Filed under At Wit's End, Blogs, Opinion

Family television loses its wholesome content

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Everyone has had that awkward moment when their parents walk in during the single romantic scene in a movie or show.

It’s even worse when they’re sitting right next to you.

Although ABC Family network’s name suggests television shows that are family-friendly and relatively tame, the actual content aired on the network is anything but that.

The network contains shows like “Greek” featuring crazy college party life, “Pretty Little Liars” telling the surprisingly sexy and twisted murder tale of a teenage girl, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” depicting the average pregnant 16-year-old’s plight.

Quality family TV time, am I right? The channel that played innocent teen movies is dancing to a different, dirtier beat these days.

The idea of “appropriate for all ages” has obviously changed.  Blood, sex, drugs and booze are the social norm for family appropriate television.  The idea of what’s age-appropriate has changed as a whole in the last decade.

The film and television industry is narrowing its viewing demographic and separating its audience in one fell swoop.  Parents don’t want to watch the sleazy trash their kids are interested in, and kids aren’t finding shows without shock value entertaining.  The idea that a family can be brought together to be entertained all at the same time seems to be asking too much of Hollywood.

Despite this, the entertainment industry doesn’t seem to be struggling too much.  Both teens and adults alike enjoy these programs, regardless of whether or not they can watch them together and still feel comfortable.

In this seemingly dire television situation, rest assured. There is hope!

The fact that teens don’t feel comfortable watching this kind of promiscuous behavior around their parents gives proof that they feel those behaviors aren’t acceptable in real life.  When parents don’t want to watch the CW’s “Gossip Girl” with their preteen daughters, it shows that parents don’t approve of their drinking problems and loose morals.

It is not the current teenage generation that we must worry about condoning this television behavior, because frankly a large majority of teens see television as entertainment and not moral guidelines.

It is the kids five to seven years behind our current high school students that start out raised on MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”  These kids are seeing high school students on TV and believe that this is what high school is supposed to be like.

One day, the audiences of “Pretty Little Liars” and “Greek” are probably going to raise children of their own.  Will these parents be okay with Serena Van der Woodsen’s coke habits or Aria and Ezra’s unprofessional student-teacher relationship?  If so, then who’s to say that one day parents and children will ever watch television as a family again?

Allison Siegel is the Print Chief for “The Patriot” and jcpatriot.com.

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