Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grey's Anatomy – Okay for Teens?

My teen daughter’s favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve never seen it, but I didn’t have a problem with that. After all, her mom watches the show. Her friends at school watch the show. Female friends of mine watch the show. It’s a show for women.

When my daughter asked if she could turn the Tivo from my Italian Serie A soccer to her Grey’s Anatomy show, I initially said no. As a single parent raising two kids, I don’t get to watch a ton of TV. But then I realized I could have some father daughter time by watching Grey’s Anatomy with my teen daughter.

I swear, before the opening credits even rolled, three couples had sex, including a one-night-stand hookup, and a couple who were only together for the sex. WTF?

Is this what teens are watching on TV? Don’t get me wrong, I realize TV shows push the envelope way more than when I was a kid. And from rebound sex coffee dates to sexy and funny wine country dates to seeking casual sex at a convention, I'm certainly no prude. But what happened to dramatizing meaningful relationships?

In Grey's Anatomy:
  • There was one woman annoyed that the guy she picked up in a bar and slept with wanted to actually date.
  • There was one woman annoyed that her boyfriend who she only wanted for sex gave her a key to his place.
  • There was a couple who had unfulfilling sex, and wondered why they were still together. (Okay, that last one is like a real relationship)
  • There was a doctor and nurse who started spooning right there in the hospital on an empty bed. (Actually, they were doing a little more than spooning...)
I know that some people these days avoid relationships, just like the doctors in this Grey’s Anatomy episode. They fear that being part of a partnership will screw up their future, or something like that. A great book that discusses this phenomenon is Unhooked, by Laura Sessions Stepp (discussed in this blog post about hooking up.)

Is it good for my daughter to be watching a show where casual sex is so... casual?

I just hope she realizes it’s okay to date and fall in love. You don’t have to sleep with strangers all your life. (And for anyone who thinks I’m setting a double standard – please know that I don’t blog about relationships while I’m in them. Perhaps I’m not presently in the long term relationship I’d like to be in, but my real life is healthier than my blogging hookups reveal.)

17 comments:

rennschnecke said...

g-a ist langweilig .
kein vergleich zu er, ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Everything I've read tells me that teens still crave conversation with their parents about relationships. The fact that we have an apparent torrent of hooking up on campuses says that we aren't very good at having those conversations.

I suspect that you've had a few of them with your kids, but maybe these shows can also be "teachable moments."

You can still help your daughter forge principles that will serve her well for a lifetime. And I'm sure you are.

End of sermon (for today).

BigLittleWolf said...

Have never seen this show. Don't think my teens (boys) watch. But now I'm going to ask.

Tsquared417 said...

I love Grey's...but don't think I'd let my teens watch it. But...maybe it's a good talking point???

Nicki said...

Definitely not what I want my kids watching. It used to be MY guilty little pleasure. Alas, close quarters prevents me from keeping up on it. I'll have to question you more about the particulars of the storyline. ;)

The Pipster said...

I hope she does not watch Jersey Shore. Unfortunately, I cannot tear myself away. I do think that Teen Mom on MTV is a good show for some girls to watch because it is such an eye opener about what life is really like after the baby is born (at 16).

Danielle said...

I was just wondering this last night. Is there really anything on regular tv past 7pm that is suitable for the under 18 crowd? I can't really think of any prime time shows that don't include something pushing the envelope.
Good post dad.

dadshouse said...

Extended discussion on this topic over at my intro post. I really need to figure out how to get everyone commenting in the same place! http://dadshouseblog.com/2010/02/03/greys-anatomy-okay-for-teens/

TentCamper said...

i have seen it before and it, along with many shows that teens watch these days are inappropriate. That being said, there is not much we can do to keep kids from seeing inappropriate TV shows...all we can do is hope that we've taught them well enough and talk with them about what is going on in the shows.

Vinomom said...

When I watched tv shows like 90210 as a kid I didn't think that was what real life was about. I knew it was TV ! Also as an avid Grays Anatomy fan I can tell you there is quite a bit in the show about love and marriage as well, NOT just hooking up.

That must have been a rerun you were watching because pretty much every character right now is in a long term relationship!

However, just because I think this show is ok doesn't mean I think they all are. ABC Family has a lot of teen shows that I think are a little more appropriate.

Keith Wilcox said...

I've never seen the show so I can't comment on that in particular. However, I don't really think it's much of a problem. Sure, TV can influence the weak minded, and teens are usually weak minded; but, I don't think well taught kids are the ones who are at risk of going astray. I think it's the ones who get no other guidance that find themselves doing stupid things (or more stupid than usual by teen standards). Anyway, I don't think that made much sense. I'm still a little sick (bad cold). Excuse my NyQuil induced nonsense.

tammy said...

I hate how TV promotes casual sex as the norm. It used to be when I was a kid that the "bad" shows didn't come on until 9:00 at night, but not so anymore.

I've heard that at my local high school (and I live in a pretty small town) you can find lesbian couples kissing in the halls, along with BJ's being the way to say good night after a date instead of a hug or kiss (I forget what they call it). I hate how promiscuity is so acceptable in the majority of teens nowadays, and really feel like TV and movies don't help at all.

Not a soccer mom said...

I have pretty much let my teens watch anything on TV and we have been to some pretty raunchy movies together.. but we talk ALL the time. We talk about how unhealthy it is, usually them telling me.
they have friends (and acquaintances) in high school who are having just as casual sex as seen on TV. and we live in one of the most conservative states in the nation.
Communication is KEY! I try to talk my kids through challenges rather than forbidding and praying

Debbie(singlemom;complicatedworld) said...

I will admit..I am a bit of a prude!!:) And I probably would not let my kids (teens) watch Greys! BUT at least there is an overt message there!! Sometimes as parents we assume the before prime time shows..or the kids channels shows are good for kids and the underlying messages can be worse!! I think open communication is key! and knowing your kids...some can handle more then others...!!

JENIE said...

i agree with debbie, open communication! if we can only tell them all the time what to do and not to do. i guess it's the training and them understanding is what matters.

im back actually to check your blogroll, and sadly i found i wasnt even there. you were linked in 4 of mine...let me know if we can relink. thanks.

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