Pop Culture Blog: Tuning in to Family Friendly Television

Pop Culture Blog: Tuning in to Family Friendly Television

by: Niki V

We’re pretty big television fans at our house.

My husband and I have our regular, weekly must-watch shows and the kids have their favourites, too.

Since we like to know what our gang is watching, we often tune in with them.

Before they went to school, we spent a fair bit of time with Franklin, Clifford, Caillou and Little Bear over at Kids’CBC and TVO kids.

But, now that they’re older, they love the shows on YTV and the Family Channel.

Unfortunately, even though I’m a huge Phineas and Ferb fan and occasionally laugh at an episode of The Wizards of Waverly Place, for the most part, I don’t enjoy “their” shows. I just don’t get the appeal of The Suite Life on Deck, So Random or iCarly. And, for some reason, Good Luck Charlie drives me absolutely crazy.

So, in an effort to save my sanity, I decided to introduce my children to some of the shows I enjoyed growing up.

After all, they are already huge fans of some of the great movies of my childhood like Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, ET and The Princess Bride and the cartoons of my Saturday mornings like The Smurfs and Scooby Doo.

The only thing that seemed to be missing were those great 1980’s and 1990’s sitcoms and family dramas that filled the primetime evenings of my youth. So I decided to remedy that. And with the availability of old shows on DVD, retro cable channels and online services like NetFlix, it’s been easy to do.

So, what do the kids’ think of “my” TV shows?

For the most part they love them.

One of the first shows we watched together was Little House on The Prairie. We were able to buy the complete series at Costco for under $100. All three of our kids’ love to watch the adventures of Ma, Pa and Laura Ingalls. Plus, the historical setting and the situations the characters face spark lots of interesting discussions. As an added bonus, watching the show inspired my daughter and me to read the Little House on the Prairie book series together.

Another family favourite is The Muppets. After seeing the movie last year, we got the kids several season of the TV series on DVD for Christmas. They love quirky humour and the characters, and I get a chuckle out of seeing all the “now famous” people who appeared as guest hosts and musical acts. Plus, our older son is now a huge fan of Kermit the Frog.

Most recently, my daughter and I have been watching Family Ties. Even though it was one of my all-time favourites growing up, I was actually a little surprised at how interested she is in the antics of Alex P. Keaton and his family. When we have a spare half an hour, we curl up in front of the tube and watch an episode. It’s a great way to spend a little time together.

Still the kids don’t seem to love everything I used to watch. Apparently Kevin from the Wonder Years is weird and the show is boring. And no one stays in the room when I flip on The Flintstones, Gilligan’s Island or Boy Meets World.

Regardless, I plan to keep introducing them to the shows I loved to watch growing up as it’s a great way to spend time together and see things anew through my kids’ eyes.

Next up — The Brady Bunch, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Facts of Life, Growing Pains and The Cosby Show. And, when they’re older. maybe Beverly Hills, 90210, Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek.

Do you still watch any of the shows you tuned into growing up? Have you watched any of them with your kids? Would you?

About the author

Niki VNiki V is a busy mom of 3 kids who loves reading, writing, laughing and technology. Aside from being Mums ‘n Chums’ new Pop Culture blogger, Niki also has her own blog, called So Apparent, which can be found at www.soapparent.blogspot.com

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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!