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Bent and Broken Television

Despite the fact that I may be chasing some people away.  I wish to further discuss television for a while.  I would like to set up my next few discussion about specific TV shows by providing you with a little of my background on the perspective that I will be taking.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have a keen interest in the Thomas Jefferson Education Model of teaching.  While I don’t believe that the following perspective is unique to this model, I was introduced to this perspective from Oliver Van DeMille.

In his book on Thomas Jefferson Education, DeMille comments that all books can be classified in four ways.  They can either be whole, broken, bent, or healing.

A whole story is a story where good is treated as good.  In other words, as the story is told the “hero” is a good person who intends to do good.  Another aspect of the whole story is the good prevails in the end.

A broken story is one where good is treated as good, just like in the whole story.  But the key difference is that good does not prevail, evil over takes the good.

A bent story is where evil is portrayed as good.  The evil will often win in these stories and the story often increases one’s desire to do evil.  DeMille cites horror stories and pornography as part of this category, but I think that may be too narrow.

Finally, a healing story is one (whole or broken) that moves the reader to change a certain aspect of her life.  These stories don’t always have to have a happy ending, as long as the reader is enlightened in some ways.

DeMille further argues that most classic books are whole stories and that as a reader one should focus on whole stories.

With this information, I would encourage you to look at television and start categorizing the shows you are familiar with.  Looking at the past four shows that I reviewed, I would argue that 2 of them are at least bent (LOST) or broken (Survivor).  I will make more arguments in the next few days of how TV has become a bent and broken medium.

TV is becoming more and more focused on the morose, pernicious, and evil aspects of our lives.  I am not saying that it is time to go back to Ozzie and Harriet, but I do think that TV has taken a turn for the worse.

The next few columns will focus on shows that I used to watch, but I have abandoned because they have offended my sense of right and wrong.  They will be about shows that although still popular are decaying our society and moving us in a bad direction.  Of course, this is all according to my perspective, and I invite your comments.  However, my main point is that these shows are more negative for us than positive.

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1 comment to Bent and Broken Television

  • Very true. We stay away from TV because it is just not worth watching the bad stuff and the good stuff is too far and few between.

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