You Can’t Do That On Television

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I came across a post this morning regarding a show on Nick Jr and you know what? We didn’t have Nick Jr when I was a kid. In fact, to be completely honest with you, the only show I remember watching on Nickelodeon was You Can’t Do That on Television. And it was my favorite show, like ever. Well, aside from Silver Spoons, because hello, Ricky Schroder AND Jason Bateman?!

Yeah, I’m old.

Now you get to see the craziness that is my brain: as soon as I thought of the show, You Can’t Do That on Television, I immediately began to think of the startling contrast in what is allowed now on television, compared to what was allowed back in the 80’s and 90’s, when I was growing up.

What? I told you I was old. 

Saved by the bell, You Can't Do That On Television

90’s TV Kiss: Do you remember when Zack and Kelly would kiss on the lips with no tongue on Saved by the Bell and the audience ooooohhhed and aaawwwed?

2011 TV Kiss: It’s not a kiss. It’s sex, complete with grunts, moans and side boob. And no one bats an eyelash.

You Can't Do That On Television, the wonder years

90’s TV: The Wonder Years starred Fred Savage.

2011? The Wonder Years is a pop punk band with a bird logo eerily similar to Larry the Twitter Bird.

The wonder years, You Can't Do That On Television

80’s TV Heart Throb: Jason Bateman of the Hogan Family. He was utterly loveable, had adorable freckles and a goofy grin. (PS – I still love Jason Bateman)

You Can't Do That On Television, Jason Bateman

90’s TV Heart Throb: Jonathan Taylor Thomas of Home Improvement. We got a little edgier in the 90’s – JTT had spiked, gelled hair and cocked his head in a seductive manner when he posed for his pin ups for Teen Beat.

You Can't Do That On Television, Jonathan Taylor Thomas

2011 TV Heart Throb? Eric from True Blood. He’s pasty. He’s skinny. Ew. What is wrong with today’s youth?!

You Can't Do That On Television, true-blood-eric-borthman-alexander-skarsgard

80’s TV Curse Word: Damn…And my mom was offended. I thought “ugh, parents.”

90’s TV Curse Word: Ass…My mom was offended even more. I realize “my mom is not cool.”

2011’s TV Curse Word: Bitch…and I realize I have become my mother because I want to write a letter to the network to complain about all of the profanity on television.

What shocks you about today’s television? Are there any changes that you think are for the better, or do you just wish we could go back to our sweet, innocent, Family Ties days?

* Images from Google Images &

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  1. says

    Everyone else says that this ( is the cutest thing ever, but they are forgetting these are some of the words she’s saying:

    “He cold, he dope, he might sell coke”

    “He a motherfucking trip, trip, sailor of the ship, ship”

    “Yes I did, yes I did, somebody please tell him who the F I is”

    But the one that always makes me go WHATTT is when she says:

    “This one is for the boys in the polos
    Entrepreneur niggas in the moguls”

    Yeah, a 6 year old white girl dropped the n word and got invited to Ellen for it.

    W – T – F

  2. says

    I think society tries to push the envelope so far for the sake of ratings, and now most people are so desensitized to what once was immoral, that it’s become “ok”. We need more people speaking up about what truly isn’t acceptable for family TV, and support the better, more wholesome shows. I think it’s great to a degree that there’s more child friendly programming, but you have to always look to see which child it’s programmed for: the ones whose parents are ok with their ten year olds hearing the word “bitch”, or the ones (like us) who gasp at the thought of that word actually being said on TV.

    I’d love to see more movies and Tv wind back to the Family Ties motif of language, and relations. We are big fans of iCarly, but it royally ticked me off when they decided a character should kiss a boy “for the sake of getting it over with”. Why bring it up? How many girls were influenced from that part two series?

    Alternatively, we love Good Luck Charlie, and so far, they haven’t crossed that line. I hope they don’t!

    • says

      My daughter is 14 and has been watching iCarly for a while. I really feel that it’s one of the very few shows on TV that are appropriate for her age group. Don’t even get me started on Degrassi and those other junk shows – even though she is technically a teenager, she is NOT allowed to watch them!

    • says

      Family Ties was an excellent show – it was one of my favorites! I adored Michael J Fox and you know, I don’t have any recollection of any “scandalous” topics being discussed on that show!

  3. says

    It’s really sad that my children can’t watch certain cartoons because of the language, forget about even letting them watch anything on primetime television.

    • says

      Exactly! I DVR all of the shows that I like to watch and usually watch them after my daughter goes to bed. Everything has sex in it nowadays and that is NOT something I want my 14 year old having ingrained in her head from TV. I’d like to keep her innocent as long as possible. LOL

  4. says

    TV has gone so far downhill it’s awful. We don’t have cable and we only watch movies and DVD’s It’s funny, my husband and I have been watching original Star Trek, with William Shatner and we keep thinking how racey it was. Now days it would be considered Boring and fully clothed.

  5. Dee W. says

    I totally agree with everyone here. For this reason we don’t own a TV. I was at my mother’s house once watching HGTV and an ad for E! popped up with two NAKED women on a motorcycle. My 7 year old daughter was watching with us. I was SO disgusted because that is the last thing I expected to see on that channel. Because of that we are done with the TV. We still rent DVD’s and movies because it’s so much easier to monitor what shows up on our screen.

  6. says

    Call me a prude, but I’m a teenage girl and I can’t stand any of it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my movies, tv, and music, but at the same time I can’t stand all the cursing. I mean if it’s mild, that’s ok. But really, some it’s just WAYY over the top. I saw a promo for Terra Nova and Twilight the other day on TV and it got me thinking “Wow! No wonder girls my age are doing all this stuff.” UGH. TV makes everything dumb look cool.

    Yeah, true blood? It S.U.C.K.S. Vampires are not attractive! (Now Jacob from Twilight is a different story though! ;)) And I’m a teenage girl. Sure, I watch some tv and stuff, but only if it’s not as stupid as True Blood and Jersey Shore!!

    I might have been born in the 90’s and a teenager, but my favorite tv shows are the oldies! They are cute and funny. True Blood, Glee, Jersey Shore, and Degrassi (pardon my language) they are all crap. LOL! I have NO intention of watching any of them!

  7. says

    I think Eric is HOT! But it’s not just his looks, it’s his mysterious demeanor on the show and just his sarcasm and meanness (I know, I’m weird).

    I watch mainly comedy sitcoms like the Big Bang Theory and old ones like Friends and Seinfeld. You can’t go wrong with comedy!

  8. says

    omg. JTT!!! He was soo hot and the picture you chose just brings back those memories of me dying to watch Home Improvement just to see him.

    I do think TV has gone way downhill and so have video games. We can’t even watch TV around our daughter unless I’m watching DIY, Food Network and HGTV.
    But on the flipside I don’t mind my daughter hearing people say bitch on tv. I say it around her so it’s no different on TV. I’m not saying it’s ok but I have to admit that I do do it.

    I do like the junky shows like Jersery Shore though but I don’t watch them around my daughter at all even though the words are bleeped out.

    About the little girl singing the Nicki Minaj song. If you actuallyo listen closely she’s not saying those bad words, she is just mummbling because she probably doesn’t even know what Nicki is saying.

  9. says

    I’ve enjoyed a few recent shows, but overall I really do miss the “aw, shucks” cheesey family shows that I used to enjoy, like Full House and Family Matters. I was even addicted to I Love Lucy reruns for a while! Sometimes I just miss the simpler more innocent times.

  10. says

    I always feel weird when sex scenes come on, especially when I’m watching a movie with my boyfriend. I either turn my head or excuse myself to go to the bathroom or something. Just so awkward!

    By the way, I adore Jason Bateman! He’s so cute!

  11. says

    We must be the same age, because those were all of my favorite shows! But I love Eric though lol. His character is so hot. But in real life? Yuck! Aside from my hot vampire crush, I couldn’t agree more with this post. I don’t want to see actors my age having sex on TV, let alone teenagers or, horrors, younger making out like that. Forget about it, if I had my own kids.

  12. says

    It’s intentional on the part of Hollywood. THEY want to push the envelope, not us. Surveys have shown that the majority of Americans want cleaner TV, but it’s still not what we get. :(

    BUT…I loved The Wonder Years. That was my favorite show, and I had a crush on Fred Savage. 😉

  13. Pandora says

    I completely agree. The worst of all is how sexualized even pre-teen shows are. I am only 21, and I cannot fathom what the media is going to be like by the time I am ready to have children. It almost scares me out of the family-life dream… not just media but how the world views this media now. It is all so normal. My tv time was never censored as a kid, I even loved Degrassi, and I turned out the most innocent person out of everyone that I know… I can only hope my future kid will have the same luck and same mindset that what is popular is not always right. I am truthfully fearful for the future in a way that I have never been… it is more and more acceptable for girls to be promiscuous and I do not want to ever see that out of someone I care for so dearly. I remember recognizing this around sixth grade… and already at that young, susceptible age I had been getting teased deeply by other girls for ‘still’ being a virgin. Luckily I didn’t give in, but the tv that inspired those girls that teased me was not nearly as hardcore as the tv that is out there today, and I can only imagine it is only going to get worse.

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