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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

It's been ages since I posted a question. Aside from suggesting Ed Asner as a candidate to write an intro to one of the trades, it may have been years. It's not that I haven't been reading, nor that I haven't had questions, but I fell way behind and couldn't post till I caught up.

First of many questions....I guess I'll start with the one that comes to mind connected to the main reason I fell so far behind in the first place; an adorable, now one year old, time hog.

Years back I read Viewing Violence after it was suggested on this site. I commented how it was ironic that the author praised Gargoyles, (and ~very~ few other shows), to high heaven for, among other things, its clear depiction of consequence; Broadway plays with a gun, Elisa is shot -ELISA IS STILL ON CRUTCHES THE NEXT EPISODE, and yet she placed it, and all cartoons, in the chapter about the age before children have a sense of long term consequence. Having the good guys win in the end doesn't excuse bad behavior earlier when children won't make the connection. The next chapter follows children old enough to deal with complex plots and long term ramifications - her praises of Gargoyles to a T.

So my question is this: What is the youngest age you would recommend starting a new fan? (Of course ignoring the fact my little girl is an absolute genius, who will most probably finish all Shakespeare before kindergarten- I'm not looking forward to explaining the bloodier ones;)

Greg responds...

Well, I may not be the best person to go to for this advice. Not like I'm some parental expert. Just a parent. But I started my kids on Gargoyles VERY YOUNG. And it held their interest, which was my main concern. There's stuff there for them to enjoy, and IF THEY ASK about any of the more mature aspects of the show, there are teachable moments. That is to say, I didn't sit them in front of the TV and walk away. I watched WITH them. We had fun. And we learned some stuff together. But I think they were each about two when they started watching Gargoyles.

That's right! TWO!!! <chuckle>

Okay, yeah, I'm a bad parent. I mean I watch Dexter with my fifteen-year-old daughter. So don't listen to me.

But I do think the key is to watch Dexter WITH your kids and not let them watch it alone. Oh, and when Dexter's over, put on an episode of The Office or something light and funny before bedtime.

Response recorded on March 18, 2010