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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Happened to Family Programming?

I was sick the week before Christmas. I ended up spending more time on the couch than in the stores as I had planned. I couldn't concentrate much on a book so sometimes I turned on the TV and scanned through the thousands of channels for something to watch.

That is when I landed on a channel that was rebroadcasting episodes of "Home Improvement". After that it was "The Cosby Show". It got me thinking...what happened to family programming?

I remember sitting down with my family and not only was I allowed to watch the 8:00PM hour programs but all of us enjoying them side by side. The shows were written for everyone in the family. There was kid humor. There was adult humor written over the kid's heads. There was family humor. There wasn't any swearing. More importantly, there were parents.

What is it with iCarly and Victorious that there are rarely any parents if any? And when they do show the parents they are annoying and not necessarily the best role models. Now, don't get me wrong...I like both of those shows but I have to watch everything before my girls do and I constantly have to say things like, "Remember, we don't say those words.", "You would never be allowed to do that until you are adult." and "I know that is funny, but trust me...you try to pull that and you will be grounded for life.'. I mean these shows are entertaining but I want the good old wholesome stuff back on. If a show has parents on it does it mean that kids don't want to watch it?!

I think someone needs to go back and look at the writing of the shows a lot of us grew up on. I'm not saying they were perfect but they had lessons for us to learn, they taught us values and they had parents to answer to.

I want to sit on the couch as a family and laugh at things like Tim Allen saying, "ArghArghArgh...MORE POWER!" on Home Improvement, Dr. Huxtable explaining to Rudy how the germs were throwing a party in her body and that was why she felt sick on The Cosby Show, Michelle Tanner on Full House saying, "You got it, dude!" and the wiseguy antics of Mike on Growing Pains.

These were great shows with great followings and long runs. They had to be doing something right. What changed? Is it the viewer or the creators of the shows? Does everything have to have a shock factor to it now? Can shows not be written for a whole family to enjoy together?

What do you think? What 8:00 hour show do you miss from growing up?

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26 Comments:

At January 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Gia said...

Full House! Classic family show. Who knew Bob Saget was so dirty in real life??

 
At January 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Yup! Yup! Yup! I - personally - love CSI and NCIS, BUT.. do not watch them when the kids are in the room. And honestly, I have a hard time finding programs that aren't cartoons that are family friendly. And, as you know, some cartoons drive me crazy too. I'm totally with you. Every night - 7pm - right after bath, we watch Veggie Tales before bed. Because at least that is family tv.
The Other Kristen

 
At January 11, 2012 at 8:41 AM , OpenID pmlevitt said...

In our house we do not have TV; only DVDs of movies and television shows, so I'm not quite up to date but I'll venture a guess. It's the cycle of consumerism; a "sophisticated" show finds a niche and the rest follow and soon, there's none of the good old fare left. Same philosophy as shopping at chain stores vs. mom and pop shops. Supposedly, this is a reflection of what our culture demands, but maybe it's that those of us who want something different don't speak loudly enough. Good for you for giving voice to what a lot of parents are thinking. Love the Cosbys:) Good times, right?

 
At January 11, 2012 at 9:04 AM , Blogger Jon said...

It kills me when kids, even tweens, refer to characters on Family Guy. That is not a kid's show. They should not know who Quagmire is, or think it's funny to say "Giggety giggety."

 
At January 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM , Blogger Shell said...

There really aren't any night time shows I can let my kids watch. They all have bad language and inappropriate themes.

I miss The Facts of Life.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Tiffany said...

I agree with pmlevitt's comment. I think it has to do with the writers of the shows plus what the viewers want.
I don't allow my kids to watch tv after 7pm and if they are it's either a DVD or NickJr. My 8 yr old has grown tired of NJ but understands that regular tv is not appropriate for her to watch.

I miss the Cosby Show and Family Ties.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Jax said...

I'm with Gia on the Full House! I was also a hugeeee Boy Meets World fan.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I loved the Cosby show! Just like you said, I got the teen humor and thought that stuff was funny. I watch it now, as a parent, and think,"Man! Their parenting style is GENIUS!" (like when Theo wanted to be treated like an adult, so they made him pay rent and he ended up having to ask for a loan from the "banker" which was Rudy)

 
At January 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM , Blogger Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

Oh man, I miss Full House, Step-by-Step, and Family Matters. I remember when Friday nights, the place to be was in front of the tv with your family and a bowl of popcorn for the TGIF line up!

 
At January 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM , Blogger Mellodee said...

Here's an idea, turn the TV off and make your own Family Nights! Play games, read, watch an occasional movie, talk to each other, have "discussions" about interesting or unusual facts, make something together, bake cookies, well, you get the idea. I can pretty much guarantee that over time, you will build wonderful memories that will be way more important to you and your family than any TV show ever written! You only have your kids at home for a few years, so build your own memories!

 
At January 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM , Blogger Maren said...

I didn't grow up with any shows, so I don't know. What I DO know is that the children's tv-series these days annoy me. They are loud, frantic, and .. just .. bad. :)

 
At January 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM , Blogger Erin said...

I like pmlevitt's response. I wish we did not have a TV in our house. Thought about not getting any cable at all, but then I felt bad because Keith relocated with me and would feel to isolated. We just have basic and personally every chance I get I turn off the TV. Keith has also gotten me to support local businesses instead of chains. I like the customer service and still supporting make peoples dreams become realities. I think we tend to lose sight of what really matters sometimes (I am guilty of it too). I ask myself a lot of questions now of why I do something and what is more important such as getting something quickly or being patient and doing what is right.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

My kids dont watch any night time TV. Granted they are only 1 and 3, but if they are going to watch something its either Sprout or Nick Jr. I am super picky about what is on my TV.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM , Blogger Robbie K said...

I miss Facts of Life, Different Strokes, Family Ties.

We watch movies as a family but rarely tv.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM , Blogger Infertile Mormon Mommy said...

I miss Boy Meets World and Full House! I also don't like the mindless cartoons that are on TV now. I remember watching cartoons with heart and morals as a kid (I may not have known it then...) I feel like so many cartoons now are just so pointless now! I don't know what Miss K will watch when she gets to that point.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM , Blogger Hines-Sight said...

Such an interesting post, Kristen. I watched way too much TV as a child...so much in fact that I majored in Radio, TV and Motion Pictures at UNC. It is interesting how programming has changed. In my day, not all programming was appropriate, but I still watched them. They were clean....like Love Boat. Nothing too bad. As a child, I remember Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Eight is Enough, Facts of Life, The Jeffersons, Family Ties, and Growing Pains. Full House was on with I was a lot older, and The Cosby Show was on, too, but I think I may have been older, too. I can't remember the years it ran. You are right. Times have changed. Now that my son has started elementary school, the TV is on a lot less.

TV programming today is so different.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM , Blogger AutismWonderland said...

I loved those shows growing up. I loved watching Little House when I was a kid.

But there's nothing like that on TV now. That's too bad

 
At January 11, 2012 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Julia Hunter said...

This is so true! Nothing is family friendly these days. I miss The Wonder Years.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

Yes! I miss The Sitcom era. We do watch The Middle with the boys. It's so funny!

 
At January 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM , Blogger Heather said...

When my oldest was younger I somehow I assumed that 8:00 shows were still family friendly. Ummmm big mistake! I can't remember the show, but it involved me trying to explain a stripper Pole to my 7 year old.

Ugh.

We DVR shows and then watch them at 8.

I miss Family Ties and Cosby Show. I remember laughing so much with my family during those shows.

 
At January 12, 2012 at 8:05 AM , Anonymous chantelle said...

you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the facts of life, the facts of life. I also loved brady bunch, laverne and shirly, and who could forget the fonz. I introduced the old shows i watched to my kids and they loved them, but i wonder if those shows were a little much than what are parents were use to? I mean like compared to mr. ed, gidgit, and father knows best. im probably a nerd just for knowing those shows. lol. but i agree, i wish shows were like they use to be too.

 
At January 12, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Blogger Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I couldn't agree with you more. That kind of wholesome show is very noticeably absent. I STILL can sit and enjoy Little House on the Prairie. And remember Life Goes On? And The Wonder Years? Good stuff!

 
At January 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM , Blogger Arnebya said...

My girls are currently addicted to The Cosby Show. They DVR it and that's our weekend watching (they don't watch TV during the week). I have to admit it kind of bothers me when I hear girls my oldest daughter's age (11) talking about shows I consider "adult" such as Housewives of Anywhere. But, that's just me. I do wish more family programming were available. Sometimes I even dislike the things they say on the shows that ARE geared toward them.

 
At January 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM , Blogger Arnebya said...

And can I just tell you that we were watching iCarly and I hadn't noticed that it was on TeenNick. Holy crap! They show commercials for teen shows and the damn kids that go to deGrassi High are horny scuzzbuckets! That commercial had me running (literally) to the remote. I have NO issue w/homosexuality, but there is no reason my 8 yr old daughter needs to see teen boys kissing and groping one another (although, admittedly, it did make for an interesting conversation w/the 11 yr old).

 
At January 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

We are lucky our PBS station has the Cat in the Hat on at 8.

I remember growing up wit the Brady Bunch!

 
At January 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM , Anonymous OneMommy said...

So true! I miss those funny familiy shows!
When I was in the hospital - before they decided to admit me to have our son - I found reruns of Home Improvement. I almost forgot that I "might be" in labor at the time! I miss laughing like that and knowing the kids could watch with me.

 

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