Monday, May 24, 2010

Goodbye, PBS...hello TNT?

I had one of those "the Past is repeating itself" flashbacks recently, while watching TV, of all things. You see, when I was really little --maybe 3 or 4--I used to sit with my dad while he watched Star Trek...the original one, with super-cheesy William "Kirk" Shatner and pointy-eared Leonard Nimoy and perpetually over-acting "I'm giving her all I can, Captain" Scotty, and of course "Dammit, Jim" Dr. Bones. Obviously, it was all WAAAY over my head. So I asked approximately a million questions during the show, which made my father understandably nuts. "Daddy, how did those people disappear? Why are they shooting at those monsters? Where are they going in their spaceship? What's a Klingon?" Mostly what I remember, to tell you the truth, is my dad begging me, through gritted teeth, to "just watch, and you'll find out!" (as if it would all magically make sense to me then!)

Skip forward to present day, where I like to have the television on as background entertainment/distraction while I'm exercising. I happened to be lifting weights after the kids got home from school, and had popped in a DVD of the show Leverage. Both boys had been outside, but suddenly Riley wandered in, sweaty and tired, looking to plop himself down on the couch and rest for a while. His standard line, when he sees me working out in front of the TV is:  "Mom, is that an adult show you're watching?"...(no, no, not that kind of adult show! he means is there any language or violence he shouldn't see.) I did a quick mental Mom Ratings Review (let's see: occasional fist-fight, high-tech criminal activity, mild curse words) then decided to let him watch for a while. (I'm very well-practiced at hitting the Stop button fast when necessary!) Then the questions started:  "Why did she take that man's bag? How are they going to get out of there? Are those the bad guys?" Thank goodness for the technological age in which we live, since I was able to Pause, and say "okay, listen carefully, and I'll explain..." The basic premise is that a group of professional thieves and con artists bands together to achieve justice--albeit through often illegal means--for those who have been wronged in some way. A modern-day Robin Hood saga, if you will. Riley absorbed my brief summary and proclaimed, "Oh, well it's good that they're helping people who've been hurt!" (we'll discuss the Moral Dilemma aspect another time, perhaps...)

Then Derek joined us, and I had to repeat the explanation and recap our story so far. But the two of them sat, transfixed, through one episode...and immediately requested that we start another one. It seems like just last week I was recording episodes of Handy Manny and Curious George for them, and now we're moving on to Caper Crime dramas? Yikes! Although I don't want them to stay little kids forever, sometimes I do wish for a temporary Rewind button back to the good old Disney Days...

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