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Sports Free Zone, Volume II

December 9, 2013 - Zach Baker
Unlike Sting and Dire Straits, my parents didn't want their MTV.

Or at least, they didn't want me or my brother to have it. When we got cable in the mid to late 80s, I was allowed to watch just about anything.

Just not MTV. Apparently my parents feared it'd be too raunchy.

A music loving eight year old like me had to take solace in VH1, wondering how Lionel Ritchie was able to dance on the ceiling, and why David Lee Roth was jumping all over the stage.

But I was an obedient kid. My parents said no, and I followed the rules.

Yeah, real cool story so far, huh?

But as I got done watching Fox's "The Following" (I'm on episode 2 on Netflix), I realized that I was born at just the right time.

There'd be almost nothing for me to watch now.

There's lots of adult content on TV these days. And not just cable TV. There's blood, gore and swearing, and there's very little left to the imagination in other aspects.

I'm not a social conservative in the sense that I abhor adult themes on TV. But I do wonder just what it is kids do before they go to bed now. When I was in first grade, I watched ALF. It was on at 8 p.m.

What is on at 8 p.m. nowadays that's suitable for kids?

I know, you've heard this all before other places.

But here's what worries me. Through two episodes of "The Following," I've seen a dozen or so brutal murders, a man set on fire, a puppy killed.

Where else is there to go?

Everyone loves to push the envelope, but I can't help but think that old cliché no longer applies. The envelope has been Charlie Rich'd.

I do remember being a kid and watching "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Hitchcock knew how to frighten you, concern you, humor you, without giving it all away.

Kids could watch that show and be entertained and frightened, but not scarred.

In today's entertainment world, I think it'd take more guts for someone to produce a show the whole family could be entertained by, but not offended by.

It's like a comedian. The best comedians, to me, are the ones that can make you laugh without going overboard on cursing. Lenny Bruce is a legend because he did something few others did at the time. Same for George Carlin. But now, everyone likes to push it.

You want to stand out nowadays, be funny and family friendly. Be compelling and family friendly.

Be entertaining and family friendly.

Give the kids something they're allowed to see.


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