My wife and I used to love watching a new movie or a TV show after putting the kids to bed. In addition, I love downloading TV shows to watch while on the airplane because I am constantly traveling for work.
This process has become increasingly frustrating. I’ll become interested in a show and then, out of nowhere, there will be an extremely explicit and completely gratuitous sex scene or excessively bloody battle scene. Or the actors, for no reason at all, will begin dropping F-bombs and S-bombs left and right.
I am actually a pretty grizzled veteran when it comes to this stuff. I got baptized in my mid-30s, and I saw plenty of bad stuff in the movies before I joined the Church. So it’s not as if I am a delicate flower who has never seen nudity or blood or heard bad language. I can even understand the point that sometimes a movie is made better by explicit scenes. If you really want to understand and feel what the Normandy invasion was about, then “Saving Private Ryan” with all of its violence is a good choice. My feeling is that the violence in “Saving Private Ryan” is not gratuitous, whereas so many movies these days are filled with completely unnecessary garbage that is extraneous to the actual story.
Here is what I want: stories about human being doing real things, having real romances, overcoming difficult problems, but without explicit sex scenes, bloody violence or any F-bombs or S-bombs. Is that too much to ask?
I maintain it is not, and I think there are a lot of people who agree with me. Even my friends outside the Church complain about all of the garbage in the entertainment world.
So, there are two purposes to this post. The first is that Wheat & Tares has a podcast dedicated to discussing entertainment that promotes family values. I have not listened to it yet, but I will download the first few episodes and let you know what I think. You can find the podcast here.
The second purpose of this post is for readers to suggest some movies or TV shows that fulfill the requirements above. Again, what I want are real stories without explicit sex scenes, bloody violence or swearing. It would be a bonus if the movie promoted family values and faith, but I am not even insisting on that. I just want to get through a movie or TV show without being disgusted.
Here are some of my favorites movies just to get the discussion started. I watch so many movies and TV shows because of my travel schedule that this list could be very long, but here is a start.
Pride & Prejudice (the movie version or the BBC version — they are both good).
Poldark (BBC series)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Shenandoah (Jimmy Stewart movie from the 1960s)
Most movies made before 1965 or so on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
I am a big fan of musicals and have watched all of the biggest musicals, from Fiddler on the Roof to Singin’ in the Rain.
As I said, this is just a start. Please let me know some of your favorites in the comments below.