Saturday, November 15, 2008

Boys, Girls, & Suite Life

I've never been much of a TV watcher -- for me, even as a child, it was a social thing. For long chunks in my childhood, our TV was broken or we just didn't have one and even when we did, I usually watched only with other kids. Our conversation and fooling around was more fun than what we were watching. But now, I watch with Adam and lately, with Anya upstairs, too. She has bought a trainer for my bike, so we can bike inside together. It's really fun -- we ride, we talk, we watch TV. I think we were both somewhat embarrassed by our TV preferences; but after she confessed to hers (it's not for me to out others here!), I told her about Adam's favorite show -- which I also really enjoy.

At first, SUITE LIFE appalled me. In case you haven't seen it: ten-year old twins Zack and Cody live in a hotel owned by London Tilton. Zack and Cody (boys) have long blonde hair and hip clothes -- even their pajamas are cool. Zack is dumb, and always coming on to beautiful teenage/twenty-something girls with cheesy lines, winks, gestures ...this I still find baffling and kind of weird. Does anyone (especially, the kids watching) believe that there is a chance that one of these girls will actually accept Zack's invitations -- invitations to his bedroom once he's in bed (and believe me, he's not asking them to read him a story)? Or is it supposed to be yet another humorous sign of what an idiot Zack is? That's how Cody takes it: he rolls his eyes and makes comments.

Their mother does, too -- in the last episode I saw, Zack and Cody were at a party London was giving (in their LA pajamas and bathrobes) when their mother stormed in and made them go to bed. Zack (typically) invited one of the girls (a teenager--I've never seen a girl their age on the show) to come with him and, as she followed, the mother shoved her back and said angrily:
"Not you!"

Adam watches it all intently. On THIS AMERICAN LIFE, a commentator said HIS son watches as though he was taking notes. I don't know what Adam thinks -- his comments while we watch TV are ususally limited to explaining the characters and situations and backstory to me. I can't tell from his expression, either; but he doesn't laugh at these parts. He does laugh a lot at London ("the only thing she's good at it buying stuff") and at the scenes in which Zack and Cody succeed in tricking their mother.

Adam doesn't even LIKE girls (as you might guess from the dialog with Morgan) has firmly told his father that it's not okay to have a girlfriend until you're twelve (it used to be ten, but now that he's eight himself, he's upped the age limit). If his father tries to talk to him about girls, or even comments on women's looks, Adam says, firmly,
"Daddy! Not until I'm twelve."
I've never seen a girl Zack and Cody's age on the show -- but maybe I've just missed those episodes? I'm not attached enough to the show to pay for the Disney channel!

I'd really like to know what other adults think of Zack and girls! Anya (24) also thinks it's weird and that I should talk to Adam about it, in case he thinks this is how you're supposed to do it.
"I've never heard Misha [her brother whom Adam worships] talk to girls that way."


alvinaling said...

I heard that segment on THIS AMERICAN LIFE and thought it was fascinating, but I've never seen this show.

I love how Adam has decided not to have a girlfriend or even TALK about girls in that way until he's twelve! I'll be curious to see if, indeed, that's the age he starts to show interest...

Lizzie Mac said...

I have a 10 year old son who watches the show. I tried unsuccessfully to keep him from watching it because it really is mind numbingly stupid. However, it is basically harmless. My son loves physical comedy and slapstick. There is enough eye rolling and prat falls to keep him laughing. I don't think he processes it the same way I do. He's not all that interested in girls but I don't think he'll use Zach & Cody to model his behavior because he understands that the show is just plain goofy.

I've only lately let him watch this show along with all the other silly disney sitcoms. I found when I tried to block them he was watching them at his friends so I figured at least I could talk to him about them if he watched them at home.

Sigh...I really miss Little Bear and Bob the Builder.

Good luck!