Popular TV shows


Is it a mortal sin to watch popular T V shows like:

  • Friends
  • The big bang theory
  • Family guy
  • Modern family

My understanding is that in some cases these may be occasions of sin, but they would not be mortally sinful to watch.

Any opinions?


I am a pretty scrupulous person but I have seasons 1-7 of The Big Bang theory on DVD. I like that show. The first couple seasons are pretty tame. Except for I think one episode where there is a woman who is kind of a nymphomaniac and she strips down infront of one of the guys. Though it does not show anything, I just skip that episode. I do not think watching The Big bang theory qualifies as grave matter. It is not pornographic, even though it talks about sexual things sometimes. It certainly is not too violent or blasphemous. Though I guess that one time Raj, who is Hindu, said while looking at a crucifix “Look at that. None of our gods have ab’s like that” and Howard, who is Jewish, said “Yeah, that is the last Jew who did sit ups. And look where it got him” can probably make some people feel uncomfortable. It kind of did for me, but I would not call that exactly “Blasphemous”.

The show gets a lot more sexual in later seasons. But still, nothing that the average adult has not seen or heard. In a fantasy scene where penny is in her bra, I look away, same on the one that she is in that terrible movie and she has a shower scene. If I really feel what they are talking about on the show might cause me to think of sinful things, I will fast forward through it. That is why I buy the dvds.

I use to watch family guy. That show is a little more unpredictable and over the top. Though it may not be sinful to watch the show in and of itself, I would be too uncomfortable to watch that program anymore.

I cannot comment on the rest, Never seen em.


I think it all depends on the individual. For me, this is a big gray area. There are people that can watch these shows without a problem. There are however people that even these ‘tame’ shows by today’s standards would be an occasion of sin. I would say if these shows lead you to have inappropriate lustful thoughts or fantasies then it’s a no go.

Again I feel you have to know yourself and have a well formed conscience in order to make that decision

I would say it’s ok if you don’t feel it’s affecting your soul negatively. I did have a priest once tell me that the majority of what we consume in the media should have truth, beauty and elevate your should instead of dampen it so take that as you will


We love the Big Bang series too and watch the DVDs. The remark about Jeus did make me uncomfortable though. Since I’m a female Penny’s apparel doesn’t bother me. In fact, the last season she dressed more modestly and Amy, who’s played by an Orthodox Jew, always dresses much more modestly. The show is so funny though. In a later episode Howard was making fun of Raj believing in a higher being and Raj commented that many of the great scientists believed in God. I do wish though that sexual relations weren’t taken for granted, Great series!


I have not seen season 8 yet, waiting for it to come out on DVD, so I look forward to seeing the episode where Raj defends his beliefs in a higher power. Even if it is only for a few seconds. Yeah, I totally agree on the taking relations for granted thing on the show. They all live very secular.

I have to admit. That time they where praying to God and Raj wanted to change what he prayed for and howard said “No, you only get one wish” that had me rolling :rotfl:


Yes that was funny, and Sheldon’s mother cracks me up. Am waiting for our new DVDs!


I don’t think it’s a mortal sin, however whether you should watch them or not depends on how they affect you. All six characters on “Friends,” for example, are big time fornicators. If this makes you think fornication is okay and people who fornicate do not need to change their ways, then I don’t think you should watch the show. I can’t stand it because it seems all they think of is sex. I will watch “Seinfeld” at times, and those characters have pre-marital sex as well, but the show doesn’t focus on it nearly as much as “Friends.” “Family Guy” can be offensive and funny as well. At least Peter and Lois remain faithful to each other. However, if the show makes you condone swearing, etc., best to turn it off. Some episodes I’ll watch, some I find offensive. I’ve never seen “The Big Bang Theory” or “Modern Family.” Actually, I watch very little television.


Thanks. That’s similar to what I thought.

The main issue I have is that all of the family - i nccluding 2 teens (15 and 17) love the big bang theory. It would be very difficult to get my teens to stop watching it as it is rated 12’s.


Though I personally do not like any one of those shows I would not think it a problem with the possible exception of Family Guy which I think can be on the sacrilegious and amoral side. Similar to South Park. I think the Simpsons does not cross that line. I watch some pretty scandalous shows. But something about FG and SP just seem to cross the line between art and blasphemy if not outright porn.

Why is it that every time I flip by FG on the channel I have to see a flash of naked cartoon skin. Even on the commercials? How do I explain that to my kids?


For the record, South Park was never meant as a “family show”. It originally aired at 10pm on the Comedy Channel and has always been geared towards adults.

FWIW, I love SP. Yes, it is irreverent. Yes, it can be rude and crude. But it is satire, and there is always a lesson, usually a good one, being taught by the kids to the adults.


I never said it was meant for kids.


I disagree. We should not view “entertainment” that models bad behavior in a neutral way. Big Bang Theory has/had a couple fornicating. Family Guy spits on “those values on which used to rely” (from the opening song), Friends? fornication, Modern Family has a homosexual couple as if it suddenly just happened and is of none of our concern.

The common character template on TV is “the Dysfunctionals.” People who act out immoral behavior and it’s all presented as “oh well, it’s just one of those things.” Indifference cannot define us as Catholics regarding what we watch on TV.

Sin is sin, whether we are kids or adults.



Still not grave matter. The couples do fornicate on TBBT but it does not show sex scenes. At worst, it will show a couple in bed talking. It does not cause me to sin. I have known many people who fornicate. I myself have been sexually immoral in the past. It is not something that I never knew went on and now I am going to become obsessed with it by watching a show where it implies that people fornicate. You rarely even hear a cuss word on the show. I work in CONSTRUCTION. Imagine all the cussing and talk about sexual stuff I have to hear all the time. Does not compare to what I see on TBBT. For kids, sure, it is not appropriate to watch but for adults I think you are being overly strict.

I stopped watch Sons of Anarchy because I realized how they glorify violence and the bad guy was wrong. I stopped watching South park and Family guy because it was too sexual and South park was Blasphemous. When it comes to The Big Bang Theory, that program is kiddy stuff when compared.


“Family Guy” kind be kind of sacrilegious at times, but there isn’t near the fornication or obsession with sex one finds on “Friends.” All those six people do is fornicate. I adore Jennifer Aniston, but not as Rachel.

“Will and Grace” was the worst, though. Can’t stand reruns of that show, and will not watch them.


Haven’t watched Family Guy for awhile. South Park is funny but does tend to be blasphemous so don’t watch anymore. TBBT does portray fornication but also some of the consequence of such behavior. Penny learned that sexual conduct was not enough to build a relationship, that it also needed respect, so she ended up with Leonard “who had brains” compared to her old boyfriend Zack. Sheldon and Amy are building a relationship without intimate contact so far and are on the verge of getting engaged. Bernadette and Howard opted for marriage. Raj is learning that his bizarre relationship with Emily may not be a good thing. There are other moral lessons in this show which is so funny!


The first couple seasons of family Guy consisted of clever writing. Now it’s just trash aimed to see what they can get away with


I don’t think it’s a universal mortal sin at all.

It depends on the show and the content.

My husband and I are different in terms of what shows we like to watch and what we don’t like to watch and what is considered a problem area for us.

He isn’t bothered by shows that have a higher sexual and violence content but they make me uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I’m not so bothered by blasphemous content but my husband is.

Neither of us watch Family Guy or South Park…thought I will say the writing for the first few seasons of both series was very funny.

I don’t watch those other shows you have mentioned except watching some episodes of Big Bang Theory. That show is funny but we don’t have cable.
I don’t watch them because I genuinely don’t like them and not because the content bothers me.


Between 1950 and 1970, it was forbidden to show a couple in bed, as well as profanity. So there were at least two decades of TV that could be watched by young and old alike. The quality varied and kids like me weren’t interested in politics, for example.

Where this strange, and un-Christian, idea that there were two different types of sin that revolve around ‘it’s OK for adults to watch but not kids’ came from just doesn’t work. The only real differences in terms of entertainment between kids and adults is age level. Kids read kids books, draw in coloring books and play with kids’ toys. Becoming an adult means you no longer do that yourself but my friends, are we to be entertained by sinful behavior? I don’t mean we will start doing it, but some young people will because it’s presented as ‘no big deal.’ It’s not called immoral or shameful or sinful. It just happens, right? That contributes to the kind of indifference we should guard against. God knows, I’m a sinner. I’ve done things I’m ashamed of. But shame seems to no longer exist on TV.

And our kids watch what we do. We need to be good examples. In the 1970s when the anarchists and those who trusted total strangers, arrived, you got a phone call from your dad, “Son, if you love the girl then why don’t you just get married? We didn’t raise you to be living in sin like that. The Church never told you it was OK.” But the responses varied from “Dad. Everything’s changed. You don’t understand.” to “We’re grown adults. We’ll live how we want.”

According to who? The same group that kept adding more sexual situations to TV, gradually, to every decade after till now we’ve got “good guys” who fornicate, practice adultery and cuss and swear. Poison, my friends. Poison.

Someone mentioned South Park. OK, I watch it to get a sense of what they’re doing. A little girl walks up to her teacher as class ends and says, “Stay away from my man, *itch!”
I see a little kid in a parking lot cussing out mom as she pushes a shopping cart.

It’s NOT “art imitates life.” It’s “We’ll wait until they don’t care anymore, and then give them more vile, disgusting, sexual and profanity-filled TV to watch.”

It’s time to empty the garbage.



Although I admit to watching “Family Guy” once in a while because I find the less-hateful Stewie funny, overall, I agree with you, Ed in that it’s time to take out the garbage. We can’t even have a war movie without fornication. I do think Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima was free of it, though. And to my recollection, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was fine. Mostly I watch PG movies like Cars and Planet 51 and Rio, which were all adorable and innocent.

I was at someone’s house, and they watched The Reader with Kate Winslet. She was naked nearly the entire movie. (She wasn’t attractive, either.) I don’t understand why Hollywood has to put a sex scene in every film that is not for kids. In the theatre I go to, a lot of people chose the “sex scene” time to go to the restroom or get popcorn, etc. Me, too.


Has anyone else noticed, while many of these shows are immoral and unethical, they still have the same rules about showing nudity, and airing of curse words…keep in mind it is 2015??? These rules are even in place in after hours and overnight shows. It seems the rest of society has pretty much accepted all kinds of things, but when it comes to network tv, they are still sticking to the same rules as 20 yrs ago?

I remember back when NYPD Blue stirred things up when they aired shots of male and female rear ends, but this was back in the mid 90s…again, its now 2015 and even today, its rare to see this on major network tv.

Seems like many people would be fighting this kind of censorship, especially in modern times?? Not to mention, its Hollywood and the entertainment industry, they are usually not known to have high morals and ethics…but when it comes to network tv, it seems they have more than most anymore…(confused?)

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