Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Movie Night

One tradition our family really enjoys is that of family movie night. Each week, I either make or order a pizza or two, and we all snuggle in and watch a movie together, usually on Fridays, Lately, it is a movie from Netflix, via disk in the mail or instant download. Sometimes, though rarely, we do find something to watch on the television…I say rarely, because it is hard to find suitable family-oriented material on network tv these days. Actually, it got so bad that about six months ago we canceled our cable subscription and went entirely to Netflix and dvds only (with mom sneaking in an occasional viewing of a favorite program on Hulu after the kids are in bed). I mean, even IF you could find something you all wanted to watch, the commercials were so bad that you had to send the kids out of the room while they ran, or tell them to close their eyes and go, “Lalalalalalala!” the entire time. You’ve got to wonder what they are thinking when they run those horror film commercials during a children’s program, or the lingerie ones during a supposedly “family-oriented” series. Obviously, as I think we are all aware, the morals of Hollywood do NOT generally line up with those of conservative families.

However, earlier this week, I received an email saying that NBC is re-instituting their Family Movie Night series on Friday nights. Now, to me, that seems like a step in a positive direction. First of all,, it encourages families to do something TOGETHER instead of each person doing something different in  different rooms of their houses, like planets with divergent orbits. Secondly, they are attempting to step up to the plate and start showing titles that are suitable for the ENTIRE family, so that when the families do this activity together, they are not compromising their values to do so. I think this is a phenomenal idea. Yes, I agree that folks can do what we did and get rid of their cable subscription, and maybe even their televisions, and this will solve the problem, too. But let’s face it, a lot of folks are NOT going to do that. Television is here to stay.

Thus, the next best thing, in my mind, is to work on improving the quality of what is offered on the networks, whether we tend to watch it regularly or not. Why would we want to do this? Because improving the mores of society benefits us by helping others, one family at a time. If other families have the opportunity to view programming that draws them closer together, encourages them think about the importance of making wise choices, and shows examples of positive interactions with other people (instead of the constant ridiculing and harassing you see in most “comedies” these days, or the hate and violence of most police shows, or the occult and sexual undertones of many others), then that is a really good thing. Think of the excellent dialogues that could potentially happen in households all over the country, and the positive influences of just a few young people who see something better and decide they would like to work towards THAT instead of the mediocrity and the “make myself happy to the exclusion of all else” attitude found in so many shows that are popular today. I just LOVE this idea of a Family Movie Night on network television. I truly am hopeful that it is a step in the right direction…

But, to make this happen, they need support. If people do not watch the family-friendly movies and make it very clear that they are excited about them, they will not last long. Television is about making money and the sponsors need to know that their investment is going to pay off. So here is what we have to do…we have to support this initiative and make our approval of it known. A strong showing of support by viewers like you and me will send the message that we, the viewers, want MORE family-friendly shows (and advertisers), and maybe, just maybe, we can help turn the tide in a small way, one time-slot at a time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that choosing to not watch one show is no big deal…every “vote” counts, and you HAVE to start somewhere.

I have seen the trailer to the movie, and it looks like this is a worthwhile place to start. Imagine how much happier families will be after they spend some time together on the couch, eating popcorn, and talking about what they are watching (and finding it has a redeeming message)? I know it sounds like such a small thing, but I distinctly remember times when we first started Family Movie Night at our house and Bubba would complain that the movies were too “babyish” for him, yet by the end of the film, he’d be laughing (or sniffling, when appropriate) just like the rest of us. Those are memories I treasure, and I truly believe that our time together and our discussions made a positive difference in our relationships (and continue to do so).

Check out the trailer HERE.

Here’s what you can do to help support this budding initiative:
  1. Watch the movie trailer HERE. I think you will find it interesting.
  2. You can find a synopsis of the movie HERE. You can request a FB event reminder on this page, as well. You can also find more about the Family Movie Night initiative HERE.
  3. Make note of the movie, A Walk in My Shoes, on your calendar for Friday, December 3rd at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST and WATCH IT!
  4. Tell your friends and other family members about this movie and encourage them to watch it. You can give them the link to my blog so they, too, can watch the trailer and get excited about it, too.
  5. Announce the movie using your Twitter and Facebook accounts (for example: FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT airs on NBC, Friday, Dec. 3; 8pm EST) and even blog about it, like I am. Spread the word!
  6. “Like” the group Family Movie Night on Facebook. You can also watch a brief preview video on FB HERE.
  7. Encourage your friends (and yourself) to comment about the movie, and its sponsors, on the FB page. Let them know what you liked and how you appreciated the move towards more family-friendly programming. Let them know if you review the movie on your blog, too.
  8. Plan a fun (and simple) meal for Friday, December 3rd, (like pizza or nachos), stock up on popcorn and your family’s favorite snacks and drinks, and prepare to have a memorable experience…together. Moms and dads, don’t miss the chance to discuss the show and what it teaches. It looks like it will be a good learning opportunity.
I am really hoping that this movie will live up to the promise of the preview I have seen. If I get an opportunity to view the movie early, I will certainly review it here and let you know all about it ASAP. In the meantime, I remain hopeful and excited, not so much for us (since we already do Family Movie Night) as for other families that this might open a door to better relationships, values, and happy memories for them. Let’s all pray that something like this can truly be a step in a good direction…every little bit helps.

Blessings to you all for a happy, healthy, and DELICIOUS Thanksgiving. I pray this holiday finds you safe in the arms of your loved ones, and if you are apart, I pray that you know your are missed and will soon find yourself home again.


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