TV AND TEENS: Experts Look at the Issues by Meg--Ed. Schwarz

TV AND TEENS: Experts Look at the Issues

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Action for Children's Television, best known for its crusades against Saturday cartoon violence and sugar-coated commercials, has turned its attention to the ten-to-15 set, with tepid results. The 33 essays--by ""experts"" from psychiatrists and researchers to TV writers and Norman Lear--fall into two rough categories: descriptions of acceptable programs or series that meet some ill-defined standards--non-stereotyped, non-racist, non-agist, sexually responsible, and relevant; and suggestions for ways to change TV programming--yes, programs should be non-stereotyped, non-racist, non-agist, sexually responsible, and relevant (and provide accurate career information). In the first category, the self-serving descriptions tell of network successes (ABC Afterschool Specials and NBC ""Special Treat"" presentations, hyped by network vps) and the difficulties of getting good programs on the air (""case studies"" of ""Freestyle,"" ""Too Sad to Live,"" ""Is That What You Want for Yourself?."" among others). The suggestions for change make sense: present more than just the headlines of news events; ""deemphasize the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat"" on sports broadcasts; air stories that ""pit the standards of the individual against the rules of the group""; incorporate ""positive sexual messages"" (like ""sex is never a test of love"") into ""commercially viable programs""; and realistically probe the world of work. But they are hardly new. And it's never clear just who is supposed to be interested in reading all these opinions--only, that the authors were asked to write something about improving TV for young people. A laudable intent, but lame in execution.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1982
Publisher: Addison-Wesley