Why I can’t watch films any more

April 18, 2015


Warning; contains mild peril…

Want to know one of the strangest and most unexpected symptoms of having children?

I can’t watch films any more.

When I was very newly pregnant, our friends who were already parents warned me that they could now only watch mainstream, non-controversial comedies. Which I thought was weird, until had children and totally understood.

It’s not to do with my current state of baby brain, or my iPhone-enabled short attention span. It’s just that I can’t cope with any tension – mild or otherwise – gore, violence – implied or otherwise – and especially not anything even slightly perilous that involves children. Which kind of rules out an awful lot of films,

It’s tricky enough to watch films as a parent, but in light of everything we recently did pick a couple – World War Z (zombie film, lots of peril, watched 99% from behind a cushion) and Olympus has Fallen (big budget brainless action film, which – look away now if you don’t want spoilers – has a long scene where a million terrorists attack the White House, and it just doesn’t stop. I wasn’t coping very well).

Is this just me, and does normal viewing ever come back? I won’t be any good at pub quizzes or adult conversation about popular culture if I’m watching Frozen for the rest of my life.

Three decidedly tension-free things we’ve been watching of late:

  • Louis Theroux – Did you know all the old Louis Therous documentaries are on Netflix? Which is brilliant. It includes all the Weird Weekends, When Louis Met… series and all of the US specials. I’ve been re-watching and catching up on any historic gaps
  • First Position – a documentary following six dancers preparing for a huge US ballet competition. I used to dance as a child so loved this an awful lot. The story of Michaela – the refugee dancer from Sierra Leone – is just astonishing
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – about as tension-free as possible. Have you seen it? It stars Erin from The US Office, which was the series we watched obsessively when Eliza was born and will forever have a place in my heart for that reason (and also, because it’s so good).

I know I’m going against popular opinion here but I’ve given up on watching Orange is the New Black half-way into the first series. I found the main character annoying and it was just too slow for me to really care about anyone else. Should I stick with it?

Also, what to watch when you’re pregnant,  what to watch when you have a new baby and the sleeping baby secret film club.

I’m part of the Netflix Stream Team, for which I was given an annual subscription to the service.


  • Jodie

    April 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Ive actually spent more time watching films since the birth of P3 than I ever have. She would wake at 5am and I’d have loads of films recorded/downloaded on my Sky+ and I’d sit and watch them. Most the time she’d fall asleep or I would but it was nice to be peaceful.

  • Carie

    April 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I’m so glad it’s not just me!! I was never good at anything scary in the first place but it’s family comedy all the way for me now and also programs on extreme weather or the collection of shows we call ‘police bang crash ouch’!

  • Jemma

    April 19, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    This made me laugh out loud because it’s sooo true! All we do is watch netflix series- we finished unbreakable kimmy Schmidt and now onto Friday Night Lights! I used to spend my student days watching black and white Icelandic subtitled films…….I have lost all ability to watch anything long or needing brainpower since I had little ones!

  • Michelle

    April 19, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I watched half an episode of Orange is the New Black… so not into it.

    Lucky you! Netflix Canada doesn’t have the US Office or any Louis Theroux 🙁

    Thanks for the First Position tip. You should watch the city.ballet. docs on AOL online if you’re into dance. (sorry – not Netflix based 😉

    Do you guys have The Mindy Project? A big recommend!

    And I could never watch anything scary pre-baby so imagine now. Yipes!

  • laura redburn

    April 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    i loved kimmy schmidt! (and louis, of course <3)

  • Lori

    April 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I still love watching films but I find anything that is remotely emotionally really sets me off these days. Also I love Louis Theroux! I met him for coffee when I was doing an event and he was lovely x

    1. Jess @ Along Came Cherry

      April 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      No way Lori?! I love Louis Theroux!! x

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    April 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Louis Theroux is a genius! His ability to speak to anyone in any situation and get them to open up to him is truly incredible. I also loved OITHB but I can see how if you find her annoying you might struggle! The 3rd series is coming out soon, can’t wait! x

  • Laura

    April 20, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I know just what you mean – oh and I watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in two days when I was ill last night – major Netflix binge – loved it though…nice and light for the brain

    Laura x

  • Fiona

    April 21, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I LOVE Kimmy Schmidt, it’s so so so so funny. I was heart broken when we got to the end, of it. Tina Fey can do no wrong. And I’m totally with you on OITNB, there are way too many naked women in that show. I only watched a few episodes before deciding it wasn’t for me. I struggle to watch things now too, but my early motherhood anxiety has passed, it’s the time that stops me. After about 30 seconds of a film or tv show I think ‘this is the only time I’ve had to myself all day, is this film worthy of that?!’ I am an annoying tv buddy now xx

  • Emma

    April 21, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I can’t say it has bothered me since having kids, except anything involving sick children obviously, always results in buckets of tears!

  • fritha

    April 22, 2015 at 11:10 am

    defo stick with OITNB but then again if you didn’t like it immediately then maybe it’s just not your thing. Loving Kimmy Schmidt too! I also love the amercian office, it was so good, I miss it! xx

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