I’m Now More Aware of TV Show and Movie Ratings
I’ve always been a goody-two-shoes type person, always following the rules, doing what I was told. Of course, there were times I deviated from this, but whenever I got into trouble, I would always feel guilty and full of dread. One thing I eventually refrained from doing was cursing. A lot of people around me did it but for some reason I always felt uneasy whenever I heard it or spoke it and I didn’t understand why I was so sensitive to it. When it came to violence and sex on TV, I would cringe, but in my teens and early twenties, I began to question whether this made me childish. No one else seemed to have an issue with these things, at least not the people around me, so what was my issue?
Eventually, I started to sink into watching whatever caught my fancy, even if this included an abhorrent amount of violence and sex. If I’m an adult, I should be mature enough to watch Mature Adult rated content, right? As I exposed myself to more TV and movies, I began to become desensitized to flashes of vulgar images and frequent cursing. But there was always something in the back of my mind that told me this didn’t quite match my morals, that this was somehow tainting my spirit. Still, I brushed these thoughts aside and continued watching whatever caught my interest, regardless of ethics.
I don’t believe this is a good thing. Does being a mature adult mean you should be okay with watching gratuitous sex and gory violence all the time? For me, the storyline is the most important thing, yet now I feel I can’t watch a lot of MA-rated TV because I have to weave around images I’d rather not take into my dreams at night. All throughout my life I have wished to be less sensitive and, as a result, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to force myself to be desensitized so I could “fit in” with my age group, but all I’ve done is sacrifice my own morals.
I told myself it’s just make-believe, it’s just an escape from the real world, but in reality, we take what we watch inside of ourselves and it can and does change us. In recent years I started to become more aware of the ratings of everything I watch. I even scroll to the parental guidance on IMDB before I decide to watch a movie, or even watch the trailer to see what vibe I get before deciding to sink my head into someone else’s fantasy. What is okay for someone else may not be okay for my spirit and I think this is important. People consistently want to fit in and be seen as mature and cool but when you go deeper, what really are you doing to yourself by allowing society to make decisions for you?
When going to the movies was a thing (not anymore), I realized how strong the impact became for me. Theaters are designed to take you away from the real world, which is what we want. The screen is so large you feel yourself falling inside it and the sound is so loud you feel like the voices are directly next to you. We are transported away for a couple hours to forget about our trying lives. When I left the movie theater, I always had this sort of drunken stupor type feeling. If I went in the afternoon, the strike of the sun would bore into my dilated pupils and I’d squint, finding it hard to shuffle my feet forward as I “regained consciousness” into reality. I realize, I don’t like that feeling, even if the movie was good. This feeling was magnified when I watched movies with an excessive amount of violence and I realized I would sometimes have nightmares. For example, I could get into John Wick 1 and 2 and overlook the violence but when I saw 3 in theaters, it completely shocked my spirit. I’m not saying everything has to be G-rated, but I don’t believe things have to be so extreme all that time and I don’t believe that you are mature just because you can sit in front of a screen and watch a series of violent images and near constant cursing.
Take the Netflix original TV show, Siempre Bruja. I was watching it with my mother and sister when we realized that the show was automatically dubbed in English and included curse words that were not in either the Spanish dubbing, subtitles, nor the English subtitles. Perhaps Netflix wanted to appeal to the younger audience since it’s imperative that the F-word be dropped in everything to prove its worthiness nowadays. Siempre Bruja was not MA-rated so I suppose Neflix had to make up for that? I don’t know. This is just my opinion on the matter, and I felt it was unnecessary. If there’s no point cursing, if it doesn’t move the story forward in any way, to me it’s just offensive and isn’t realistic. If shows and movies aim to include all walks of life, not everyone curses every two words.
A lot of things shown and heard in MA-rated TV and R-rated movies are unnecessary and are just for shock value. Have we come to the point where guarding one’s spirit is pointless? Should we disrespect ourselves just because society says we’re mature enough to take it? I find that I can enjoy things better if I don’t have to be on guard, wondering what will be thrown in my face without regard to my morals. Panning the camera away from severe violence isn’t a bad thing, we still get the picture, but for some reason this isn’t a thing anymore since we’re supposed to be more mature than people were back in the day, able to show and take on whatever, despite the harshness of it.
I realized that the message of whatever I’m watching is the most important thing to me. Toy Story 4 had a great message about moving forward from the past, Zootopia delved into the repercussions of prejudice. These child movies hold important advice for any audience without splashing it with over the top content. The world has somehow taught us to abandon our innocence as adults, that as a child our innocence is meant to be protected but once we reach adulthood that innocence must be disregarded. I don’t know why that is and I’ve realize that I don’t want to go along with it. Every adult’s innocence should still be preserved because it keeps us human. When we go around watching all this stuff, playing video games where killing isn’t a big deal, we’re being desensitized, becoming less aware of the compassionate part of being a human being.
So, when I see all of the streaming services’ MA-rated TV shows, I don’t rush to watch them because I know what I can and can’t handle. I will do deeper research to see if I want to try it out and then decide if it’s for me. I no longer view myself as childish for choosing this route. If anything, it’s mature to make your own decisions about what content is good or bad for you rather than allowing society to make this choice for you.
If I have to fast-forward to get to the storyline, it’s not really worth it to me. It’s all about why you’re watching something. If mature adult content helps you disappear from your life, then by all means, do what you gotta do, but if it’s just a distraction that you don’t agree with, you don’t have to put yourself through it. In the end, it’s about knowing who you are and standing by that even in a world that tries it’s hardest to alter your perception and meaning of life.
Note: This post was originally published on December 15th, 2020 on my blog https://jordanthedreamer.com/