Food Network.

Why pay for all those extra commercials and channels that you surf past, anyway? That's my thinking.