The Ranch Review

Watching Television is Good

Elissa Huynh, In-depth editor

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“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength but by the strength of his heart,” said Philoctetes, from Disney’s Hercules.

Television shows and movies tell many stories to people of all ages and backgrounds. They inspire, entertain and teach. The best consists of dynamic characters, complex plots, symbols and important messages.

Although the events in shows and movies are primarily fictional, they are mostly applicable to real life and teach many lessons. The Octonauts, the children’ television show, premiered in 2010 on Disney Junior. It includes a lot of educational content with lessons about plant and aquatic life through the stories of eight animals that search for adventure and fun.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a Nickelodeon television show that came out in 2005. It follows the story of Avatar Aang and his friends as they face the war started by the Fire Nation and Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation as he finds his destiny. This show is deeply inspirational and is full of morals.

“The Painted Lady” is an episode where Katara refuses to ignore the sickness and pollution of a Fire Nation village. She expresses the characteristics of a selfless and determined girl and helps to save the village. She teaches the audience that people should not turn their back on others that need help even if it inconveniences them.

Aang faces his destiny to kill the Fire Lord Ozai in the last four episodes of the series, “Sozin’s Comet.” The entire series led up to this final battle. His training and adventures were part of his mission to become prepared to end the tyranny of Ozai. The plot took a turn when he changed his destiny and took away Ozai’s bending without killing him to finish the war. This finale sums up the important message that people have the ability to change their destinies.

“It is important to draw wisdom from different places. If you take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale,” said Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Horror movies tell people what not to do in life since they can lead to paranormal activities and even death. Movies about haunted houses inform people to research a home before moving into it because they might have creepy histories and ghosts.

Friday the 13th (1980) is about some young people that go to a summer camp as counselors at Crystal Lake, which has a history of murder. They face a serial killer and get shot or stabbed. This horror movie is a message to everyone that they should not go into the woods that is known for its deaths and that they should be responsible and not do dumb things like wandering in unfamiliar isolated places alone.

Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide is a TV show that aired from 2004 to 2007. In the series, Ned, the main character, gives tons of advice to making it through middle school, but they are applicable to other situations. The episode, “Revenge,” teaches the young audience that revenge makes everyone involved losers. In “Electives,” the lesson is that students need to work from good grades because they do not come easily.

From 1993 to 2000, Boy Meets World ran on TV and this show focuses on Cory Matthews and his life. He grows up throughout the episodes and faces different conflicts learning many values each time. It also follows his family members and friends as they also solve their own problems and mature. The lessons let the audience know that they should value friendship, be themselves, follow their hearts and more.

Television exposes different cultures and ideas to the audience. People can also watch shows or movies in from different countries and in various languages. For example, Korean dramas have unrealistic features but expand cultural knowledge and perspective especially to those who do not live in Korea.

It is a well-known idea that television is bad for people. Too much has many negative consequences, but people need to have self-control. According to The Telegraph, limiting the amount of time spent watching TV to two hours a day increases the life span. Watching too much TV leads to gaining weight, damaging relationships, isolation, less sleep and other effects. These facts mainly are to warn people that binge-watch or depend on TV more than the average person. People need to have self-control and limit the amount of time in front of a screen. That does not erase the amazing qualities that come from shows and movies.

Shows like Spongebob Squarepants negatively affect children’s brains due to the fast pace and overstimulation. According to The Associated Press learning problems and worse, low test scores result from watching them. People should be self-aware of possible consequences from exposing to themselves to content like Spongebob Squarepants. It was proven to only harm preschoolers, so others have the free choice to enjoy the entertainment of characters living in Bikini Bottom.

Tom and Jerry exhibits violence scenes, which can negatively influence children. It has many different weapons, explosions, gunshots and more as Tom and Jerry are on a long chase. Tom never seemed to learn from his mistakes either. This cartoon show actually portrays some life lessons like how size does not matter when Jerry, the mouse, outsmarts Tom, the cat. It also teaches that confidence is important since Jerry easily defeats Tom through his confident actions.

Books also teach people many lessons and provide characters, stories and more. Reading improves language, increases amount of communication and activates more imagination. Watching TV does not automatically eliminate reading as an important activity. Why choose between television and books when one can simply engage in both?

Despite the warnings that television harms people, it still has positive influences by teaching and inspiring.






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Watching Television is Good