In Defense Of Television: Part #9,448,502

She gets this from her mother

I used to have a KILL YOUR TELEVISION bumper sticker on the back of my car. And I meant it. I used to openly proclaim my lack of cable and my disinterest in anything on television. I used to give my son “TV TOKENS” (Poker Chips) that would allow him the opportunity to watch certain video tapes we had, but in limited doses. I was, essentially, anti-television in all forms.

Needless to say…that is not me anymore.

A little over a month ago NikkiZ and I saw our first commercial for the movie, Princess Protection Program movie on the Disney Channel. Since Disney over-hypes their movies, this gave us plenty of time to get hyped up about it. Since then I’ve been answering the question, “When is that coming on again?” on a daily basis. To say she was excited alone would be a lie. Her excitement had me excited. We’d pause previews for the movie when we’d normally fast-forward through commercials. We’d watch the D-Com EXTRA behind-the-scenes spots and the music videos. Everything we could until it was to air on June 26th.

I woke NikkiZ up this past Friday saying, “Do you know what comes on tonight?” To which she screamed, “Princess Program Protection!” (That’s what she called it.) When she got to school she excitedly talked about how we were going to watch it that night. When I picked her up that afternoon she enthusiastically asked if it was on yet! We made pizzas, we ate ice cream, we put on our pajamas.

And then the whole family (sans AndyZ who was already asleep) congregated in the living room to watch the movie. She curled up on the couch with me and excitedly discussed each scene as it passed. Did I see that pretty dress? What about the worms? Why is she scared of lizards? We’re not scared of lizards! Are the bad guys going to get her? Carter is brave! LOOK AT THOSE PRINCESSES!

It was so much fun. We proceeded to watch it three more times throughout the weekend, as the enthusiasm finally began fading.

But we did it all together. It gave us one more thing to enjoy together. To talk about. To giggle about. TOGETHER.

Yes, I’m a lazy parent and often I use television to quiet the masses while I wash dishes or fold laundry. And sometimes while I do something really selfish…like bathe. But it also often pulls us together. Whether around Cat Deely on Wednesday nights or the Jonas Brothers on Sundays, we’re gathering as a family. (MrZ would like me to point out he is NOT watching the Jonas Brothers with us. He does have his limits.) It’s hard for a family of five with this range of ages to find unifying interests…television helps us do that. And that justifies my cable bill right there.

Being able to also drool over John Barrowman during the summers is just an added bonus.