Why is watching tv with your parents so awkward?

Why do we tolerate Hugh Grant being a "sinful little man"?

By VoiceBox ·
image: Glenn Carstens-Peters/unsplash


Fred has been cheffing for 8 years and counting. Before the great lockdown of 2020, he was in Canada, living...

Why Hugh Grant must be stopped

I was lucky enough to come home to my parents’ house when living abroad was brought to an abrupt end by Covid and its many evil social pressures. To come back at the start of summer with two of my brothers and one of their girlfriends was an easy transition from the independence of living away. Months of relative freedom working from a bedroom, followed by warm sunny evenings, flew by.

But before you could say vaccine, we were shoved into the dreaded winter lockdown. We all knew that such restrictions in winter were going to be tough; long gone were the days of Daily Briefings, heat waves and Spikeball matches (Google it). Cold December nights are now spent eating early, watching Netflix or trying to remember if the few good moments of 2020 were real or not.

What is certain is that good weather and long daylight hours really do make a difference to the population’s mental health. British summertime with its seemingly endless sun is a stark contrast to jamming everything you can into an abbreviated winter’s day. The sun sets earlier and earlier, and come 6pm you are sitting down to another mindless episode of a show you don’t care about, but for some reason you watch.

As a 24-year-old, I can tell you very seriously that the enjoyment of your evening viewing comes down to one simple factor: who you are watching it with. With the brothers gone, my viewing partners were the gang: Mum and Dad. There’s nothing to complain about when watching yet another Tom Cruise action film. However, things get complicated very quickly when you switch genres ever so slightly.

It’s taken a global pandemic for me to realise two things about modern-day TV and film:

  1. Porn scenes (not even softcore) are a huge part of the already painful hour of viewing.

  2. Mums aged 50+ are the ones to blame for this.

Over the past month and a half, countless times has the situation occurred where my dear mother and I have been watching Hugh Grant do his thing (acting?), only for him to suddenly plunge his hands down a woman’s underwear; with a close up of him doing it, by the way.

Now before you label me as a prude - if you haven’t already done so - I simply ask whether all this pant delving is really necessary? A sex scene doesn’t provide dialogue or a plot twist; it only results in ninety painfully long seconds of me cringing, stuck in silence as my mother tries in vain to fast forward. (Side note: the holder of the remote in my mind should always be competent in operating the device. It baffles me how people of a certain age, who have just as much experience with a remote as I do, simply can’t get their heads - or hands - around the ins and outs of a fast-forward button).

However, I digress. The question remains: why do we tolerate Hugh Grant being a sinful little man, making middle-aged women look sheepish as they’re forced to watch another sordid grope-fest, whilst their offspring look on from the corner of the room? I remember a simpler, happier time when it was mothers who dreaded catching their teenagers watching naughty scenes after dark.

This virtual affair between mums across the country and the leading men of Monday night dramas is a dangerous cocktail, and I for one can’t see it ending anytime soon. So, what to do? I’m holding out hope for the good weather to come back in all its glory, so I can get out of the house and mother can dump her man until next autumn. For now, there’s only one option left: stricter bedtimes, censored TV viewing (especially past the 9 o’clock watershed), and a complete ban on Hugh Grant’s back catalogue. She’ll thank me one day.

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