, , ,

When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?

The most offensive show I’ve seen in years is Two and a Half Men, and I think it was a big success with the general public. If I were the mother of that little boy (who’s now a teenager) I never would have allowed him to be on a show like that. There were far too many morally questionable situations on it for it to be funny.

One program I really like because of the values it portrays is Blue Bloods. It shows four generations of a family who are held together by love, religion, and career choices — the justice system. The parents are good parents — not perfect. Members of the family argue and sometimes make mistakes, but they stand by each other.

Many people will remember The Cosby Show, one of the best family sitcoms ever produced. It, too, shared family values, caring parents, and the usual host of problems that five children can bring. And it was funny. It didn’t have to employ sexual innuendo, double entendre jokes, or crass humor.

Between raunchy sitcoms and questionable prime-time commercials, it’s hard to know when you can let children watch TV, or even watch it with them and have to answers questions about inappropriate material or language.

It seems that the competition between network TV and cable growth has spawned programs that vie with each other by exploiting sex, violence, embarrassment/ degradation and weirdness. Of course there’s still PBS (usually good), and National Geographic when you’re stuck for choices.

Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film in a theater; we watch some on cable, but have a hard time finding ones we want to see.

I like to see movies and TV program that are mystery, action, political intrigue. My favorite film trilogy is the Bourne series — despite the extreme violence. The plots and interaction between the characters is very good, and those are important elements in a good movie or TV show. For the same reason, I enjoy NCIS (Washington) because of the blend of characters.