It’s a Good Show-Except One Little Part!

August 22, 2008

by Dr. Glen C. Griffin


Don’t swim with sharks or crocs

No one with any sense willingly goes swimming in water where there are crocodiles, sharks,

Crocodile - representing harmful content in media
Art by Kimball Warren

harmful bacteria, or parasites. Sometimes water is so murky, it’s obvious we should stay out, but sometimes, hazards are not at all obvious. The same is true of movies.

Most of us enjoy forgetting our troubles as we watch an exciting movie, imagining being the hero and doing the things he or she does. During the show, our minds are filled with uplifting thoughts-or ones that may be grossly violent, inappropriately sexual, or otherwise self-destructive. So, it makes sense to take care about the roles we allow ourselves to play.


30-second commercials sell products-and ideas

When someone says, “It’s a good show-except for one little part,” ask if he or she would eat a pizza that looks good-except for the little part where a mouse is stuck in the cheese.

Mouse on a pizza - representing bad material in entertainment
Art by Kimball Warren

Small parts and short messages may make a big difference. 30-second television commercials sell lots of whatever is being offered, or companies wouldn’t spend lots of money producing them.


At what age can a mind handle garbage?

Movie ratings imply that

Garbage in can - representing the content our minds take in when we entertain certain media
Art by Kimball Warren

once someone reaches a certain age, say thirteen, he or she can handle subjects filled with sex and violence-and even more at age seventeen or eighteen. This is absolutely wrong. In fact, the teen years are a terrible time to promote the false notion that sex without marriage is a game everyone plays.

“I can handle it,” a teenage daughter told her father.

“I’m not sure I can,” he answered. “Some things are inappropriate at any age.”

If something is garbage for 8-year-olds, it’s garbage for 13-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 18-year-olds, and grown-ups. Ratings systems without this basic understanding are flawed and worthless.

Article continued…


Online Family Movie Guides– the place to learn about the uplifting and entertaining movies, exhibiting character and morality, playing in theaters or premiering on television, that you can enjoy without being offended. You can also find reviews and comments about uplifting movies, classics and new ones, on video and DVD, listed alphabetically and by category.– a site of film appreciation, information, and criticism informed by Christian faith.– offers Movie Lesson Plans and Learning Guides to 285 movies. “Learning Guides” are flexible tools for teachers and parents, providing background, discussion questions, links to the Internet, projects, vocabulary lists, and promoting character education.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops– is responsible for reviewing and rating theatrical motion pictures, previewing and evaluating television programming as well as providing the Catholic public with information about the role of the entertainment and news media in influencing societal and personal values.– one of the largest faith and family movie rental companies on the Internet, like Netflix & Blockbuster, but the real difference is, our movies can be enjoyed by the entire family.


One Response to “It’s a Good Show-Except One Little Part!”

  1. You are so right about the need to be discerning … Even when selecting movies on the “safe” zones. USCCB, for example, had some trouble a while back for recommending “The Golden Compass” and other films. Caused quite an outroar in some camps, because the author of the book on which the film was based was an unabashed atheist.

    I do think the age rankings have some benefit in terms of teaching children to think critically. “The Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe” had scenes that were too scary and violent for my children — those I fast forwarded, as they were not essential to the plot. But after watching it together, my little girl turned to me and said, “That lion, he was kind like Jesus!”

    Yes, dear. He was. We proceeded to read much of the book aloud at bedtime, so they could make those connections even better. (Others choose to make reading the book a prerequisite for seeing the movie, as an incentive to read.)

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