Watching TV….or not

All I wanted as a kid was to watch Three’s Company.

EVERYONE else was watching it. But do you think we were allowed to watch it?


Instead, we were stuck with:

And of course, we watched a lot of this:

My heart skipped a beat when John Denver appeared on the Muppets. But we couldn’t watch Three’s Company because two single, unmarried women were living with – gasp – a man!!!! The floozies!  I shudder to think!

What do you suppose our 80s selves would have thought of this strange panda bear from the future who sports only a leather vest?

I am certain even our 80s younger selves would have known that she is THE most annoying older sibling on the face of the planet, her condescending attitude breaks the barriers of time and space:

So I read with great interest Mark Oppenheimer’s piece in The New Republic, “Why Parents Who Love Television Should Let Their Kids Watch, Too.”

Not only does Oppenheimer take the reader through a walk down memory lane of many of the most popular shows during our childhoods (A-Team anyone? #ILovedFace), he also lays out his reasons why screen time isn’t the end of the world for our kids – in fact – in some cases, it might help foster creativity.

Look, we all know young toddlers shouldn’t watch TV, we know we should limit screen time for kids – but I don’t know about you – I can barely keep up with all the things we shouldn’t be exposing our kids too – the list is endless and it’s all become white noise for me. We practice an “everything in moderation” approach to my house.

Do I calculate how many minutes of screen time – be it TV or computers – my kids should get in a week? Do we have schedules of when they can and can not watch TV? No. Personally, it’s just not something I make time to calculate. But do I just base it all on my own judgement – has the TV been on a while? Has it been radio silence for too long – therefore it’s a safe bet that they are sitting in front of the iPad playing their fav game?

Then just shut it off and go play.

I am fine with that. My friend’s good friend has five kids. She leaves the TV on all day “just in case.” Look – are you really going to judge a woman with five young children?


Like Oppenheimer, me and Mr. Wired Momma also love TV. I am obsessed with Homeland. Super pissed I have to wait again until September to see the next season.


For some insane reason, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy.


Saturday night we were at a neighbor’s house and a friend was pushing me to pick up all the old seasons of Gossip Girl while another debated the pros and cons of Girls. I don’t like Lena Dunham, so I don’t plan on picking up the show.

The point is just what Oppenheimer makes – if we parents are doing it, who says we can’t let our kids watch? And look, our kids aren’t dumb. They know we watch TV when they go to bed. They hear us talking about our shows. It’s only a matter of time before they start calling us on being hypocritical. Remember, I’m still pissed I wasn’t allowed to watch Three’s Company back in 1982. Yet now I have to endure this:

Weigh in here or on my super-fly Facebook page (where I Hope you’ll hit “Like”), do you carefully  manage screen time but watch bad TV in your own free time? And what are your guilty viewing pleasures? I want to be sure I’m not missing out.

4 Responses to Watching TV….or not
  1. meg
    March 11, 2013 | 3:19 pm

    I don’t get parents who get all righteous about their kids never seeing tv.

    Happy mom. Happy Family.

    I am loving The Mindy Project. I just started dvr-ing The Brady Bunch for my 6yo – he watches it when I put J to bed. He totally giggles.

    and what do you suppose J is doing now? :)

  2. Emily
    March 11, 2013 | 3:54 pm

    I think there are some awesome shows out there to inspire and delight future filmmakers everywhere! For the parents though: Justified and Happy Endings are OH-MAH-ZING. I recommend them both. Of course you should ALL BE WATCHING VAMPIRE DIARIES. Because, come on. Vampires. Werewolves. Teen drama. Witches. More knife/stake stabbings per episode than any other show on television. What’s not to love? #warning:syfyismyfavoritechannel

  3. Martha Gallagher
    March 12, 2013 | 3:07 am

    I am very sorry that we may have damaged your psychic by not allowing you to watch that really stupid show when you were only in the 3rd grade. However, I have not nor will I, loose any sleep over this. Ha ha

  4. Elaine
    March 12, 2013 | 2:11 pm

    We’re not a big TV family, so it’s pretty natural that our children don’t watch TV. Even if we did watch, though, the hypocrite argument rings hollow. There are lots of privileges granted to adults that aren’t granted to children (driving, drinking alcohol, smoking, skiing without a helmet, staying up all hours of the night, etc.). Great post and great food for thought by both you and Oppenheimer!

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