The Wonders and Horrors of TV

As my friends, family, casual acquaintances, and basically anyone who will listen to me can attest, I’ve been worrying about television lately. This is a strange feeling for me, as I’ve always loved TV like I was the one who invented it or something. I watched GLOW in ONE. DAY. this summer. I binged all of The Sopranos in a matter of three weeks. I also have a full time job, lots of social obligations,  and many, many books to read, so I feel like my TV-watching skills are impressive.

Lately, though, I’ve become a fanatic about not having the television on while Oliver is awake. I know I’ll probably give in some day, but I just don’t want him to watch TV, hear TV, or even know such a thing exists. I can’t help but think it’s going to melt his brain, despite the fact that I’ve turned out fine so far. I guess I have this fantasy about him going to kindergarten and having a conversation that goes like this:

New friend 1: “[Insert show character here] is so cool!” 

New friend 2: “I know, I can’t wait to see the movie coming out!” 

New friend 3: “My dad got me a t-shirt with [cool character name] on it!” 

Oliver: “I don’t know what you guys are talking about. What’s television? Do you guys mean live theater? Books? Is anyone else as obsessed with the Hardy Boys as I am?”

I know I would be setting him up for a lot of wedgies, but it’s my fantasy and I’ll have it if I want to.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not be exposed to any screens until they’re two. Then, they recommend only one hour of quality programming. I only know one couple who’s actually been able to pull off following these restrictions with their kid, so I’m not too optimistic about us achieving this. However, we’re going to give it a go. This doesn’t make us better than other parents or anything like that…it probably just makes me crazier. Some people plan to make their kids eat organic, I’m obsessed with shielding mine from TV.

On the other hand, I plan to watch plenty of it (after Oliver goes to bed, hopefully). These are the shows I’m excited about this fall:

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The Good Place

If you haven’t watched the first season of Mike Schur’s The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, DO IT! The premise is that Kristen Bell’s character, Eleanor, has died and gone to heaven, the titular “good place.” However, she soon realizes she’s not supposed to be there and has taken the place of another actually good Eleanor, who has gone to the bad place. Hijinks ensue. However, it was the end of the first season (and I won’t say too much here because it’s soooooo good and I don’t want to spoil anything for you) that had people talking last year. The second season is on now and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Some of the best comedy writers in TV are writing for the show, like Megan Amram and Jen Kirkman. If you liked Schur’s Parks and Recreation, make sure you catch up on The Good Place.

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Crazy-Ex Girlfriend

Rachel Bloom, star and co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, is crazy alright. Crazy talented. (I’ve taken to making bad mom jokes now, by the way.)

The show’s premise isn’t even the best thing about it, so I won’t get into that here. I will say that if you like musical comedy, this is the show for you. Every episode is a musical with hilarious songs and great choreography. My favorite part about this show, however, is the diverse, amazing cast. The main character’s love interest, Josh, was widely praised as one of the first prominent Asian guys playing an object of desire rather than a nerd or joke. (Asian-Americans have long lamented Hollywood’s portrayal of their men as somehow less than masculine). The cast is also full of people whose bodies are different–no cast full of similar-looking, usually skinny people here. And they’re all hilarious and super talented. I love this show and if musical comedy is your thing, you will too.

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The Mindy Project

We’ll be saying goodbye to The Mindy Project after this season, so I’m so excited to see how it ends. Mindy Kaling and her writing staff come up with some of the most laugh-out-loud funny jokes on a weekly basis. For example, I guffawed at this joke on an episode this week:

Mom at Mindy’s kid’s school: “Your son is so sweet.”

Mindy: “I know he’s sweet. I had gestational diabetes the whole time I was pregnant!” 

 

So that’s my fall TV lineup. I guess I’ve been thinking about this because having a kid has made me examine my own habits. The way we eat, talk to one another, and consume media has to get healthier now that our little guy is watching.

What are you changing about your life these days? Leave a comment and let me know, if you want!

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