Life Parenting

Saturday 20 January 2018

The host of inappropriate TV your kids have access to

Sex, violence and foul language are all easily watched by your children during daylight hours this summer.

Daytime TV: Jeremy Kyle
Daytime TV: Jeremy Kyle
Sex and the City
Paternity Court
Toddlers and Tiaras
Rihanna: sexually explicit pop video
TV facts
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Life, they say, is what happens when you're making other plans. And the BAI's plans for a television code of ethics will only have a limited influence on what we and our children can watch.

Apart from the instantly accessible internet, and several "adult" subscription channels, Irish kids living in a house with cable/digital TV can access any amount of unsuitable material, at any time of the day.


Daytime TV: Jeremy Kyle

TV3, 10am

This tabloid-style talk-show has become a byword for sleazy, exploitative television. Producers claim they're providing a public service, with their paternity tests, couple showdowns and tearful confessions. But even if that were true, this is totally out of place during daytime. A depressing parade of morons, chancers, cheats, abusers, victims and misfits bare their most intimate details – and fight like wild monkeys – for the entertainment of a whooping audience. It's been described as "human bear-baiting" by one UK judge ... although even bears don't go around head-butting their rivals.

Sex and The City

Sex and the City

Comedy Extra, 10.30am

An excellent, ground-breaking comedy-drama which ran from 1998 to 2004, spawning two movies and an entire lifestyle. All fine and dandy in its right place, but is that place early in the morning? SATC was lauded for its sexual frankness, both in terms of nudity and the use of salty language: the f-word, the c-word, and every other naughty word you can think of. Again, that's fine after the watershed, but maybe it's not such a good idea exposing little kiddies to Samantha's quest for the perfect orgasm or Charlotte's dabbling in threesomes.

Born To Kill

TV facts

Crime & Investigation, 11am

In mitigation, this documentary is reasonably sober and non-gratuitous. But no matter how responsibly it's handled, the subject matter is beyond horrific: Ted Bundy would give grown adults nightmares, not to mind small children. He was a serial rapist, kidnapper and murderer, who owned up to 30 homicides, though there were probably more. He was also a necrophiliac, having sex with his victims' corpses until putrefaction made it impossible.

RiRi: Base 5

Rihanna: sexually explicit pop video

MTV Base, 4pm

Sexually explicit music videos have long been the bane of modern parenthood, blamed for everything from a rise in misogyny to the sexualisation of children to eating disorders in girls. And Rihanna (pictured) is definitely responsible for some of the raunchiest. She was famously turfed off a farmer's field in the North for going topless; this show promises the viewer her "sexiest" smash hits. You might as well bring little Timmy and Mary to the nearest strip club.

Paternity Court


3e, 1pm

Real-life paternity tests presented as a game-show – it sounds like a Simpsons spoof. Its catchphrases include "Paternity Court; she's the judge; DNA is the jury!", which gives you some idea of the tackiness levels. Human misery, broken families, fractured childhoods ... what could be more entertaining for the kiddies?

Toddlers & Tiaras


TLC, 12pm

A TV show about child beauty pageants: there's a future course of intensive psychotherapy just waiting to happen. This is one of the weirdest cultural phenomena ever to emerge from America, and this is one of the most unhealthy shows on air. Little girls dolled up in adult clothing, full make-up, parading along the catwalk, sexualised and commodified when they're barely old enough to have a sense of selfhood ... awful stuff.

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