TV is one of those divisive topics - not unlike homeschooling and breast-feeding. You either fall into the "it rots your brain and we watch too much" camp, or you think "it's food for the brain and we should let our kids choose what they want to watch and how much". Mmm, actually, maybe there's a stance in the middle - yep, that would be me, sitting on the fence again!
We like our TV around here. However, my Hubby is quite adamant about no TV in bedrooms and by and large I think that's a good idea - except when I don't want to watch what everyone else is watching.
We have a nice big Panasonic 50" plasma in the lounge room (go figure - for everything else, Australia is metric, but TVs? We use inches). Attached to that is our Onkyo amplifier and surround sound speakers, Playstation 3 (doubles as our Blu-Ray DVD player) and the latest acquisition, Telstra T-box (for recording TV and we can also download movies from there).
|Lots of remotes - we can't figure out the Logitech all-in-one remote...|
We also have an old Sony 64cm CRT downstairs (except for when they use centimetres...) which is not connected to the antenna, so only good for DVDs, Playstation 2 and the Wii.
I reckon my kids learned to read early from watching Sesame Street when they were little! So, I don't really have issues with them watching TV. Generally they are very good at being age-appropriate with their viewing choices (so far). I do have issues with shows like Two and Half Men and Big Bang Theory (which I enjoy) being on rather early in the evening (7:30pm) which usually have lots of sexual references in them. The kids at this age find it all rather uncomfortable (and will hide their eyes or run out of the room if anything makes them feel too icky).
The other thing we have to be careful about is scary stuff and Wombat Girl - she is easily prone to over-active imagination (particularly at night-time) and many's the time I have had a scared girl in my bed when those monsters get too much.
In general, we like to discuss things we watch on TV - whatever the issue. And it's a good way of dealing with "issues" like politics, social studies, sex, drugs, rock-n-roll - whatever comes up. Even the "junk" is a good talking point, because we get to discuss critically what makes good viewing/news/entertainment.
I will just add at this point my husband is a chronic "plinger" - the word we use around here for someone who changes channels incessantly. He cannot watch ads and we often "watching" 2 or 3 shows at the same time. He also tends to forget there is more than one person in the room and it can really annoying. Just saying...
Anyway - some of our favourite TV shows are:
- Wife Swap
- My Kitchen Rules
...oh wait...they are my favourite shows (you know, those guilty pleasures you occasionally get to sneak in when everyone else has gone to bed!). OK, our favourite family shows (in no particular order) are:
- Get Smart
- Dr Who
- Agatha Christie's Poirot
- Backyard Science
- Barney's Reef
- Letters and Numbers
- Good Game/Good Game Spawn Point
- CNet TV
- Magic School Bus
- Spicks and Specks
- Horrible Histories
- Heston's Feasts
- Black Hole High
I also have to mention the amazing ABC iView and BBC iPlayer - great access to great shows and documentaries.
Some of our firm favourites include:
- Harry Potter (all 7 of them!)
- Sherlock Holmes
- Lord of the Rings (the kids and hubby...me? not so much)
- Star Wars (yes, all 6 of them)
- Indiana Jones (all 4 of them)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- The Goonies
- Back to the Future (only the first one)
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I prefer the first one, with Gene Wilder)
- The Sound of Music
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
- High Society
- Hello Dolly
- Red Dog
- National Treasure
- Abbott & Costello
And we have a large collection on hard drive of great documentaries and no review of all things TV would be complete without mentioning Top Documentary Films website - just about every documentary you could possibly want to know about!!! Just a few of our favourites:
- The Story of Science
- To Infinity and Beyond
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Wonders of the Universe
- Through the Wormhole
- The Code
- Are There More Than 3 Dimensions?
- Darwin's Dangerous Idea
- The Human Body
- How Science Changed the World
- Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension
- Great Courses DVDs
OK, that'll keep you busy!!