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television

ricky Gervais, Netflix, Derek, Autism, BBC

My family is addicted to Netflix and my newest addiction is Derek.

It’s a Godsend to me since I haven’t gotten to watch a television show at it’s regularly scheduled time since giving birth and have only been to a movie theater about 7 times in the past 9 years. I know, it’s sad but not really because thanks to Netflix, I can binge-watch entire seasons of shows in a matter of a weekend. It’s like high-intensity television viewing. Not for the weak, or the busy so obviously, I don’t get to take advantage of that very often. By the way, I am a Netflix Stream team member but I was a Netflix junkie way before being part of the Stream Team.

Occasionally, I’ll take a day or two and just watch a season while I do laundry. Come on, we’ve all done it. I’ve seen your feet up, Netflix on the tv Instagram photos. I find television to be a way for me to decompress, especially when I am overwhelmed with life circumstances. In fact, BBC’s Shameless got me through one of the toughest times in my life. There was just something about being at my lowest and being able to watch people at an even lower point, with less to be thankful for, being thankful. Sometimes it’s just changing your perspective or being able to laugh at someone else’s misfortune or be inspired by their tenacity, it works.

While I watch shows like Shameless, Weeds, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black, I certainly don’t want my 7 and 9-year-olds watching any of those. I also don’t want them accidentally stumbling upon one of the horror movies that I have in my queue. Thank goodness for the kids’ section and even more so for individual profiles. Now, no one has to accidentally open Daddy’s National Lampoon’s Spring Break movie or Mommy’s Walking Dead or American Horror Story. Hey, I’m grown I can watch whatever I want but that doesn’t mean that I want my kids exposed to it; individual profiles are the perfect parental control solution. It’s awesome because it provides ratings and reviews so I can see if its okay for my girls to watch before tuning in and getting surprised.

But there is one show that I really want to share with my girls because the messages and themes are so perfect that I want to share this show with everyone I know BUT I can’t because there are also some very adult themes and language in the BBC show Derek. But I can share it with you. Have you seen it?

Ricky Gervais stars as Derek Noakes in the British television bittersweet comedy-drama Derek about a group of quirky outsiders living on society’s peripheral written by, directed by and starring Ricky Gervais.  It is implied in one episode that Ricky Gervais’ character, Derek, may be autistic. Derek Noakes is a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the elderly people that he cares for shines through. He’s 49 years old and loves animals and Youtube videos of animals. He is a tender, honest and brave soul in a world where most people are not.Derek is kind, helpful, selfless and lives with good intentions and good will towards everyone he meets. He is vulnerable because of his childlike naivety and distractions from society. Outside of the home he works in, he is ridiculed and ostracized, and marginalized by mainstream society because of his social awkwardness and lack of inhibitions. Derek says it is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking. Derek believes that old people are special because they’re kind and funny and tell him stories about the olden days.

Hannah (Kerry Godliman) is a care worker at the home and is Derek’s best friend. She’s smart, witty and hard-working, but unlucky in love; and like Derek, always puts other people first.

All the characters, while rough around the edges, will soon endear themselves to your heart and none so much as Derek. If you thought that Ricky Gervais was a one trick comedy pony you would be so wrong. His range will shock you and his acting and insight with which he plays Derek will forever remind you that we are not all what we appear to be; most often we are so much more.

Ricky Gervais, Netflix, Derek, Autism, BBC

I won’t lie, I fell in love with Derek Noakes and all felt a kinship to all the characters. The show is shot in a mockumentary sort of way, like The Office but mostly it just feels like you’re a fly on the wall at this little elderly care home and it reminds us that, if we just take the time to pay attention or care in the slightest, we could see how much good there is in the people around us.  So if you ever find yourself wondering what you should be watching next on Netflix ( like I see many of you asking on FB) please consider Derek. The first 2 episodes are a bit slow but after that, hold tight because your heart will be touched.

If you’ve watched Derek, what do you think of the show?

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family watching television, television, tedesco, family bonding

Have you noticed how the role of televisions has changed since we were children? When I was little we had one television in our house, no cable and 6 kids. You can imagine the battles that took place fighting over cartoons on Saturday mornings. Television wasn’t the white noise of our life like it is now.

When I was a child a television was a luxury; and time spent watching television was entertaining for the entire family. It was something we did together in moderation. Back when there was no childhood obesity. Video game systems were not the norm at every house and kids played outside for exercise rather than ran around shooting zombies in a video game. There were no laptops, iPods, iPhones or I anything. Everything you did was in real time ad you had to interact with actual humans.

When I got my first job at 16, the first thing I bought was a television because I knew it was a way to hang out with my brothers and sisters. It meant late nights watching horror movies with my brother or early Saturday mornings eating cereal and snuggling with my little sisters. As a teen, television was the glue that bonded us in our adolescences with group swoonings viewings of Dirty Dancing or Sixteen Candles.

Television is where our family watched home movies together and laughed at how funny, small or young we once were. Now, it feels like television has lost its specialness and it’s become just one of many pieces of technology to choose from. It’s like another piece of furniture. There are too many channels and nothing good is ever on. People are connecting via the Internet and television has gotten a bad reputation and taken the blame for being the reason our society is fat and our children are unhealthy.

I, personally, still love television.  I do think there are too many channels and most of it is filled with stuff nobody wants to watch in the first place but I also know that I still see the glimmer of that special bonding my siblings and I shared when we all laid blankets on the living room floor and watch The Wizard of Oz on Thanksgiving night. I remember the giggles and laughter that filled the room, as we poked and picked at one another as siblings do but I also remember not wanting to be any place else. I want that for my children. So we spend a weekend night, just the four of us, cuddled up on the sectional; covered in pillows in blankies; heads in laps and arms draped gingerly and lovingly over one another and we watch a movie or two in our movie room and there, I hear it. The laughter, the memories being made, with my own children just like I had with my parents when I was little. I guess television is what you make of it and everything is good in moderation.

What is one movie that you’ve seen that transports you back in time to the first magical time you saw it and who you were with?

 

Disclaimer: This post is written by me in collaboration with a brand partner.

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