My family is probably NOT the norm. My son has his shows that he watches and for the most part, we’ll either let it play in the background or we’ll sit and get sucked into whatever ridiculousness he’s watching.
My husband rarely watches tv. And I honestly didn’t realize it until I sat down to write this.
But me? I like my tv and I definitely have opinions on what I do and don’t want to watch. And when some of us or all of us sit down to watch tv, I’m in the precarious position of trying to get everyone to watch what I want to watch.
The first problem I have is the content. No, I don’t like chick flicks and girl shows. I’ve never actually seen a single episode of Gilmore Girls or Grey’s Anatomy. The biggest problem is that most of the shows I like are rated TV-MA.
Now, we’re pretty liberal in our household and even though my 10 year old has seen plenty of PG-13 movies, he’s never seen a rated R movie and I’m an absolute NO when it comes to video games rated M. But TV-MA is definitely equivalent to a rated R movie and so when it’s time for family time, I’m usually the deciding factor on what we will or won’t watch.
The other problem is that most of us are pretty non-committal when it comes to watching a show. It’s kind of like our nearly daily dinner conversations.
Are you hungry?
A little. I mean, I could eat.
Do you want to cook or go out?
Maybe we should order in.
Do you have a taste for anything?
No, not really.
How about Chinese?
No, I’m not in the mood for Chinese
…and so on. Don’t even try to tell me these conversations never happen at your house because I know they do.
So picking out a show to watch can be similar. Want to watch anything in particular? How about this? Not in the mood? And we usually end up settling on something that we know we’ll like, like Arrow or Once Upon A Time.
Every once in a while, I just need to break out of the rut and I want us to watch something different. Let me explain how I make it happen easily and with no objection.
Recently, I wanted to watch a movie and finding a movie that we can all agree on is nearly impossible. My son wants to watch something he’s already seen for the 11th time. My husband wants something with action and violence. And I want something that’s new and different and makes me think or feel a little.
As I turned on Netflix, I saw a preview for the movie Lion and read the description:
An Indian man who is separated from his mother at age 5 and adopted by an Australian couple returns home, determined to find his birth family.
That’s not the kind of description that’s going to grab my 10 year old son and my husband. So I didn’t even tell them what it was about. I simply said, “Let’s watch this. I heard it’s really good.” And we started it.
I squirmed a little when we started because the entire beginning of the movie is subtitled as the characters are speaking Hindi. I looked around and asked, “Are you guys okay with this? Do you want me to turn on something else?” But at that point, they were already sucked in to the story of little Saroo, especially since they knew it was a true story.
But the end of the movie, we were all glued to the tv and I might have had a little water leak out of my eyes. And when it was over, my son turned to me and said, “I’m glad we watched that. That was a really good movie.”
This technique of just “putting something on” and letting my family get sucked in has worked so many times. It’s how I got them to watch a documentary about kids around the world going to school. And it’s how I got my son interested in the entire Trollhunters series even though his first impressions were very meh.
Next time you want to watch something with your kids, your significant other, or the whole family, you might want to consider simply grabbing the remote and pushing play before anyone even has a chance to voice an opinion. Because we know their opinion is probably wrong anyway.
Interested in convincing your family to take a chance on Trollhunters? Netflix has some other ideas to strongly persuade your family!
This post is part of my monthly contribution to the Netflix Stream Team community.