And now for something completely different, an extremely biased and inappropriate guide for things to watch with your children, even if they are sullen teenagers

Books are the best, as we all know, but there are times when one wishes to watch something, and so I have decided (given that I answer to nothing and no one here, except myself) to offer an incomplete list of the various thrilling and inappropriate things I have found to watch with Chestnut and Diana. In an order that doesn't really make sense but, you know, feels intuitively right to me.

1) Totorro: The be-all and end-all of things to watch with your offspring (or anyone, really) this strange, poignant animated Japanese movie is bizarre and wonderful and (at heart) almost unbearably beautiful. Beware, there is the looming specter of death in the mother's illness. 

2) Monty Python, all films, all shows, all types, at all times and places. So, maybe you would want to know that there is plenty of nudity, filth (literal and figurative), naughty bits, however! Ever since they were about 9? I guess? This has been a sacred meeting place of utter silliness, and was instrumental in their claiming their nerd birthright, and bonding with others of the same order. You will get tired of the voices thought. There is no way around this.

3) Scott Pilgrim vs the World: Do you have a teenager who is—let's say reluctant—to leave his or her room, due to the lure of the internet and video games et al? I will tell you what happened once upon a time. We started to watch this movie, not even trying to ask the kid (who says no to all things). And then she happened by on her way to get a cookie, and was…intrigued. And NOT ONLY did she stay, she asked us to rewind to the beginning so she could watch the whole thing with us. Possible drawback: your child will want to dye her hair green and/or blue.

4) Throne of Blood: OK, this is not for all takers. But if your kid is interested in dark, bloody feudal Japan? It's a surefire hit! Possible drawback: not that many people are interested in dark, bloody feudal Japan?

5) Three Days of the Condor: I have no explanation for why this was a hit, and it truly has the worst type of 70's sex scenes with terrible black and white photography and bondage-lite (which your child might helpfully run from the room to avoid, like ours) but the rest? Totally exciting. (If violent—yeah.) Drawback: Interest in the CIA as a possible lifestyle.

6) The Great British Bake-Off (alt: The Great British Baking Show): THE MONSTER HIT! Loved by the nephews, ages 8 and 10! Loved by the other nephew, age 13! Loved by me! By both Chestnut and Diana! Thrilling! Good clean fun! Oh, how we loved it! MASSIVE drawback: You get addicted, and then you can't! Watch! Any! More! Because the freaking BBC has CUT OFF YOUR ACCESS just because you live in the US. So you figure, OK, I'll join PBS and watch the episodes there! But then you realize there are TONS of seasons you still can't access. You try YouTube, you have a pathetic attempt to download them onto your computer when you're in the EU, hoping the BBC will let you in. But no. Bastards! Eventually it subsides to just a dull throbbing ache, like a lost limb. But you never stop hoping…

7) RuPaul's Drag Race: This is our current hit, and it has proved to be pretty fantastic. Everyone comes down to watch, to absorb the drag wisdom (don't play it safe!) and applaud the general glory. Possible drawback: someone might try to make me wear high heels I guess? This has not yet happened, and seems unlikely.

Back to books soon (soon in, you know, blogging terms, ie: when I get it together). Chestnut is currently reading The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria, and says it is awesome. Coming soon….

2 thoughts on “And now for something completely different, an extremely biased and inappropriate guide for things to watch with your children, even if they are sullen teenagers

  1. Yes! Absolutely! to Totorro, Monty Python and British Bake Off…haven’t tried the others, but will add to list. By the way, a VPN, or using a site such as Getflix, helps greatly with BBC offerings, even though their more commonly used for Netflix as you can probably guess from the name…
    That’s how I get to watch House of Cards in Australia 🙂


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