It has become increasingly difficult for me to find a television show to enjoy. When parents ask me what shows I find good for kids, the list keeps shrinking. It is not only that many shows have a lot of violence and or sex. What seems to be growing exponentially is the number of shows based primarily on adult bullying of some kind.
What are the talent competition shows but an opportunity to visually pan in on the crushed face of the latest competitor to be publically rejected? Most “reality” shows are exercises in watching women beat up on each other, mostly verbally but sometimes physically too. Even supposed news programs have moved towards pitting screamers against each other in hopes that one will shame the other or if it’s an extra great night, the host will shame them both.
It’s called entertainment, but the common theme of sadism and masochism is so front and center that it feels like a throwback to watching gladiators in an arena and all of us are cheering “thumbs down!”. The public has become increasingly aware of and concerned about the prevalence and dangers of bullying in children. Worried parents ask “What can we do?” For starters, stop watching and letting your kids watch bullying for entertainment! Kids model what they see.