Many people decry watching TV as a family activity. ‘There are so many other worthwhile activities to do with a family!’ they wail. Sure there are more active pursuits for families; those activities are often costly and time-consuming. Sometimes, the family just needs to relax and unwind.
AFV For all-time relaxing family fun America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) is great! AFV comes on at a reasonable day and time for families: Sunday evenings at 7pm. AFV is benign content-wise. No need to worry about the crude comments, racial or gender slurs, or just plain ignorance that abounds in most TV shows. AFV gives a safe outlet to our desire to laugh at accidents. The candid, uplanned nature of the video shots means that no one was intentinally hurt.
The only concerns that I have about AFV are the inevitable ‘crotch hits’ and ensuing comments. I want children to know that very possibly people are injured in the videotaped accidents. I don’t want children to conclude that you can bike off a garage roof and not get hurt, or that the funny aspects of accidents supercede the reality of injury.
American Idol Reality shows in which people are competing against each other for music, dance, theater or employemnt opportunities or other competitions. These make safe, interesting family viewing. Other shows like this include: Dancing with the Stars, Directors Studio, ves, Biggest Loser. I do not extend this to include The Bachelor, The Apprentice or any of the more adult competitions. The fine arts competitions help children learn what’s required to be a ‘star’. It also teaches children critical thinking skills of analysis and evaluation. Families enjoy debating each other over different qualities of performers. And let’s face it; AI is hilarious when some bombastic kook auditions, thinking they can sing and can’t!
Nature PBS creates excellent documentaries which are fascinating, educational and even interactive. After watching the segment, viewers, especailly children are encouraged to visit PBS extensive website for further information, reading and extension activities. We’ve enjoyed shows on wolves, skunks, chimpanzzes and many other creatures in our world.
Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? Families through the years have always enjoyed games shows. Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? is great fun to watch together! AYSTFG is educational, competitive and makes learning fun. Children love to see an adult outsmarted by children their own age.
Mythbusters is a zany show in which scientists and film makers Jamie and Adam, attempt to debunk science and physics myths, usually those portrayed in Hollywood movies. This show is actually used by teachers of science to explore concept and theories in nature and the physical world. In that same vein, History Detectives (PBS) is a more cerebral, serious production which investigates historical mysteries surrounding legends, artifacts or documents. Real life mysteries give viewers a great history lesson in an engaging format.
Enjoy these show with your children and family!