The Big Turnoff
Alternately hilarious and trenchant in its observations about our media-crazed culture, this is the true tale of a TV-addicted mother’s struggle to kick the habit and keep the boob tube out of her son’s daily existence.
Like most parents, Ellen Currey-Wilson and her husband aspired to be better parents than their own. Currey-Wilson, who shared most of her childhood with The Beverly Hillbillies, maintained intimate relationships with Mary, Rhoda, and Phyllis, and remained up-to-date on the fictional history of every character on Friends, longs for her son, Casey, to know the people around him better than he knows the Teletubbies. And, like most parents, she goes a bit overboard.
In her revealing and outspoken take on parenting, Currey-Wilson recounts her increasingly outlandish behavior—such as literally throwing herself in front of the TV set at her son’s playmates’ houses to prevent any inadvertent watching—and the intermittent fits of insecurity that find her worrying whether Casey might be ostracized for not knowing the theme song to SpongeBob SquarePants. But something remarkable happens as TV assumes a backseat to real life: Currey-Wilson’s relationships with her laidback husband, new-age sister, eccentric mother, and remarkably self-possessed son begin to deepen and grow. In an age when it’s easier to flip on the TV than to interact with people, The Big Turnoff shows what happens when one woman decides to buck the trend.