Television: The Digital Instructor

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As one of the greatest inventions, television has become one of the most influential sources of information that shape the lives of children. It is of great relevance as more and more children spend most of their leisure time watching television programs. As such, there are numerous shows on television that have been specifically designed for children, which include cartoons and other educational programs. From these, children can either derive entertainment and useful educational information or become addicted to watching television with undesirable or corruptible materials (Lemish, 2007). This essay is an analysis of three different shows: Jackie Chan Adventures, The Simpsons, and Curious George, from different categories, describing their differences, similarities, benefits, possible harmful effects as well as content learned from watching these shows.

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Theme of the Plots

All the three shows portray a different type of adventurous activity in their programming. For instance, in the Jackie Chan adventures, the characters are engaged in supernatural conquests in search of the twelve talismans. The talismans are believed to possess supernatural powers. The Simpsons focuses on the adventures of the Simpsons family and how they interact with other members of their society. The show also showcases how the Simpsons deal with varied situations that present themselves in a social setting. On the other hand, the show Curious George is themed on educational adventures, carried by a curious tail-less monkey who offers teachable moments on new concepts.


The three shows display different levels of aggressiveness, with the Jackie Chan Adventures being the most aggressive. The characters including a twelve-year-old girl are involved in violent actions in their conquests. This is as they constantly battle with criminals under the command of a supernatural being seeking the talismans. The Simpsons also portrays minimal violence, such as those that kids experience in the society, like public fights and school fights. On the other hand, Curious George displays no aggressiveness as the show is mostly involved in social and educational exploration. In this show, the theme of education is advanced by the curious monkey who is guided by the narrator.


Pro-Social Actions

All these shows ultimately portray a level of social concern. Despite being aggressive, The Jackie Chan Adventures characters carry out these conquests as to protect the society from the malicious intent from their antagonists. The Simpsons also offers scenes that portray the benefits that the society attains from making the appropriate decisions when faced with different social circumstances. Examples of such circumstances are those that Homer Simpson constantly finds himself in various moments of the show. The Curious George show also displays a number appropriate social behaviors as the tail-less monkey tries to get himself out of the problems he causes unintentionally.

Messages on Social Behavior

Messages on the appropriate social behaviors are quite evident when one watches these shows. The characters often get themselves in difficult situations. They are also presented in different social scenarios, which in the end demonstrate how good social behavior aided them in solving these problems. For instance, Marge Simpson from The Simpsons teaches the children the values of good behavior as the norm that should be adopted in their social lives. Also, the narrator in Curious George often provides valuable insights into good behavior. This is in situations that the tail-less monkey finds himself in, during the show.

Benefits for Children Who Watch These Shows

Children may derive both social values as well as educational values from these programs. They not only acquire knowledge on the importance of upholding good behavior but also get an insight regarding the harsh realities of the society. This is through shows such as The Simpsons. Others like Curious George aids them to furnish their ABCs and improve their math skills. The Adventures of Jackie Chan also makes use of a good command of language, which children can emulate to sharpen their own language skills outside of school. In addition, these shows help kids to hone their personal qualities such working hard, how to take action and becoming independent.

Harmful Effects

Children may pick up violent behavior and portray a decline in their moral and social values. This is attributed to the violence and corrupt language, that at times, have been used in these shows. Also, watching these shows may prove to be very addictive such that it deters children from undertaking other activities that may be of great importance (Trachtenberg, 2010). For instance, The Jackie Chan Adventures portrays Jackie Chans niece, Jade Chan, as an adventurous girl who frequently disregards her uncles advice and usually ends up in trouble. This is same to Bart Simpson, the eldest son of The Simpsons, who is rebellious and displays a high level of disrespect for authority. This character traits make the shows interesting and addictive but adversely influences the morals of the children watching these programs.

Lessons Learned from Watching These Shows

Each show has a background which it employs as a basis. This basis may be in terms of educational experience, humorous experience, and thrilling action. For example, Curious George has adopted an educational background and, therefore, each episode offers a new thing that may be learned by those watching. The Simpson is based on the society and utterly makes use of humor to present societal problems. The Jackie Chan Adventures is based on a thrilling action with a pinch of humor.

Through this, I learn that the viewers level of understanding is essential as it is responsible for collecting the appropriate information from this mix of qualities (Kirsh, 2006). As such, children should be exposed to shows that match their level of understanding and interpretation so that they pick only what is of good value to them. For example, at a certain age, a child may pick the good command of language in the Jackie Chan Adventures and regard the violence as mere entertainment.


In light of the above, watching these shows has its benefits as well as harmful effects. Children, therefore, require some level of parental control to ensure that they only watch what is relevant to their understanding. This will guarantee improvements in terms of social value, personal attributes as well as their education. It can only be done if the parents are aware of the contents of these shows before exposing their kids to them. It can also be achieved by limiting the amount of time they are exposed to such contents. In doing so, children will become better people who can contribute positively to the development of the society.


Kirsh, S. (2006). Children, adolescents, and media violence. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Lemish, D. (2007). Children and television. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Trachtenberg, J. (2010). Good Kids, Bad Habits. [Place of publication not identified]: HarperCollins.

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