Surprising life lessons from your favorite movies and TV shows
MANILA, Philippines — Imagine a person in a ratty old shirt, lying on a couch, with orange cheese stained fingers fumbling with the remote control. He could be somebody you know, but he could have also been you at some point.
We’ve all been there, when we were so hooked on watching a particular TV series or so engrossed in a movie marathon that we just. Couldn’t. Stop.
But this isn’t something you only do by yourself. If you’ve ever followed a series with your friends, or spent an entire weekend watching movies with your family, then you know it’s something to bond over. And it’s an activity you can do even more now that you’re all going to have spare time over the holidays.
This Christmas break, don’t just watch. As you go through your favorite shows, take time to reflect, and even pick up a nugget of wisdom or two. Here are some examples of classic films and top rated TV shows that teach you a little something about life.
Life lesson: Family first
Family gatherings get pretty crazy every year so prep yourself with one of the silliest ones on TV today. This family consists of an old man married to an exotic trophy wife, a male homosexual couple with an Asian daughter, and a family with an in-your-face mother and an effeminate dad.
It’s a reflection of today’s society, as the title goes, but it still feels like nothing you’ve seen before. Modern Family is a show centered on being there for your loved ones no matter what and growing together as a family amidst hilarious situations and cheeky punchlines.
Life lesson: Relationships matter
The holidays are all about strengthening relationships and fostering new ones. This film is about Brad and Kate who are forced to spend Christmas Day with each of their divorced parents’ new families. The couple is hesitant at first but after being thrust into a number of odd situations, they eventually find themselves wanting to start a family of their own.
Along with the couple, you’ll learn the importance of accepting the people who are important to your loved ones, never forgetting where you came from, and looking forward to the future with a positive mindset.
Once Upon a Time
Life lesson: Stay a child at heart
There’s no better time to rekindle your childhood love for fantasy and magic than during the holidays, so watch Once Upon a Time and start believing in fairytales again.
It’s about Emma Swan, a woman who discovers that fairytale characters live not in a far away land, but in an alternate universe just like ours. Through reimagined stories of Snow White, Belle, and even Elsa, we learn that it's important to foster childlike wonder and innocence in these modern times.
Miracle on 34th Street
Life lesson: Hang on to life values
A remake of the Christmas classic, this film also centers on a child regaining belief in Santa Clause and a lawyer bent on proving that a department store Santa is indeed Saint Nick himself.
Enchanting and heartwarming, it’ll make you remember the holidays you spent when you were younger, the importance of a strong belief system, and that a good dose of innocence and idealism could do you good.
The Big Bang Theory
Life lesson: Be yourself
Your holiday schedule is probably full of parties. If you’re an introvert and are feeling apprehensive about these gatherings, just remember: if the awkward foursome of Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj can survive anything, then so can you.
Every sitcom is filled with crazy antics and this one doesn’t fall short. There’s that time girl-shy Raj dates Siri; the scene where Sheldon asks Amy Farrah Fowler to be his girlfriend during her date with someone else, and Howard’s conversations with his overbearing mother. The Big Bang Theory is a funny best friend that lets you know it’s A-okay to be who you are, geek or otherwise.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2
Life lesson: Make the most of any situation
Who says you can’t celebrate Christmas while stuck in an island? That’s exactly what happens to National Lampoon’s cousin Eddie and his family when they go on a vacation in the South Pacific and eventually get shipwrecked. The bad fortune doesn’t stop there as the comedy actually begins with Eddie getting fired right before Christmas, and him worrying about his family.
Before you ask how this could all be funny, be assured that Christmas Vacation 2 is filled with gags, just like any National Lampoon movie. This one has its fair share of cringe-worthy situations too, but underneath them all is a story of a father who wants to provide for those he loves, and a family that is able to turn things around and make the most of an otherwise hopeless situation.
Life lesson: Be an empowered woman
Keep the women in your life close to your heart this season, and constantly remind them how strong and vital they are to you. While you’re at it, watch a show with them whose main character embodies what it means to be a modern-day feminist.
Sure, Jess gets into constant arguments with Schmidt and doesn’t quite get why Nick acts the way he does, but she does hold her own in a house full of men. She’s witty, a wonderful teacher, and an even better best friend to Cece. Oh, and she has a masters degree, too. So to all the women out there: you can wear floral dresses, break into song, and be a force to be reckoned with.
Shows and movies don’t just give you a way to escape life, they let you in on experiences you never would have had otherwise. Say that to the next person who questions your TV habits. — Rappler.com
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