Saturday, August 9, 2008

Since when do you watch that?

A few years ago, I had some students (freshmen) try to tell me that The Nanny was a good show. I was so appalled by this that I immediately put on a gas mask, hit a button underneath my podium and watched as the door and all the windows sealed shut as a poisonous gas filled the room, putting them all out of their misery. One kid's final words were, "Why are you wearing that, Mr. Johnson? And why is my throat getting at scratchy?" I didn't feel very proud of myself for doing that, but it simply had to be done. We can't have a generation of young people who go around thinking that The Nanny was a good show. Of course, I had to deal with all the angry calls from parents. "Why is my son dead?" "You're a murderer!" Blah, blah blah. The principal said that she'd fire me the next time I did that, but that's what she said the last three times too.

To be fair, I don't think that I've ever watched an entire episode. I think that I've only seen a few minutes here and there. For the sake of this post, I did a YouTube search, and this is supposedly one of the funnier moments - so funny that somebody felt the need to upload it to YouTube:

My favorite part is the laugh track - that lets me know that it's funny.

If I'm going to be fair though, I recall when I was a kid watching shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, etc. I remember my dad used to sometimes walk into the room and watch it for a few moments, and then he'd ask me and my sister, "What are you watching?" He'd say it in the same tone that somebody would ask, "Why do you have a beaver on your head?" We'd answer him, and then he'd look at us and ask, "Since when do you watch that?"

Can you believe that guy? What an idiot! Obviously, the man didn't know quality entertainment when he saw it. He must have lived his life in a cultural vacuum or something, because he sure didn't recognize high-art. I mean, check this out:

Pretty good stuff, huh? I bet you watched it a few times, right?

Ummm...okay, so maybe the shows that I watched when I was a kid were pretty crappy too.

What got me to thinking about this is that Kirsti had finished watching one of her shows that she had recorded the other day. The channel that the box was on was showing an old episode of Roseanne. Out of morbid curiosity, we watched about five minutes of it. That was about all that we could stand. I mean, this stuff was painful to watch. There was absolutely nothing funny about it. The acting was bad, the dialogue was lame - everything was just awful.

That reminded me of when my students were talking about The Nanny. I had told them that when they get older, they'll realize how bad it is. A couple of my students protested, insisting that their parents liked the show. Really? Adults? Watch that? Really? Unfortunately, this is probably all too true. After all, there were adults who watched the crappy shows that I did when I was a kid (not my parents, but some parents of my friends did). I don't think that they watched them out of a sense of irony either.

About a week ago, I turned on the TV to find Hannah Montana starring Achy Breaky Heart's daughter. Holy crap - that was some bad stuff. It's probably pretty safe to say that I have students who actually watch this stuff. The good news is, many of them will one day realize how bad all this stuff is. Some will not though, and they will continue to support crappy stuff that dumbs down our world.

You know, maybe I shouldn't have killed them. Well, not all of them, anyway.

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