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jayjay
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My husband likes to watch old TV shows with the kids since most of the new stuff for kids is basically garbage. They recently started watching The Wonder Years (which I also have issues with, but I digress). I happened to be doing some work in the living room when they had it on and was listening to the voice over. Now my husband thinks I'm nuts because I told him the writers would never make that show work today because they do too much telling instead of showing. 😂

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The Wonder Years was a skillfully written show. If you happen to see an episode titled "Goodbye," please stop and take the time to watch it, whatever you think about the rest of the show. That ep chokes me up, whenever I even think about it, and the final 3-4 seconds of the episode was done so masterfully that I don't think Ii could even describe it without my voice cracking...

 

On the rest, I think we may sometimes make almost a religion out of the show, don't tell slogan, and I think it might be better stated as, show when you can, tell when you have to... 

 

Voiceover in film and video seems best used when there's information that can't somehow be shown, and especially when a character experiences insights that are too deep or complex to expect an audience to figure it out by what they see. Since this show is all about growing up, which involves changing, seeing new things, and watching youthful idealism  collide head-on with reality, the characters have tons of these kinds of experiences.

 

The ways they used narration in that show were kinda experimental when they used them then, but I don't think they could have told those stories in such short episodes any other way. They seem to have worked, but I'm guessin' it took just the right team of people to make it work; others really never were able to duplicate their success, even with as much copying is done in television.

 

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@Wes B I almost never watch TV. I don't really like it. I definitely prefer books! 

 

That being said, I'm sure there's some great parts of the show. I just don't think it's always appropriate for kids. At least the show I happened to watch wasn't. It was all about getting drunk and smoking. Also, we teach our kids that they don't need to date in middle school, and it seems to be an overarching theme in the show. 

 

I don't have a problem with TV per se. It's just not for me. 🤷‍♀️

 

And the show don't tell comment was said a little tongue in cheek, but that doesn't always come across in writing. 😉

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I probably wasn't clear about my thoughts on show, don't tell. I think you were pretty clear, though. I just have this thing about when (other) people try to turn well-meaning advice into absolute laws. You were good; I may have taken the wrong opportunity...

 

I don't think The Wonder Years was ever intended to be a kids' show. The narrator is the MC as an adult, and he reflects back as an adult on all the things he didn't understand as they actually happened. Kids watching by themselves would likely be bored by that. I think its resounding success came  from its ability to make us reflect back on life as we've seen it.

 

That said, I think it's fabulous that hubby is watching it with your kids, as almost every episode can be the starting point for some excellent conversation with them about something. We've all messed-up in myriad places, and a little advice on what to expect would be really valuable for any kid who'd listen. The actual stories would be great conduits to getting the kids to actually think about them. My kids were growing up as it first aired, and that idea never occurred to me at the time... alas...

 

I hardly watch TV either, but there are a few things worth seeing, if only we could filter out the vast majority of stuff that makes us want our time back, after watching. That one episode I mentioned might be interesting to many writers. It's a remarkable example of fine storytelling, and using a very unlikely set up for a stunning payoff. It got a TON of award nominations, including being a winner for one for excellence in writing. Trust me...

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I agree with Jayjay and also WesB. For most sitcoms today, they show instead of tell but back then, I think the focus was on feelings and emotions. At that time, Wonder Years was a good show, with solid acting. Perhaps it depends on the sitcom and the display or lack of, emotions.  

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9 hours ago, jayjay said:

My husband likes to watch old TV shows with the kids since most of the new stuff for kids is basically garbage. They recently started watching The Wonder Years (which I also have issues with, but I digress). I happened to be doing some work in the living room when they had it on and was listening to the voice over. Now my husband thinks I'm nuts because I told him the writers would never make that show work today because they do too much telling instead of showing. 😂

Well they are remaking the Wonder Years with a black family.  I saw an article that questioned the change in color and how it would fare. 

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11 hours ago, jayjay said:

Also, we teach our kids that they don't need to date in middle school,

We never had kids together. (He has a couple from his first marriage, but he's now at great-grandpa stage.) Even when we were trying there were two things I wanted to do if I became pregnant. 

1. Be knocked out when birth pains started, and wake me up when the baby graduated high school.

2. Don't let the child out of the house until 35 years old. (And in this rule, I would be awake to raise him/her, so these were what I wanted, not reality.) THEN he/she is old enough to date.

 

So don't date in middle school? I'm not sure I'd want my kids to date until they graduated and worked for a decade or two.

 

(I would have made a great mom, right? 😊)

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@Spaulding we almost never marry people we date in middle school. It just causes unnecessary drama. My kids have been told this, and they *might* be allowed to date at 16. That will depend on the trust factor. I take things on a case by case basis. 

 

Nothing wrong with making them wait imo. 🤷‍♀️

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