Disclaimer: I’m part of the Netflix Dream Team, but I’d been an active (okay. somewhat obsessive) Netflix user for years before.
When I was growing up, my parents were very much against television and limited my sisters’ and my consumption to PBS–at least when they were home. But the second they were out the door, the three of us would watch anything but PBS. And, like most people, we developed some faves that unwittingly became part of our DNA.
My sisters were more interested in animated shows: Speed Racer, Casper, Scooby Do, Richie Rich, Tom and Jerry. But I was more into live action: Superman, Batman, The Three Stooges, Star Trek, The Prisoner, The Avengers. And, wherever I could find it, Hitchcock. Lots and lots of Hitchcock. But whatever we watched, it was inside a “fort” we built by throwing blankets over the back of the couch and some dining room chairs. And let’s not forget the Jiffy Pop. (The folks at Netflix just sent a fancier version of the couch/chair fort, which I’m planning on breaking out when my daughter gets back from sleep-away camp. Or I may try it out for myself, just to be sure it works.)
So when my kids got old enough, say around age five, I started them on Hitchcock and everything else I loved. And, not surprisingy, they came to love (most of) it too. We did (and still do, even though the kids are older) a lot more than just watch. We talked about the plots, the characters, their motivations, the choices they made, and what we might have done differently–or the same. At one point I had an epiphany about my parents’ insane fixation on PBS: It wasn’t the network itself; it was actually all about the “educational” content of the programs. And even though I rebelled against their TV preferences, I feel that I’ve passed my parents’ general philosphy on to my kids–but in a much more open-minded way: There’s something to be learned in almost everything (even The Three Stooges).