Both Eyes Opened – Finding ‘Safe TV’ In Unexpected Places


If you’re ever in search of something good to watch with your kids or ‘The Elders’ within ear shot, consider Film Noir…

I’ve always considered myself to be kind of a tough girl, and my taste in movies has always followed suit. Besides the Whitney Houston Welcome Home Heroes and the New Edition – Past and Present VHS’, Speed and …Bloodsport were my favorite videos growing up. Maaaayyyyyybe the latter were due to a fondness for Keanu Reeves and Jean Claude Van Damme, but I choose to believe it had far more to do with the action sequences.  I always envisioned myself swinging a sword, doing splits and flips, and landing well executed punches and kicks. In public, I’d envision just what I would do if that guy over there decided, “Today is the day”.  In my mind, I was an undercover she-ro.

Flash forward to today, where my tastes in entertainment remain pretty much the same. If I have a chance to watch something just for fun,  it’s either action and suspense or chick flicks, and little in between. And I’m always trying to introduce my girlfriends to my shows. Would you believe, I actually know people that do not watch Game of Thrones?? Or Power? Like, what?! But according to them, they can’t handle the frequent death and violence.


I never thought I’d see the day, but lately, I see where they’re coming from. In recent weeks, Power alone has made me cringe at least two or three times; there’s that scene with Ghost in the prison weight room, or that guy that decided to remove Julio’s tattoo… without a laser. Or that millionth time that Tommy flew off the handle, this time in his lawyer’s apartment. At this point, it’s beginning to seem like gratuitous violence, that doesn’t contribute majorly to the storyline. And Power isn’t the only show doing it. More and more, cringe-worthy scenes are being peppered in, and I find myself winking at the screen, wondering if I’ll have to close both eyes.

But I still like action, and mysteries, who-done-its, and go-get-ems, so what’s safe to watch? Enter Film Noir. One day I’m home sick, looking for something that will be just enough to distract me from other thoughts, but not so much that I won’t easily fall asleep. I thought, “surely a black and white movie will have me out in ten minutes”. I stumbled across Dishonored Lady on Starz, and I was very pleasantly surprised. One minute in, and Ms. Damien is facing what so many women today face. Five minutes in, and I’m hearing pick-up lines strangely reminiscent of ‘game’ we hear today. I made it through 75% of the movie before the fever won out, and then rewatched the ending when I woke up. I went searching for more, and ended up watching Murder, My Sweet on Youtube, and then the first three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (AHP) on Hulu. Talk about thought provoking, well acted-out, actually, surprisingly, suspenseful shows! And I didn’t have to look away once. If anything, I was more on the edge of my seat than I thought possible.

Dishonored Lady Scene
Actors John Loder and Hedy Lamar embrace in a scene from Dishonored Lady (1947)

In my unintended quest to find ‘safe entertainment’, I stumbled across a couple of gems, and hope to discover a few more. The funny thing, I’m sure even these were considered risqué in their day.

I’ve added Alfred Hitchcock Presents to my Hulu Watchlist, and I’ve purchased a $20 Film Noir compilation DVD, including some of Alfred Hitchcock’s better known classics, and the best known actors of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Who knows, maybe this will become a thing?


If you have any recommendations for good programming (thought-provoking, ‘safe’), please drop a line in the Comments section below. We wouldn’t mind checking out other diverse suggestions.

Want a little more of everything cool?

Get the weekly digest when you sign up for our "Everything cool" mailing list.

Share your thoughts.