…and Why We WON’T Be Watching 13 Reasons Why
Warning: This post is not for everyone, as it addresses some hard cultural topics like suicide, rape and homosexual sex. True, I often aspire to be a lighthearted Erma Bombeck-esque blogger. This is not, however, one of those times.
I am a very modern mom in that I am constantly telling my teens to get off their screens. Ironically though? I am often right there on my screen with them!
(What can I say? Candy Crush is just so addicting. )
However, every so often…as in several times a week during the summer…we call a stalemate and celebrate our mutual
love of addiction to screen time. This is not a case of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Rather, it’s more “Let’s hang out together. Let’s watch a show. Let’s talk.”
We’re picky, mind you.
We don’t watch everything we’re told to watch because hey, we’re Catholic Christians, after all! Our eyes are the window to our soul, you know, and for that reason…
Here are the shows (and the reasons) we love to watch.
1. We watch shows that make us laugh out loud, with our current fave being Gilmore girls. It’s seven seasons long and ought to last us awhile! We used to watch the very funny Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt until, in the words of my 16-year-old Cate, “They kept trying to shove the world down my throat.”
It’s true. There were attempts at humor that just made me the mom feel…icky.
2. We have good conversations about bad life choices, i.e. Sawyer et al. in ABC’s LOST. This will be my third time sitting through this 6-season series. Now that’s commitment, am I right? Plus that Sawyer’s just so darn cute.
And speaking of cute guys…
3. We can talk about sex without having to watch it because ew?! Who wants to watch a sex scene with their mom?! Who wants to watch a sex scene period?!! I’m dead serious. Porn is porn is porn is porn, and sadly, there are an awful lot of shows with sex scenes. I avoid them like the plague, the idea being that I should be able to watch a show in a public library without feeling like some kind of pervert.
That being said? We are all about love & cute guys & developing relationships. 🙂
(Safe Haven comes highly recommended by my 14-year-old.)
Again, quoting Cate, she appreciates movies that are “simple and elegant about romance that can get a beautiful point across without over-compensation.”
(I could watch those three movies again & again & again. I have watched those movies again & again & again.)
6. We take turns on the treadmill while we binge-watch a series. Current sweatin’ with the oldies fave? The Office, which was incidentally a big BIG hit with my two oldest sons.
7. We talk about credible story lines and Hollywood’s propensity for changing the plot–e.g. The Inn of the 6th Happiness.
8. We get creeped out…in a good way…by watching Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone.
9. We get inspired in the kitchen by The Great British Bake-Off…
…whereupon Mom starts speaking in a fake Scottish accent…
…and falls hard off the Paleo wagon…
10. We watch movies based on books by authors we’ve read. Have you seen The BFG yet? LOVE it! Love Roald Dahl even more.
11. We revisit some of my old favorites and see what they (my teens) have to say about them. The Parent Trap and Breaking Bad are two very extremely different examples of shows from my “youth” that I’ve watched over & over.
12. We discuss up ABC’s modernist take on Andrew Lang’s The Fairy books. We skip the scene with the lesbian kiss.
13. And the 13th reason we watch shows together is…
There isn’t a 13th reason, natch! 13’s unlucky; you should know that.
In all seriousness, at this point, you have probably already seen (or decided not to see) the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why. I’ll be honest: I got totally sucked in when I first started watching (this was back in February in my cozy hotel room in Chicago, when Netflix had hosted a bunch of #StreamTeam bloggers) and I literally flew through the first seven episodes, at which point I came to the rape scene and…
I don’t see any reason why watching a rape is necessary, other than shock value, maybe? Higher ratings? Titillation?
And then there’s the very controversial last episode where the main character is shown–in horrifically graphic detail–slicing open her wrists and taking her own life. It’s awful and again, I see neither the point nor the benefit. I have some very dear friends who have lost children to suicide, and this show has driven them away from Netflix. It’s worth considering the “altruistic” goals of such a series, especially given that Season 2’s in the making.
There are many, many other reasons why this show is dangerous. A simple Google search brought up articles published all over the web, as in this Huff Post piece; this article from Teen Vogue; this guest post on Go Ask Mom, and this write-up on The Washington Post.
We live in an amazing country where so very much is taken for granted and where we are free to pick & choose and be & do…whatever we want and when we want with very little reprimand or recrimination.
Ultimately, when it comes to watching ANYTHING on Netflix (or Amazon Prime or YouTube or WHATEVER), my Catholic Christian Mom Thought is this: We live in an amazing country where so very much is taken for granted and where we are free to pick & choose and be & do…whatever we want and whenever we want with very little reprimand or recrimination.
This is and will always be my mantra.