Friday, 18 January 2013

TV and film.

I was only ever allowed to watch a little TV as a young child - we didn't have one at all until I was 4 and a half, and my viewing was very limited (I have fond memories of Bosco and Pat's Chat). I had a vivid imagination and lively outdoorsy personality.

Overall, I found it weird when I visited other houses where the television seemed to be always on, regardless of whether anyone was actually watching something. It was like a comatose member of the family that no one dared switch off, every glanced at from time to time - it was very much a presence in the room, even when not actively watched.

Fast forward to my own parenting choices - I've managed to keep E away from TV for the most part until the later part of her first year when she started watching some little youtube videos. And then when we got a freeview box, I let her start watching CBeebies as there are no ads (I despise advertising on childrens' TV - when I saw one on RTE2 for McD's "Carrot sticks" but the ad still full of the familiar golden arches branding I was enraged at how they're trying to circumvent the ban on advertising junk food to kids).

Then, just before Christmas, she watched her first feature film - ET The Extra Terrestrial. I hope I don't have to link that - surely everyone has seen or at least knows of the classic ET? If not, beware - spoiler alert!

E sat through the whole film - a rarity for her to sit still that long for anything - on my lap, talking about what was happening. She was especially moved by the point at which poor ET fell in the river and was so cold. "The Alien" as she called him turned blue, and the boy was very sad, and then he went home in his spaceship.

It's a heartwarming story about friendship and bonding and family and saying goodbye but remembering forever.

A few days later we watched the classic The Snowman. She loved it too (though she wasn't particularly captivated by the sequel, the new The Snowman and the Snowdog, which failed to live up to the original in my mind either, though it started very promisingly).

Once again, a story about a short lived friendship with a magical or unusual creature, with a sad ending and memories that will last forever. Also, a classic scene of flying through the air that has entered popular culture in each film.

So E has been introduced to the world of film, the world of flying, and the world of tragedy, all in one go. I wonder what she'll do with all that? Her imagination has taken off, at at the moment we've no freeview so so CBeebies, so no TV. Just one Dora the Explorer DVD which drives me crazy so she's only watched it twice - I don't think she's too bothered either to be honest, she enjoys her Dora books but when it comes to TV, she seems to have delightfully discerning taste.

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