The new ABC series Once Upon a Time may be one of the few shows I would truly designate as family-friendly. Of course, there are plenty of shows on television geared towards kids that are watchable for kids of all ages. But if you’re like me and the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants makes you nauseous, you may be wishing for something that was a little more adult that would still entertain and be appropriate for the younger members of your family.
While spending excessive amounts of time watching TV isn’t good for anyone, building in family television time can help decrease the amount of time kids spend watching TV overall as well as making television a healthy part of your family dynamic and your child’s life. After all, television, like a novel or a play, can spark individual thought and group conversation. Television can also encourage your child to begin reading. Once Upon a Time does just that. After all, what’s the fun in watching a show about fairy tales if you don’t know the original fairy tales to begin with?
The premise, which is a contemporary American town populated by fairy tale characters who have forgotten their past identities, blends the new with the familiar seamlessly. Episodes alternate between the characters as they are in the present and as they were in the fairy tales. Each week tends to focus on a different character; for example, this past week the focus was on Snow White’s evil stepmother and the genie who became the “Mirror, Mirror on the wall” that is so familiar to generations of Disney lovers. The fairy tale characters make the show relatable for younger audiences, and the compelling relationships between characters make it compelling for older viewers. The show deals with some tricky themes, including adoption gone wrong, occasional light violence, and a few racier subplots that so far haven’t made the show uncomfortable for parents to share with their children.
What are some of your favorite family-friendly television programs?