Monday, September 24, 2012

It's great, except for...

Image courtesy of The New Era LDS magazine
(The text from the image says "It's GREAT except for... except for the bad parts. What kinds of movies and music are you feeding your mind?")

MANY years ago, my husband and I decided to get rid of our television. And though it's made its way back on occasion, for the most part, we have only watched videos or shows online for more than a decade.

Once in a while, we will find a show that we think has promise. And so, we will watch it online, making it a special occasion. (Most of which are BBC produced shows, interestingly enough.) And if they uplift and inspire in meaningful ways, we will buy them on DVD or iTunes. We can learn good lessons from them, and they are worth seeing again and again-- they are classics for our family.

Some of our favorites that have been worth buying are "Larkrise to Candleford," "19 Kids and Counting," "Cranford" and "Victorian Farm." 

But often, we will begin a series, and after a while, the new episodes add in some language, some gore and violence, then sexual innuendo and nudity. It's so disappointing! The first few episodes are completely without objection! They are clean as well as entertaining. When they devolve into filth, it reminds me why we removed the television from our home in the first place.

So why does this happen? I often wonder if the television producers try and suck people into their shows by making the first few episodes family friendly-- OR if they add the filth in to try and garner more ratings later on.

I was going to mention some of the series we've abandoned, but then I decided that the purpose of this article is not to call out certain shows-- as much as I'd like to! 

My purpose in writing this today is to declare that it's the right thing to turn off a show, even in the middle of an exciting episode. It's a good thing to stop watching something you once loved, even if most of the shows in the series are "fine.

The most important thing we can do in this crazy world of ours is to have the Holy Spirit to be with us. And if we offend the Holy Ghost by the entertainment we watch, the Spirit WILL leave. 

We have to each decide if the entertainment we watch is worth losing that protection.

Just something to think about,


  1. Amen! As a teen I realized how much I disliked TV and I didn't like seeing other people sitting around all day staring at a screen. I somehow managed to always be in a student apartment in college without a TV. It was nice! We only had TV our first year of marriage while living in a relative's basement and we could only watch it on the computer which was kinda annoying.
    I agree that they make the first few shows good and then go off the deep end. I have a hard time finding ANYTHING to watch these days. And seriously, who has time to watch TV anyway? I'll have to check out the shows you mentioned. I haven't heard of most of them.

  2. Can I get an amen?! My husband and I have been working our way through this journey to being very selective. We realized one day that if we're watching a show that isn't appropriate for our children to watch, if there is 'that one part' we have to skip past, then we shouldn't be watching it either. We don't have tv either and so we went through our dvd collection once and got rid of the dvds that needed to leave. We're really careful now to read detailed reviews for any movie we may be considering watching, and we generally stick to shows that are older. I've not heard of some of the ones you mentioned so now I have something new to check in to - thanks!

  3. SO TRUE! We took our TV off the provider over 8 years ago now. What a blessing that was. It is so interesting to watch a series and as it progresses add a little here a little there and all of a sudden, quite without warning, it is something you wouldn't have chosen to watch at all! Quite an interesting thing to see.

    Love this. It is something to think about for sure. ALL media. It is something I am still trying to learn. (as we all seem to be working in stages with this. :D)

  4. Thank you! It's so refreshing to hear this. We chose not to have a tv before we were married and are extremely selective about movies we watch on the computer and how often we watch them. We see huge blessings in our lives and our children's lives as a result of this! A lot of people have a hard time understanding or even imagining why we would take this stance. They laugh when our kids say that 'Little House on the Prairie' is they favorite show. I just wish they could experience it because I would never go back; it's been that wonderful. :)

  5. I would love to just get rid of TV altogether. I rarely watch anything--there just aren't very many good shows on anymore. My kids occasionally watch Nick, Jr. or PBS kids, but I limit their TV time a lot because I want them to be active and creative. My husband is the one that's the problem. He is a TV-aholic. I don't know if he'd be able to survive without the TV. In fact, we didn't have cable during the 2nd year we were married and instead, he watched DVD's all day long. Granted, we are very choosy about what DVD's we buy and own, but not having regular TV to watch did not cut down on screen time one little bit. how do you get your husband on board with something like this? Plus some of the shows he likes to watch are definitely something I would never choose to view. I have to remind him every time that if he feels he has to watch that show, can he please watch it upstairs in our room with the door closed so the kids don't see it? I just don't know how to get him to see that a lot of the media he allows into our home isn't something I want in my home.

  6. Amen to this one! I feel just like you. It is frustrating when you start to watch a series and then they have to throw in the bad stuff. I respect you for your stand on this issue.
    Blessings to you!

  7. I love this article! We too got rid of our TV at least 6 years ago. I haven't regretted it since. There are still some shows that my husband and I enjoy watching online. But I'm learning the value of watching something that I would allow my children to watch too. If it is too sexual, gory, explicit etc for them, then perhaps I have my priorities mixed up. Just my opinion.

    As a family, we started watching Dr. Who series. It has been fun. Sometimes its a little intense for our kids...but the further into the series, the more it deals with science being the god, rather than ever acknowledging God. It leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I have been very careful to expose my children to shows that promote our beliefs. And when they do contradict our beliefs, I make sure to take the time out to explain why they believe what they do, and why we believe what we do.

    Anyway, I have been thinking it is time for some cutback in our household of "entertainment."

  8. Good post..and not an easy one, either. At least for me. I hate when I find a show that is actually fairly clean, interesting, and then...a certain word pops up, that I simply won't watch a show when that language is used, and I have to stop watching that show. Too bad!

    My husband and I like suspenseful shows, and there are a few that we do enjoy, but it is definitely something to remember as we watch, that the spirit will only be with us when we are inviting him with media that is appropriate. We have had to apply that and turn stuff off when it is not up to snuff, standards-wise.

    Those Standards are not just for the Youth! Sometimes our oldest watched shows with us, and I hope this lesson helps him, too, to see us switch a show off if there is inappropriate content. My hope for my kids is that they learn to set their limits with media, too. (actually, its more of a calculated goal, but you know...)

    We also liked Dr. Who for awhile, but yes, the Godless aspect bothered us enough to abandon it. Ah, well. There's always something better to watch, right! (Or, do something else. We like to make music together or have an ice cream party and a game night, too)

    I have watched all the shows you wrote about in the post, Rachel, but Victorian Farm, I'll have to check that out. My kids like watching the Duggars with me on YouTube. That's a family favorite. Anyone have a bunch of kids who are also fans of the old "Ernest" movies? Those were funny when I was younger, too.

  9. This is the first time I've read your blog but it DEFINITELY wont be the last. Your post are so refreshing. I have a lot of the same views you do and it's SO hard to find people out there who support our decisions to be done with broadcast TV. I've found that an unbelievable amount of people are numb to filth the world has to offer and they think Our family is "very extreme" and "holier than thou" when in actuality, all we're doing is listening to the spirit. We don't think we're "better" than anyone else. So, thank you so much for having the courage to post your values and write about them. Keep it up!! I've been a huge fan of 19 kids and counting for years (I have all the seasons) and I'm excited to watch the ones you've recommended.

    Sincerely; you're newest devoted reader, Michele Knight, homeschool mom of 6!

  10. Yes, I agree. I wish there was something that would let the producers know when we quit there show part way through, some way to get the message to them. Some of the new LDS movies look interesting that they shared between conferences.


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