Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Television Tuesday: Inaugural Edition

In keeping with yesterday’s theme of promoting parental involvement, education, and general thoughtfulness with regard to their children’s exposure to mass media, Tuesdays here are going to be Television Tuesdays. Don’t be fooled by the name, Tuesdays won’t be solely about that box in your living room! Tuesdays are going to host a weekly review of some specific movie, video game, computer game, or, yes, television show. Reviews will involve our opinion of the overall quality of the item in question. Yes, we will cover violence, sexual content, and language, but we will also examine the overall themes of the show or game, both for age appropriateness and for morals.
Basically, these are the questions we will try to answer based on our examination:

  • What age group is this being marketed to and is the content appropriate for that age group? If not, why? Is it appropriate for a different age group?

  • Can this be used as an object lesson to teach good behavior or social skills beyond “don’t behave like these people”?

  • Is the story/theme easy to follow?

  • Is it easy to distinguish good guys from bad guys?

  • Would I want my child to emulate the good guys?

  • What is the role of authority figures (parents, police, etc.)?

  • Does this promote stereotypes about any specific groups of people? If so, are they good or bad stereotypes?

  • Obviously, these answers are just a matter of opinion, but hopefully, our opinions will lead you to form your own opinions.

    We will also consider specifics about the positives and negatives of the show being reviewed. For example, not all violent content is the same. I, personally, would be more willing for my child to view violence that is portrayed somewhat realistically (people actually get hurt and don’t like it), has an explicit purpose, and as a negative thing overall. This is as opposed to more fictional portrayals of violence, in which nobody actually gets hurt from it (Lethal Weapon movies come to mind) or in which the violence has no purpose or redeeming value (the Saw franchise, for example). And, just as with yesterday, I welcome audience participation, and would absolutely LOVE to see discussion of the weekly topic over on the Facebook page. Please direct review requests to us in the comments or via email.

    In the mean time, I will leave you with a useful link: Kids In Mind. This website provides parents with detailed reviews of current movies and shows.

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