I didn’t demand that

We don’t watch a lot of TV around this house.  We’re so busy (at the splash park, at the museums, at playdates, at “soccer practice,” building a river in the back yard, picking berries, making matchbox racetracks, running up and down the hall and flopping on a stack of pillows, jumping in the jumpolene, kicking balls, batting balls, catching balls, throwing balls, and making up brand new games) that we don’t really have time for TV.  Which is awesome.  But I do allow it, in 30 minute to an hour increments, every now and then.  Which is why I LOVE PBS Sprout and Verizon’s on demand feature.  We can play our games, do our experiments, and run around like chickens until we’re just exhausted.  And then we can cuddle up with a little Thomas the Tank Engine or Roary the Racing Car or Sid the Science Kid, and we don’t have to start it halfway through or miss the first part of the show.  Or stop playing before we’re ready.

But there is one big drawback to this plan.  Verizon On Demand isn’t set up for kids.  Sure, they have dozens of channels for kids, and dozens of options within each channel, but … and listen closely here … when you hit the “on demand” button to bring up the menu, they play previews of VIOLENT, R-RATED movies in the top right quadrant.  So when we’re trying to watch a little Zooboomafoo, we’re treated to several bonus minutes (as we speed through the menus, which takes time even when you know exactly we’re you’re going) of violence, death, screaming, and fear.

The kids don’t like it and neither do I.

I don’t mean to sound overprotective here, but I just don’t see why the previews can’t be limited to more innocous fare — or at least calmer previews.  (I don’t like it when I’m trying to settle down at night with a good Grey’s Anatomy either.)

Verizon On Demand?  A good idea, but NOT kid-friendly.

P.S. I’m giving away a Sid the Science Kid DVD pack this week — go to Review Planet and leave a comment to enter.


17 Responses to I didn’t demand that

  1. planetnomad says:

    I know! I hate stuff like this! My 14 y/o is on Facebook. He’ll take some innocuous quiz, like what Narnia character are you, and at the end it will advertise other quizzes that are seriously nasty. I won’t even describe the photos that go with them as it would prob get you some weird searches, but trust me–I’m not a prude. He doesn’t need to be seeing stuff like that. Grr…this world bugs me sometimes.

  2. Andrea says:

    I feel the same way about those previews. While trying to navigate to age-appropriate fare for my boys, those previews play continuously. The horror film previews are the worst.

  3. Heather says:

    I always hover close to the tv when I’m trying to find something on On Demand. Reminds me of the time we were at the mall Starbucks w/ that opens on to the Bose store and they had some action flick on the scared the bejeezus out of my then 4yo. You’re right, sometimes it is just really, really unnecessary to have those kind of promos in all-age viewing environments.

    Off to see about Sid–we love that show!

  4. Seems like a no-brainer that kid shows should have kid safe trailers. I always wonder how these obvious problems slip through the cracks.

  5. Bon says:

    i had no clue, as we’re still holding off replacing the sad old 1995 non-cable tv upstairs, and thus only watch Kids CBC ’round these parts, and then rarely. but when we do buy, we’ll be without any literacies for packages, etc. so thanks. it never occurred to me that an on-demand package would be set up like that.

  6. Maddy says:

    We don’t watch that much but we do watch a movie every Saturday night at home and ‘practice’ how to behave in a real theatre. I just printed off the top 50 movies for children. I was amazed that I’d seen nearly all of them but my children have hardly seen any of them.

  7. Andrea says:

    You folks really ought to get SkyAngel as your source of television. It’s Christian… its got the same features you’re describing here (watching shows from the beginning)…and absolutely positively NO crud. I don’t know why Christians in our country subscribe to any other source of television, in my humble opinion. There’s no reason to patronize the junky companies and carriers when SkyAngel is the perfect alternative.

    Just sayin’. 🙂

  8. Rebecca U says:

    I hear you loud and clear. We have On Demand at my house and my folks. I just mute the tv until I get the show up and going. My son usually plays up until I get the volume back up so it works out, but I don’t like seeing the horror show previews, let alone expose my son to them.

  9. Ugh. Same problem here. I hate it. And don’t get started on all the erectile dysfunction commercials I have to explain away when I try to watch a football game with my kids.

  10. Cortney says:

    I feel the exact same way! I hate having to cover my 2 year old eyes! I personally don’t like the previews myself! Horror Show Previews – unacceptable!

  11. I feel the exact same way! I hate having to cover my 2 year old eyes! I personally don’t like the previews myself! Horror Show Previews – unacceptable!

  12. Gerbil says:

    I have been saying precisely the same thing, to the degree that I mute the television and manufacture a quick chore for J to do while I’m setting things up.

  13. jodifur says:

    Do not even get me started on Verizon. I just ranted about them this week on my blog.

    But yes, that is unacceptable.

  14. Velma says:

    I couldn’t agree more – it is one of my pet peeves, although my beef is with Comcast. My 9 year old is able to work the on-demand feature, and I don’t need her being exposed to slasher flicks while trying to watch “Fetch!”

  15. whymommy says:

    Hmmm… wonder what we could do to change this.

  16. Sue says:

    I am so glad I found this site. I just got done talking to verizon about the previews. The rep told me that there is no way to get them removed. I wonder if enough people complain, they would do something.

  17. Sue says:

    you can now turn them off in parental controls!!!! just turn off promotional video lock

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