When I was your age, back in the day, etc. etc. etc. These are the things I preface to The Max when he asks to watch a television show. When I was his age TV was very different. Our family had a television. It was seven thousand pounds and it sat in a permanent spot on the family room floor, making everlasting marks on the carpet.
We only had one TV in the house. We also did not have cable until I was older. TV programs of the Prime Time variety were classified into four genres in my pre-teen head:
1. Sitcoms I wanted to watch.
2. Sitcoms I did not want to watch.
3. Dramas I wanted to watch.
4. Dramas I did not want to watch.
Later on in my childhood, we subscribed to cable and I was introduced to the new world of Nickelodeon. I was past the age where the bulk of the shows were entertaining to me and the Nick at Night offerings like The Honeymooners were something I avoided. The Disney Channel was a pay channel like HBO or Showtime. It was a miracle that we had cable at all, we certainly weren’t going to be the family that paid above and beyond for a kid’s channel. Yet somehow I felt as though there was more than plenty of kid geared television on broadcast to satisfy my viewing needs.
Twenty years later the world of kid’s TV is very different. Nick is still there. Along with Nick Jr. Cartoon Nick, Teen Nick, and TV Land. The Disney channel comes with the regular programming and the have spin off channels as well. Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Sprout TV, and so on assure me that twenty four hours of every day I can choose between at least half a dozen made for kids television shows. I might be wrong, but the only show I can remember specifically made for kids was Saved By The Bell.
Because of this, broadcast television seems to have abandoned the family sitcom. I’ve mentioned before I don’t really know what is on TV currently, but it seems the days of Who’s the Boss and Growing Pains are long gone. If I want to sit and watch an age appropriate show with my son I have to sit through iCarly or Hannah Montana. I don’t want to do that.
Thank goodness for the wise people at TBS who show a good selection of those shows. Another great resource is websites like Hulu.
I do wish that Max and I together could have Cosby Show night, like I did with my family. My dad worked late the night it aired, so mom would feed us popcorn, raw veggies, and root beer for dinner as we sat on the family room floor.
Max’ll probably say the same thing to his kids. Yup, he’s going to reminisce of the good ol’ days of iCarly. Ugh.