My husband was recently bemoaning the amount of TV my 10 year old son watches. (To be honest, I have to breathe through it sometimes myself.)

A few days ago, I was listening to a show on NPR and heard about this site:

It's called TV Tropes and it's described as "a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction."

It is such a huge site, it must be seen to be believed. Each (cleverly named) trope is described, and then various examples of the trope from a variety of media are given; from animae, TV, live action film, comic books, literature.

Here is one example. Under Narrative, click on Characters. Up comes a huge list of tropes such as Amusing Alien, Starving Artist, Hired Guns. Click on one, say "Criminals." Up comes another list with choices like Blatant Burglar, Evil Poacher, Gang Banger. Pick The Old Con and you get this description:

"You'll find him in just about every prison film and television series ever made. He's the old convict that's been inside as long as anyone can remember. He knows everything there is to know about how the prison works, and can explain it to new inmates. He tends have the respect of most of his fellow inmates (except maybe the Ax Crazy psychos).

If the central characters decide to break out, The Old Con probably won't go with them, realizing he no longer knows how to survive in the outside world. He may die at the hands of the authorities or vicious fellow inmates (maybe in an attack actually aimed at the hero), inspiring the heroes to either escape or seek vengeance."

Can you think of an example of this? Sure you can!

The amount of information on this site is vast. You could read it for weeks and weeks. It is tremendously funny.

My point, and I do have one, is that this site was developed by people who obviously watched a hell of a lot of TV!

Which reinforced what I know to be true but sometimes forget: you never know where any interest might take your child. So back off (or offer something your child might like even better!)

Hope you enjoy the site.