The Idiot Box, Recycled


While all of America has had the best time laughing at Netflix over the “We’re-a-disc-service-now-we’re-a-streaming-service-no-wait!-now-we’re-either-one-SURPRISE!-it-was-all-a-dream-we’re-kidding,” debacle, the movie service has had one unwavering devotee…my child.

Once the magic of having programming instantly appear on your TV screen happened (you know, like TV has done for years now), she literally spent about two weeks simply scrolling through the viewing options on the Netflix streaming pages. Sadly, there are a lot of shows on Netflix that no one wants to watch.

Unless you’re the only eleven-year-old girl in the Northern Hemisphere who isn’t allowed to watch Twilight yet. Then there are TONS of shows on Netflix that you can enjoy.

I suffered in silence while my daughter watched every episode of Monk ever made, including the school holidays where she would stage a MONKathon, complete with snacks and a chalk outline of a body on the living room carpet. I even tolerated old episodes of The Golden Girls with very little right-eye-twitching, mostly because Betty White is enjoying a pop-culture comeback and her Twitter user name is @BettyFckinWhite. What’s not to love?

But then my daughter discovered The Cosby Show. You know, that completely believable television show about a family living in New York where the mom is a lawyer and the dad is a doctor and they have five kids but miraculously not a single one of them ever snuck out with the car and got pulled over for DUI with three ounces of weed and an unregistered gun under the seat. The worst thing about that show was not the completely fake family with the laugh track and adorable jumping-the-shark add-on characters (uh, hello? Raven-Symone, anyone?). The worst part of the show was Bill Cosby’s sweaters.

We tried really hard to help her over this obsession by trying to convince her that the actress who played Rudy is actually a Greyhound bus driver now, or that Theo’s character became a cross dresser in episode 165. We started to tell her that the actress who played Denise ended up in drug rehab, but that actually happened so that joke is off limits.

Towards the end of this non-stop Huxtable spree, a new character came along. Some convoluted storyline involving a streetwise smart-mouthed cousin appeared in order to breathe new life into the show. Or as my daughter put it, to “reach a different demographic than the show had already been working with.” Weird, I don’t remember sending her to private school.

At last, tonight we reached the final episode. The family gathered in the living room (Cosby’s family, not mine…I couldn’t pay my husband to watch it and I was only there to make sure we saw it through to its end of days) and reminisced before Theo graduated from college. The trip down memory lane took two episodes. I tried to convince my daughter that the whole series ended with a tragic house fire with all the cast members present (except Denise, who was still in drug rehab), but she didn’t believe me.

Now that the series has ended—AGAIN, I hesitate to point out—she has found a new show to love. Storage Wars. Yes, a reality show about people who root through the discarded contents of other people’s abandoned mini-storage units. Where’s a sparkly vampire movie when you need one?

9 thoughts on “The Idiot Box, Recycled

  1. You should never, ever let her watch Twilight. Honestly, implementing a nothing-Twilight-within-100ft-of-the-house rule would be a good idea. But I’m totally not bias, or anything…

  2. You made me laugh out loud for real. Thanks and I hope you come to enjoy “Storage Wars,” it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. 😉


    • That was hilarious! I remember one Family Guy Cosby-knockoff where Theo is trying to have a serious conversation and Cliff keeps doing his crazy noises and gestures. Theo is screaming, “DAD! She’s PREGNANT!” and he just keeps talking in those crazy voices!

  3. DH and I think your daughter is super cool. We LOVE Storage Wars. You have to admit it is rather neat to see them to find some strange , previously-unidentified object that turns out to be worth a bundle. Not neat enough to tempt me to attend the recent auction at a local mini-storage facility but still….

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