Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Would happier TV programmes improve mental health?

(69 Posts)
HillyN Wed 11-Oct-17 19:29:33

Sometimes I find TV so depressing. News programmes show us horrifying scenes of war, suffering and natural disasters. Reality TV and advertising just make people envious of 'how the other half live' and want things they can't afford. People are made to feel inadequate because they aren't beautiful, don't have a model figure or great relationships.
Life has always had its difficulties but at least we used to be able to watch a good sitcom, have a good laugh and forget our troubles for a while. Or join in with a melodious singer and lighten our mood.
What do other GNers think?

Cherrytree59 Wed 11-Oct-17 19:56:52

I agree Hilly
So much so that I rarely watch TV.
I no longer watch The News, News programmes or read newspapers.

I look at the headlines on the net and then decide what I want to read.
Keeps my anxiety levels down.

I miss the days of the sitcom.
Laughter as you say does lighten the mood.
I don't want reality TV,
I want escapism and humour.

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 20:09:39

I am not envious, but am now tempted to get rid of my TV, the political aggression, the violence , the disasters.

At least it's Dc Martin night 😀

Christinefrance Wed 11-Oct-17 20:44:19

Doc Martin is a lovely bit of escapism, beautiful countryside too.

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 20:51:56

I adore the police officer, he is such an innocent , I always want to give him a hug when he makes a yet another misjudgement

Deedaa Wed 11-Oct-17 21:12:57

DH and I spend most of our time watching quiz shows and antique shows because they seem to be fairly short of death and destruction.

M0nica Wed 11-Oct-17 21:26:47

They would be even happier if they just stopped watching television. Does that mean we should have more doom and disaster laden programmes to encourage people to do something else?

Jane10 Wed 11-Oct-17 21:50:51

Another Doc Martin fan here. More programmes like this would be so nice. I suppose it's a situation comedy/drama. Lovely situation. Likeable characters.

Moocow Wed 11-Oct-17 22:18:28

I was going to say Doc Martin. We do need lots of lovely escapism not all these clever plots who dunnits etc aaaalllll the time. Sometimes i resort to the extremely OTT action films as they are very silly so in the right frame of mind can be very comical.

maryeliza54 Wed 11-Oct-17 23:04:29

What I watch on TV doesn’t have the slightest impact on my mental,health. My real life is what matters and could affect my well being= my family, my friends, my relationships, my work. I watch TV to relax, keep and be informed, laugh, reflect. At the moment I regularly watch Only Connect, University Challenge, Rellik, Liar ( best laugh going), Doc Martin, Antiques Roadshow and C4 News. I’d only miss the last one if my TV broke.

Nelliemoser Wed 11-Oct-17 23:23:28

I doubt if happier programs would improve mental health if you are already feeling down, but miserable unhappy programs might make us feel even worse.

I find I have to avoid Disasters and political issues if I am already feeling miserable. There are times when there is just too much stress around.
What will really get to me will be the next two months of TV Christmas forced gaiety, adverts and everything else that goes with it.
If you do not enjoy Christmas for whatever reason then lots of jolity will probably make you feel even worse, isolated or whatever.
A drama is worth watching but not too much violence or cheesy sentimentality. You can become hooked on a good storyline.

I have been watching repeats of "Birds of Feather" recently. I find them extremely funny. It's a long while ago now that it was first on. The dialogue is very fast and very funny. Quite rude if small kids are around but extremely clever and well acted.
I can still enjoy Morcambe and Wise repeats they were just full of joy and "sunshine".
I really miss Victoria Wood with her observational comedy routines, she was one of those comedians who could make us laugh at ourselves. There will come the point after Christmas when all the fuss is over and done with for another ten months.

Anniebach Thu 12-Oct-17 03:41:08

Some can watch human suffering relayed on their TVs screens and it not affect them because it doesn't involved them or their families, others, and I am one, who get distressed seeing this suffering,

suzied Thu 12-Oct-17 07:22:15

TV these days is so much better, there are so many channels you can watch old comedy shows all day if that's what you want. I watch TV a couple of hours a day in the evenings and rarely watch "live" programmes, prefer box sets that both OH and I enjoy. Currently watching The Deuce and Liar on catch up and GLOW on Netflix. I do enjoy the occasional dip into Flog It, Corrie, Supervet, Who do You think You Are? , Strictly and many others. There's so many interesting / entertaining programmes to choose from, you don't have to watch grisly stuff if you don't want to.

Christinefrance Thu 12-Oct-17 08:35:19

No we don't have to watch suzied but it would be good if there were new, more light hearted programmes as well as the grisly stuff. The new Jack Dee sitcom is dire.

DanniRae Thu 12-Oct-17 09:32:07

I guess that's why I love "Strictly" so much - it's pure escapism.
We also watch lots of quiz shows, antique shows and property shows - we especially enjoy "Homes Under the Hammer".
We seem to have quite a bit of football on our tv too but that's ok because I am happy spending time on Gransnet!

Anniebach Thu 12-Oct-17 09:40:13

Not everyone has many channels , or can afford to pay monthly for Netflix

AlieOxon Thu 12-Oct-17 09:41:13

I couldn't agree more with the OP.

What worries me is that people aren't distressed enough by what they see...on the surface. You see disasters, and can do nothing...most ignore seeing people's suffering...
Acceptance is wrong.

'Reality' TV isn't real.
Drone killings are ok, today
Sexism is alive in the ads, still

And TV is giving us a distorted view of the real world.

PamelaJ1 Thu 12-Oct-17 09:43:41

I try and avoid programmes that don't make me happy but I am interested in what's going on in the world.
It's all gloom and doom made worse,I think, by broadcasters and interviewers wanting to 'big up ' (sorry pedants) the bad.
Health service, care services, corruption etc. etc. We need to know to some degree but how many older people with health problems are worrying now that the NHS won't be there for them this winter if they need it?

Anniebach Thu 12-Oct-17 09:52:47

No Man .Is An Island, doesn't apply to everyone it seems

Welshwife Thu 12-Oct-17 09:56:35

Do you think maybe with all this fighting/killing and other bad stuff that people - particularly the young get to think that is the normal way to behave - that also goes for everyone being married and having affairs with every Tom Dick or Harry they happen to see and quite like?
I can remember a debate some years ago about children's TV shows when Ninja Turtles and the like were out and whether or not they affected the children's behaviour. Well anyone who worked with young children knew exactly what programmes they were watching by the playground games - could be 'White Horses' with the girls galloping round or 'Whacky Races' . Why would it be that different to adults with what they see - maybe not copying things but affecting them mentally.
I agree that it would be nice to have some happier new programmes and maybe some where people were really happy in their relationships - Tom and Barbara Good, the couple in 'Ever Decreasing Circles' etc.

Jaycee5 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:11:09

There is a new sitcom called Timewasters on ITV2 that I think is funny if a bit obvious in places. Some sitcoms are so bad (like Back and Bad Move) that they make you feel worse.
I think though that although these things can list people's mood, it is getting to the point that mental health care is virtually non existent in this country and nothing that is shown or not shown on TV will affect the impact of that.

Christinefrance Thu 12-Oct-17 10:16:18

I loved Ever Decreasing Circles and The Good Life, Howard and Hilda were brilliant. Comedy now seems to rely on the shock factor with gratuitous swearing and idiotic behaviour

TellNo1Ok Thu 12-Oct-17 10:24:25

Yet we love Midsomer Murders... bodies to the left, right and centre ...
Living near Midsomer i'd like to reassure you all... their death rate is actually quite low ...

I don't like, indeed won't watch graphic violence... and will switch it off immediately i feel uncomfortable...

cassandra264 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:26:18

My DH suffers from severe clinical depression - but TV does not affect his illness. He will select what he wants to watch - which does include many sitcoms old and new!

However,he still likes to know what is going on in the world, and thinks it is important, like everybody else with a social conscience, to be able to make small donations from time to time to approved organisations out there trying to make a difference to people suffering. Putting your head in the sand where difficult issues are concerned only makes you more self centred, which does not make anyone happier.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 12-Oct-17 10:41:17

I think there are far too many loans adverts. Have you seen the rates they are absolutely mind boggling, over 1000 percent, I think one was something like 1698 (and the advert said 5*Trustpilot rated). I think these loans just encourage some people into debt they (sometimes) can't get out of and that is definitely not good for mental health.