Thursday, October 14, 2010

This Makes Me Crazy (Rant Ahead!)

I'm not much of a tv watcher.  Don't get me wrong--there are a few shows I watch, and I waste time in plenty of other ways.  I watched more tv when we had Dish and it was easy to see what was on, record what was on, etc.  Not it's not nearly as convenient and I only watch a few things. 

For the last year I've heard from lots of people how great the show Glee is.  I love music & musicals, so I thought it was great that there was a popular tv show with singing on it.  But I never could remember to watch it.

This morning I got an email from an organization dedicated to making television family-friendly.  Periodically it sends out information on tv shows and movies that are acceptable family viewing--without inappropriate content.

It also sends out alerts when shows are family-unfriendly; filled with profanity, sex, and/or violence, and gives information on what you can do if these things bother you.  (Besides turning off the tv.)

This morning's email newsletter was titled

New Fall Season: Not Family Friendly

It then went on to describe the profanity, nudity, and sexuality which have already occurred on television this season--a season that is only a few weeks old.  The email ended with quotes from two CBS presidents talking about their desire to "push the envelope" on what is considered acceptable on tv.  

That's what makes me crazy--many of the people in entertainment, the ones making the decisions, do not care that we don't want filth and garbage on tv.  And so we sit and watch, and every now and then squirm a little because we wish they hadn't said or done that, but it is so funny or we really like the characters or whatever.  And then the next year or later in the season they up the ante a little, and stick in more sex and more profanity and violence and they are just careful to surround it all with hilarious jokes or heart wrenching drama and we keep coming back for more.

Here's a quote for you today, from the email:
Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, has declared that it is his goal in life to remove every barrier to depiction of explicit sex on over-the-air TV. He was quoted saying, "It's tough to get that sexual point of view across on television. Hopefully I have made it possible for somebody on broadcast television to do a rear-entry scene in three years. Maybe that will be my legacy."

Well, Ryan Murphy will have to work on his legacy without me, because what I've read about Glee in the last couple of weeks has turned me from someone who wished they were watching it to someone who wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Please don't think I am setting myself up as a paragon of media virtue.  I'm not.  Several weeks ago Russ & I rented and watched a movie I was very excited to see.  We were appalled at the language, vulgarity, and sexuality, but kept watching, thinking surely it couldn't get worse.  It could and it did.  The worst part was that we let Josh watch with us.  In the morning we called him into our bedroom and apologized to him for having made such a mistake in continuing to watch the movie.  Hopefully it was a learning experience for all of us.  (If you're interested in knowing--it was "The Backup Plan.")

I'm going to close my rant with a quote from a talk from Elder Ballard.  This has been a wake up call again for me--to continue to be careful about what I let come into my home.  I didn't think I'd ever say this, but right now I'm really grateful for that moment of poverty that caused us to cancel Dish several years ago.  I'm glad that it's harder to watch tv, and therefore harder for this garbage to get into my home.  Because whatever Ryan Murphy wants, I don't want any part of it.

Ours surely is a time when men “call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20).

Let me say again that the family is the main target of evil’s attack and must therefore be the main point of our protection and defense. As I said once before, when you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense to Satan. When he wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O and casseroles. When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family. It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception.   (M. Russell Ballard, 11/93)

Rant Over.


  1. I'm so glad that you ranted... up until the beginning of the summer, we had dish network's "family" package... but we still had our local channels, which gave us the main networks... abc, cbs, nbc, fox. But then, we cancelled the entire deal and I have been so happy without it. Our movie watching, netflix streaming has made the entertainment we let into our home much more deliberate. There is simply too much trash to filter through.

    Thank you for the heads up. I'll pass on glee, as well as The Back-Up Plan. I'm glad you mentioned it because I had thought it looked like a cute movie. Sigh. It's so hard these days to be wholesomely entertained.

  2. Wow! I am so with you - both on having heard tons about how good that was and wanting to watch it, and now wanting to stay far away from it!!!

    (In the same vein, I read a redbox review on the vampire spoof movie you put the trailer on of, and it said it was REALLY crude. Just fyi. ;))

  3. Oh, and we've seen several wholesomely entertaining movies lately--

    When in Rome
    Leap Year
    Extraordinary Measures
    Letters to Juliet (we did get this one edited because we had a free edited movie, but it is rated PG so I'm guessing they didn't take out much)

  4. Preach on, sister! Within the last couple of weeks my TV watching has been pared down to almost nothing. I'm so tired of ignoring the crap and I'm tired of watching moral-less characters.

    I loved the Glee preview pilot, and even invited a friend over to watch the first episode of season 1. The episode was terrible, and I was so embarrassed! The whole thing was dripping in sex.

    I know that show hasn't gotten any better because my very liberal sister (when it comes to entertainment) called me the other day to tell me she had to turn it off last week.

    Cindy, I guess we'll have to write a clean TV series with singing and dancing. Apparently, there is a market for it.

    The only show I can stomach now is Castle on ABC. I haven't watched every single episode, but from what I've seen it has been very clean. Aaron likes it too!

  5. That's why we got rid of our's. We watch a family movie on the computer on Fridays but that's the extent of it. We don't miss it a bit.

  6. Thank you Cindy. I watched the first season and loved glee but after the last 2 episodes of it I have been seriously reconsidering. After you sharing that email, it is now officially off my list of what I watched. I am disappointed that people feel the need to add smut into a show I would have otherwise followed until its end.

  7. Wow- I have so much to say on this topic, but you worded it so beautifully I'll just say AMEN! We watch shows on Hulu sometimes, but even that is getting to be a problem because they have some practically R-rated ads smack in the middle of kids shows!! I really do need some form of visual entertainment to bribe my kids to fold their laundry (and, well, maybe myself too:), but I feel like everywhere I turn, there's sex, violence and bad language. CL- Thanks for sharing that list. One I really like is The Lake House. I think we need to do more sharing like that so we can support the people who are making good movies and stop wasting our money and time on shows and movies we have to turn off half-way through. SO frustrating!

  8. No problem, Katie!!! I am always looking for good clean movies and we have had the good luck to watch several in the past few months. (The first two, by the way, are HYSTERICAL, the third one is amazingly moving, and the fourth one is completely sweet. We loved all of them.)

  9. the fact that a television producer is trying to push the envelope that far makes me want to throw up. Hopefully, with all the people walking away from mainstream TV, one day the message will get through.
    Stole your quote for my fb page - hope you don't mind!

  10. I've heard that you can complain to the sponsors and maybe they'll get the message.

  11. Did I ever tell you that I watched the pilot episode of glee but was so turned off of it that I have never touched it since?

  12. Just watched the third episode of this season's Glee. I'm not surprised at all by his comment and can totally see a difference in this season and the way(s) they are "pushing the envelope." So sad (and annoying!) to see shows with potential for great entertainment go down that road.

  13. Wow! I came to leave a comment yesterday, but after it got about 3 feet long, I decided it was better to have a conversation about it rather than make you read the rant! I'm so happy to see all these other comments and realize that there really are some of us trying to find good, wholesome ways to be entertained - - - and that it's getting close to impossible. Brian and I have really gotten into the planet earth DVD's, by the way. They're amazing, and clean! (uh...except for the occasional animal reproducers :) Thanks for giving words to my current stresses!

  14. Thanks Cindy!
    We are Netflix-ers. We have been enjoying the show Monk recently. Funny and clean.