For years New Zealanders spent their evenings flicking through channels desperately searching for something to watch. Hard-working Kiwis finally slumping on to the couch, only to be bogged down in remote control admin.
As we all know it's impossible to find something that a man, a woman and two or more children agree on. So Kiwis just flicked and flicked and argued.
Thankfully things have changed. We have so many options now. So many platforms. So much information at our fingertips.
As a result we spend our evenings scrolling through Lightbox and Netflix menus looking for something to watch. Scrolling, scrolling and arguing.
Not because there's nothing to see. There is so much good stuff across these great platforms.
The problem is children. We may love them dearly but they have terrible taste in television. They're complete visual entertainment idiots and yet they demand a say.
This week I was mid debate with my kids about what we should watch when it struck me.
My Dad never asked us for our viewing preferences. He had an armchair we weren't allowed to sit on and the right to walk in and change channels without consultation.
As a result I spent much of my childhood watching incredibly boring programmes. The news, political interviews and worst of all nature documentaries.
We'd be trapped on the couch with nowhere to go. Read a book? Nah. Video games on another TV? In my dreams.
Turns out our dads were right and we should follow their lead. Instead of asking our kids what they want, force them to watch our crap.
In my case (just like my Dad before me) my crap is documentaries. I love a good doco. Children on the other hand hate all documentaries and rightly so. No one under 20 should be interested in the world.
Two great documentaries I have punished my precious little kids with lately. Get Me Roger Stone and The Lovers and the Despot both on Netflix. Bloody good docos with absolutely nothing in them for children.
Roger Stone is a freaky looking, muscle-bound, old dandy of a swinger with Richard Nixon tattooed on his back. He's been involved in some of the dirtiest tricks and immoral lobbying in American political history. Watergate, Bush's Florida hanging chads and more recently inventing Trump. If it's big, historical and political he'll be pesting around up front when he should be in the background.
Have you ever felt like Trump doesn't believe the things he says? Like he's delivering slogans he's been fed by a master manipulator? Well that might be because Roger Stone came up with pretty much everything Trump and his supporters chant. Well he claims to have anyway.
Stone is not only evil, cynical and ruthless but also quite likable and funny which makes Get Me Roger Stone a great doco. You'll love the entire 92 minutes. Your kids will hate it. Watching a weird old dude from another country talking historic politics is a child's worst nightmare.
The Lovers and the Despot on Netflix is good too. Turns out dictator Kim Jong-il was a major movie geek in his day. He was also so completely crazy and powerful that he had his favourite director and actress kidnapped and brought to him in North Korea.
There he forced the ex-lovers to make movies. They became slaves with big budgets.
This tale of old movies, oppressed people, the world's most dangerous cinefile and rekindled love will enthral you while stupefying your little ones. Win win.
There are so many others readily available. Life Itself, OJ Made In America, Amanda Knox, Blackfish, Exit Through the Gift Shop, David Bowie: Five Years, All This Mayhem, Pumping Iron, Montage of Heck, Oasis Supersonic, Into the Inferno, Tickled, Weiner.
We all love our kids. But they live under our roofs. You not only have the right but the duty to bore the crap out of them. Never let them have a say. They're not qualified. Give them an inch and you'll end up watching Pokemon XYZ.
So grab the remote and don't let it go. Force-feed your family every dry topic that interests you.
Your kids will try to run off with their iPads to watch other people playing video games on YouTube. Don't let them. Pull them out from under their beds and make them sit right there on the couch and watch docos.
There is nothing more Kiwi than boring children senseless.