Times have changed, and so have our values.
Behaviors that used to be outside of the norm are now acceptable e.g., adultery, selling drugs, therapists sleeping with clients. While these behaviors have always been a part of the fabric of our lives, not until recently have we started to view them as okay. We have become desensitized to inappropriate behavior. Sometimes I feel like I am all alone in my outrage of our hedonism.
The other night I was watching an episode of Mistresses. One of many TV shows that celebrates debauchery. If you are going to sleep with another woman’s husband and her son, at least be adult enough to take responsibility for your actions, instead of blaming your behavior on someone else.
While it is important for TV characters to exhibit human failings, if all we see is the negative, then that’s what we will mimic. We learn by watching others, whether it’s how to dress, how to speak, how to wear makeup, what detergent to use, or what kind of car to drive. How reckless it is for a TV producer who promotes excessive violence, pornography in prime-time, and other inappropriate behaviors to say, “Television does not influence kids.” Has their desire for MORE simply clouded their judgment?
My least favorite character on Mistresses is the psychiatrist, Karen. Ironically, the female therapist is often the most unhealthy character on any TV show. I think about Violet on Private Practice. She was a woman who was paid good money to give advice, yet couldn’t keep her own life together. She was having an affair with 2 doctors in her small workplace, got pregnant by one, played a cat and mouse game with both, and then had a baby that she deserted not once but twice. And that was just season 1.
In Mistresses, Karen was having an affair with her married client and later his son. Her unethical behavior jeopardized her therapy practice and impacted her partner. Yet, she was appalled when she discovered that her partner had turned her into the authorities, which caused her to lose her medical license. She just couldn’t understand how he could betray her like that, and lie to her face about it. Really Karen!
Am I the only one who would welcome at least one positive role model on TV—every now and then? I understand we cannot turn back the hands of time, because Pandora’s Box has already been opened. But it would just be nice to see healthy values, morals, and respectful behaviors exhibited once in a while on the air.
I’m Francine Ward and what do you think? Join the conversation on Twitter, on my Esteemableacts Facebook Fan Page, and in one of my LinkedIn groups.