I'm not one to brag, but I had a pretty good childhood. We didn't have a lot of money, so it had nothing to do with toys, games, the newest clothes, or other tangible things.
Sundays were always my favorite day. Every once in awhile, we could convince my dad to let us wheel the TV from their bedroom into the kitchen and watch something together during dinner. Whether we flipped over to watch 60 Minutes on CBS or The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC, it didn't matter. We all loved our fancy TV dinners. (I know, I know. That's not what is meant by "TV dinner." I was much older before I realized what they really were!)
I don't know how, but over the years, we found time to watch so many quality shows together. Maybe it's because when we had time to sit down and watch TV, we flipped between the three available channels and picked something. Yes, three channels.
Back then, shows were only on during prime time. The later part of prime time was bedtime, and before prime time was the news. The rest of the day included nothing but game shows (yay) and soap operas (bleh).
Fast-forward a (cough) few years. Now that I have a family of my own, we make time to watch TV together. In addition to regular game nights, family viewing is a wonderful way to bond and create opportunities for dialogue. Just as I did when I was their age, it isn't uncommon for the kids to ask if we can watch TV while eating dinner. Unlike my childhood, we have more choices than simply three channels to choose from. In actuality, with Netflix, we are able to select a show of our choosing and stream it when we're ready.
And the choices are endless. We can watch a documentary or a sitcom. A drama or an action show. Something real or something imagined. Something conservative or something cutting edge. The one consistent is we select shows that will appeal to the entire family and create a conversation that will extend beyond the screen.
I just learned recently that Netflix has started filming reboots of some of my favorite shows that I grew up with but were only shown during certain nights of the week. One of them being Norman Lear's show, One Day at a Time. What I found interesting is the show is utilizing the same script but with a new family, and the issues they experienced then are still relevant . . . and they make for great viewing. But the beauty of all of these remakes is we can watch them anytime — not just during family dinner time anymore.
Our meals, TV, and schedules are far different than when I was a kid, but our family viewing habits, including shows, have come full circle. With new Netflix reboots, such as Fuller House and Gilmore Girls, we are able to enjoy the classics on our own schedule. Or as we're calling it, #TGIAnytime with Netflix.
I couldn't be happier because it reminds me of my wonderful childhood and gives me hope that my kids will look back as fondly as I have.