I watched the pilot of a show last night. While the show was enjoyable overall, it was annoying to see the typical stereotypes regurgitated once again. Most notably for this blog: There was a homeschooled kid who was "socially awkward" according to the school principal and came from a religiously repressive background where the parents were "shielding him" from worldly evils which led to the current drama because he had developed the hots for one of his teachers. Just like my high school experience.
Now, as a filmmaker, I totally get that conflict is the lifeblood of drama. I understand that you need to have tension and that lust and murder are two very powerful forms of conflict. But... I don't know. There comes a point where the cliche is mundane and the stereotypes play out in monotone. Perhaps that's why they started writing shows about polar bears on topical islands...
Where was I?
Right: Agendas. I don't think the creators of this show have an agenda against homeschoolers or the hyper religious. They were merely using hyper religious homeschoolers as a convenient way to do what they wanted to do; namely, entertain the masses. But in so doing they betrayed a secret: They really don't know much about homeschoolers.
My fear is that, as religiously influenced homeschoolers, we may be betraying reality for many of the same reasons. We don't exactly have an agenda, but we're happy to paint a less-than-accurate picture to serve our end goal; namely, give our children the education we think is best for them.
And so our agenda may be something entirely other than the actual outcome. By focusing on quickly entertaining the masses, television producers almost accidentally push another agenda. How often have we, in our focus to teach our children truths we hold dear, accidentally pushed a different agenda?
It's certainly something to at least consider as we strive to instill in our children a life-long desire to learn.
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father