I’ve indulged in a lot of things that may seem…unorthodox at best. Doing math problems for fun, watching every season of Flava of Love and Zillow surfing, making an account and savinghomes in the area I knew I couldn’t afford, are just some of the highlights, but there’s one that tops the list. Let me take you through a scenario.
You and your little one spend a few hours binge-watching their favorite show, but when they either fall asleep or become bored and start to pat around for their tablet, you as a parent have one of two options.
A) Turn on your favorite show and breathe a sigh of relief that you no longer have to watch their show or
B) You could continue to watch the show. Most parents ignore that second option because whatever show their child was watching is in no way interesting enough for them to continue to watch.
I beg to differ and would like to openly admit that I—as someone who is over 30—love kid/teen sitcoms. This may not seem like a huge revelation unless I tell you that I have no children of my own and I am not always watching these programs with my teenage goddaughter. I watch them in the privacy of my home and become extremely excited when a new season is released.
“What’s one of your favorites?” I hear you ask. I’ll tell you! Netflix created a brilliant show called Alexa & Katie. Alexa & Katie follows best friends Alexa Mendoza and Katie Cooper as they tackle their greatest challenge—high school—or so it seems. Alexa is a star basketball player and is eager to see how her freshman year of high school will change her life forever; however, Alexa receives another surprise, one more devastating than not having a locker next to Katie’s. After not feeling too well, the Mendoza’s take Alexa to her pediatrician who tells them that she has cancer. Naturally, the diagnosis puts a strain on Alexa and on the girls’ friendship, but not because of chemotherapy, stress or homework. The strain comes from Alexa’s rebellious nature that was born after her diagnosis. She refuses to change her life because she has cancer, truly living the saying of “having cancer, but cancer not having you.”
A new favorite of mine is Bluey and newly discovered Big City Greens. What I love about these shows is that they are for kids, but they’re really for us. I went from not even knowing who Bluey was to now wondering when they’re going to do an episode on the origin of these names. Who names their daughter “Bingo?” I have questions. I want to talk to Muffin’s parents because why is she like that? Who spoiled her like Angelica? I just started Big City Greens and just passed the episode where Tilly said the goat’s spirit was a dog. She then proceeded to enter him into a dog contest. Then, they had another episode where the kids sold fake produce at the farmer’s market. It really shouldn’t be as funny as I see it, but boy, do I laugh—HARD!
So, what do I get out of watching these shows? Well, for me, these shows do a couple of things. If you think about it, all the trends that we follow become what they are due to the youth, the Gen-Z crowd and beyond. As a natural storyteller, what better way to do some investigation than the shows geared toward this group? What problems do they have now and how have they been solving them? (Omit Euphoria. Euphoria is a show filled with trauma, but it’s so good!) How do screenwriters speak to this audience? Within that same vein of storytelling, it is fascinating to see how stories and the telling of those stories have evolved over the years. The stories in Rugrats and Hey Arnold is different from Dora the Explorer and Max and Ruby (Another one of my faves) and even more so from Sydney to the Max and Game Shakers. Sometimes as adults we forget the simplicity of storytelling because of all the schooling and life experience we have as adults. We overexplain because it’s what we think we have to do but the simplest of stories evoke the greatest emotions and create memories that last a lifetime.
So, I will continue to be excited when there is a new season of Raven’s Home or Louder and Prouder (which is just finished) and learn what I can from this younger generation. I’m not using the lessons. I just want to know what’s going on.
What are some of your guilty pleasures? Anyone have one they want to admit to? 👀This is a safe space.