Saturday, October 09, 2004

Fear this

My daughter's got something going on with reality TV, and I don't like it one bit. For a long time she's been interested in the kind of inspirational semi-staged stories on shows like "It's a Miracle" and "Real Kids, Real Adventures," and I could deal with that. Kiddie game shows on Nickelodeon GAS, kiddie decorating shows on ABC Family, OK. "America's Funniest Home Videos"? Not my taste, but it seemed harmless enough ... except that's how it starts, isn't it? Something innocent, then something less innocent, then bam! She's watching "Fear Factor" and refusing to turn it off when I say. Last night I told her she was not allowed to watch that disgusting show, and today her dad caught her sneaking it in the middle of the afternoon. It's true that my objection to "Fear Factor" is more of an aesthetic nature than out of any actual fear for her, but -- ew, I don't want that thing on my TV, thank you very much. Or "Exciting Police Chases," either. My daughter doesn't get why I say no, and so in her increasingly teenage mind that means she doesn't have to do what I say, and boy, I'm going to have to whip up a little Fear Factor here in our household to stop that particular behavior pattern in its tracks. Think about this, Miss Teenybopper: Every channel blocked except the 24-hour PBS children's show channel. Caillou. Barney. Teletubbies. Be very afraid.

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