SCREEN TIME: Andrew, Laura, Liam, Priya, and Yoda

“We started a tradition of family movie nights on Friday nights in the early days of the pandemic. We all looked forward to movie nights all week. We’d plan out the show ahead of time and sometimes had a queue of shows we wanted to see for the weeks ahead. After work and school on Friday, we’d order take-out food and change into jammies. The kids got so familiar with the routine that they would typically tidy up their toys and home-based school supplies without needing reminders on Friday night (I loved this part!). We sometimes made special snacks, like homemade popcorn or cookies. Then, we’d snuggle on the sofa, wrestling the dog for a seat. After the show we’d chit-chat about our favorite parts. Some quotable lines became inside jokes for our family in the weeks that followed. 

 

One series that engaged all of us was the Mysterious Benedict Society on Disney+. The kids loved the child heroes, non-scary suspense and quirky characters. After each episode they would make predictions about what would happen next. Andrew and I were intrigued by the theme of an ‘emergency’ that was orchestrated by a powerful but unknown figure to instill fear and control people. The themes of social influence, power, control, and fear seemed so relevant to our society. I was curious about the intent behind these themes. As a nurse and researcher, I quickly drew parallels between the 'emergency' with the anti-vaxx movement and COVID conspiracy theories. However, I could also see that a viewer with a particular ideology may actually draw parallels between the 'emergency' with the pandemic itself. The fact that the show could be interpreted in two completely opposite ways by different groups of people made it reflect our society more than we might like to believe.” - Laura

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This lovely family moved into their new home in 2021. They also adopted their nervous dog, Yoda, during the first summer of the pandemic. They quickly found the cozy nook of the closed-in porch as their family screening spot. Andrew sits on the well-bargained for carpet from India from a trip he and his wife took to his homeland before the kids were on the scene. The beanbag chair, also recently purchased, serves as a traveling chair throughout the house. Some fun art projects from the youngest, Priya, reside in this warm corner including the ceiling-hanging paper bag ornament and the class-project step stool with her classmates’ fingerprints embedded on the side. So much light adorns this room that doubles as the workout space - yoga mat and treadmill sit on the opposite side of the television. Disney+ is a regular for this family of four (plus one dog).