Television Archives - Dadstractions

Is ‘My Little Pony’ Setting A Bad Example For Children?

Jun 20, 13 Is ‘My Little Pony’ Setting A Bad Example For Children?

Posted by in Movies, Parenting, Television

On episode two of the Dadstractions podcast, I briefly discuss the upcoming “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls” movie that is creeping me coming out this summer. I question why they felt it was necessary to have the ponies turn into humans in an alternate universe and WHY THE HELL ARE THEY SO CREEPY!?! Seriously, look at this picture: Pinky Pie looks like a Grey! Well, The Daily News recently published an article where they asked “Gen-X” moms in New York City what they thought of the pony-to-human metamorphosis the girls go through in the upcoming film. Beside the ham-fisted dozen or so equestrian-related jokes throughout the article, The Daily News offered up the typical fair I’ve come to expect whenever any iconic female character goes through a re-imagining. Comparisons to Barbie, complaints of the ponies-turned-human looking anorexic, dressing in mini-skirts and hooker boots and setting a bad example for young girls everywhere all sound very similar to the complaints about other major iconic female characters that have undergone changes in recent years. The 2009 confusing change to Dora The Explorer and the Minnie Mouse super model makeover in 2012 both garnered similar outrage from the public. Is this really an issue? Do kids really try to model themselves after the cartoons they watch? Are they really trying to compare themselves to Dora, or Minnie, Barbie or Ponies? I grew up watching He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers and I never felt I needed to get all crazy muscular, run around shooting guns and, I don’t know… transform? There was that time the Decepticons got wasted on Energon though… These characters are the property of their owners and they will do with them as they wish. They’re nothing but a giant marketing ploy designed to sell toys to kids anyway. And, if your kids look up to these characters as role models, help your kids to know the difference between emulating the behavior these characters portray versus trying to model themselves after the characters’ clothing or physical appearance. I’m against the...

read more

Popular Culture: “So Say We All”

My wife was puttering around the house the other day while my daughter was watching  Netflix streaming.  Half listening to what was being said in the TV, my wife heard a familiar phrase, “So Say We All.”  She couldn’t wait to tell me about it. If you are not familiar, “So Say We All” is a phrase used as an affirmation by the surviving humans on the reboot of ‘Battlestar Galactica’.  What’s important here is that my daughter wasn’t watching Battlestar Galactic when this was said; she was watching on Ben 10. The lines have definitely blurred. Pop culture is our culture now. Everything is a reference to something else and if you are savvy enough in pop culture to catch the references, it usually makes things all-the-more enjoyable (well, for me anyway). I love sitting down to watch ‘My Little Pony‘ or ‘Phineas and Ferb‘ with my kids because those shows are rife with pop culture references (and they are just, in general, entertaining). In fact, I’m pretty sure when my children have grown and they sit down to watch some old movies, they will realize that at least a dozen movies have been spoiled for them because of the cartoons they watched as children. Man, that’s going to be a rude awakening. I’ve pretty much given up on trying to spot or call out all the pop culture references in the cartoons my children watch because there are just too many. I’m not exactly sure when this movement started but it is completely pervasive and I love it. I guess it happened because people my age are the ones now writing these cartoons and television shows. They are the children who grew up during the true rise of popular culture. The children who would wake up every Saturday at 7am to watch ‘The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo‘, ‘Monchichis‘, ‘Smurfs‘ and ‘Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears‘.  The kids who ran home from school to watch ‘He-Man‘, ‘She-Ra‘, ‘G.I. Joe‘, ‘Ghostbusters‘ and...

read more

Why Aereo is Such a Big Deal

As I’ve mentioned before, I cut the the cord in December of 2011.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made financially.  I kept my high speed internet connection, picked up a Hulu subscription (I already had Amazon Prime for shipping purposes, and I’ve been using Netflix since their inception) and I was on my way.  I use my XBox for my streaming device  and I bought a digital antenna to bring Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts into my home.  I also hooked that antenna into my Tivo DVR to record OTA shows if I wanted to. Yes, I found most people didn’t know that you can, in fact, still pick up TV shows over antenna and, better yet, they are in HD!  Granted, it’s the basic channel line-up (CBS, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc…) but at a one-time price of an antenna, you can’t beat it. Here’s where Aereo comes in. Don’t want to buy an antenna?  Don’t want to bother with TiVo? Aereo is a service that allows you to stream OTA shows via the internet.  How is this possible?  They’ve set up data centers with thousands of antennas, they pull in OTA broadcasts, and they can either stream it to you live, or you can have them DVR it on their end and stream it at your leisure.  They have reasonable monthly fee to offset the recording/storage demands. On April 9, 2013, a top executive at FOX broadcast network threatened to change FOX network to a Pay-TV model if Aereo didn’t stop “stealing” their OTA signal and selling it to consumers.  This was in response to a preliminary ruling stating that Aereo isn’t subject to retransmission fees because it relies on thousands of antennas to pick up the OTA signal and they aren’t receiving a “feed” directly from FOX themselves (as most local broadcast affiliates do). What Aereo is doing is renting each individual a teeny-tiny antenna and a DVR.  That’s it.  This is no different than what I am...

read more

Looking to save some money? Try cutting the cord on cable!

In December 2011, I finally had it with my cable company.  There wasn’t anything wrong with the service they provided – the cable rarely went out and besides a few blips when I started my service, there hadn’t been any major problems.  When I did have the occasional issue, their customer service department was (usually) very helpful and resolved my issue.  The only thing I had against my cable company was the exorbitant amount they were charging for their services. I had HD TV, I had HD DVR, I had High Speed Internet.  I didn’t have any premium channels.  When I started my cable service four years prior, I was paying a little under $100 a month.  By the time I decided to drop them, i was paying over $130.   This was after a year with two price increases!  I had had enough. I had thought about it many times leading up to my final decision but never imagined it would be a viable endeavor. I didn’t want to go install an antenna on my roof! What about Food Network?!? And, no time delay of shows. Sigh. I went about methodically searching for information about “cutting the cord” and I found some promising news.  Things weren’t as bleak as I was making them out to be. Now, cutting the cord is not for everyone.  There will be some sacrifices. But, I weighed the sacrifices versus the extra cash in my pocket and there was no contest.  Here’s how I went about cutting the cord on cable. Research: Lots and lots of research.  I’m the person who searches for reviews online until my eyes are bleeding.  My wife is happy that I am diligent in my research but hates how long it takes me to finally pull the trigger on something.  What can I say, I like to be thorough.  During my research I came across CordCutterGuide.com.  This site is very informative and I would suggest that anyone seriously thinking about ditching cable should give this...

read more