Watching your favorite show as a single girl . . .
Image Source: Freeform
Trying to watch your favorite show as a mom . . .
7-year-old: "Mom? What's a virgin?"
Me: Fumbles the remote, jumps up from the couch, spills coffee on lap mostly because he scared me but also to distract him from the current line of questioning. "OH MY GOSH, GET ME A PAPER TOWEL, QUICK!"
Because, you know what? I'm not ready. Not at 6:30 a.m. when, technically, he should still be sleeping to allow me my 45 minutes of stolen freedom to joyfully inhale my single cup of coffee and finish bingeing my favorite show, Jane the Virgin.
It is rare that I find these stolen moments of bliss, and when I do, they are almost always interrupted by something or someone. Someone needing food, someone needing attention, my second grader needing to know what a virgin is.
In case you missed it, Jane the Virgin, adorable and entertaining as it is, is not really second-grader friendly.
But finding things that are second-grader friendly while also being fifth-grader friendly, and eighth-grader friendly, and parents not-wanting-to-puncture-their-ear-drums-and-gauge-out-their-eyes-due-to-the-nails-on-a-chalk-board-lameness friendly is hard.
Watching TV together brings us together over something we all enjoy equally (unlike games and nature, both of which I do NOT enjoy). In today's environment of constant connection to the outside world, it is a way for us to just be together as a family. I cherish the evenings we pile on our oversized sectional, cuddle under our fleece-y blankies, and settle in for some family screen time.
The problem? What to watch?!
When you have a teenager and a 7-year-old who is intermittently afraid of his own shadow and also master of all of the questions, finding a show that is family friendly and also family engaging is a tough job. It has to be appropriate for them and also interesting enough to keep me from dozing off so that my husband doesn't slink off to his Man Cave when I reach second-level sleep snoring.
Often we turn to Netflix. It's a place where we can find shows matched to our family, from a variety of genres and time periods, exactly when we want them. It explains how my sons became Full House-ers. We binged a good chunk of the original series during a recent blizzard that kept us all home for a week and, while they like to play it cool, someone added "Fuller House release day" with a ridiculous number of excited emojis to our family calendar for Feb. 26.
They're excited, clearly.
And so am I, honestly. Of course I want to see DJ and Kimmy and the rest of the clan reunite, but more than that, I love the opportunity shows like Full House and Fuller House give our family to spend time together. They show families like ours being families like ours and are a safe bit of distraction and relaxation we can all relate to and enjoy. And, honestly, they inspire us — to come together, to reconnect, and sometimes, even to, gasp, talk (on age appropriate topics that have nothing to do with virginity)!
The best thing is that Fuller House really just marks the beginning of a great trend. Netflix junkies like myself who stalk network news in anticipation of new shows being added to their lineup can easily see more well made, "watch together" family entertainment on the horizon. Good shows with strong plots, engaging, multidimensional characters, life lessons, touching moments, and decent freaking soundtracks. Shows real families of today can actually get behind and fall in love with from beneath their fleece-y blankies on their comfy, oversized couches.
I, for one, am looking forward to the opportunity to add new shows to our lineup. Especially if it means I don't have to play any board games.