Monday, June 30, 2008

Kill Your Television

There are bumper stickers that exist with the wise words “Kill Your Television”. While I might agree in theory, I suck at it in practice.

Now, I don't watch a lot of TV. I know lots of people say that, usually trying to sound sophisticated and intellectual. Me? I really “try” not to watch a lot of TV. Couple of, it takes away time when I should be writing. Two, because I can't do two things at once. If the TV is on, I'm watching it. Can't carry on a conversation, can't write, can barely knit because I can’t count stitches and watch at the same time. I'm fascinated by moving pictures and sound.

But those aren’t the real reasons I limit my television viewing.

Mainly I don't watch TV because I get sucked in. Really sucked in. Even though I know these people aren't real (and even in reality TV, we know they aren't real), I worry about them. It's like characters in a book. I get so wrapped up in these characters that I get stressed when something bad happens to them. I had to stop watching soap operas because I got so upset that there was never a happy ending for my favorite characters. (Anyone remember “Passions”? Used to wake up worried about these people. Arrgh.)

My current TV addiction is whatever (and I mean whatever) is on Bravo from 9-10 CT on Wednesday night. It rotates from Project Runway to Top Chef to (currently) Shear Genius (which if you couldn’t guess from the catchy title is a reality show about hair stylists). Yes, I was actually distressed that I’d missed the first episode of Shear Genius. Don’t worry, it’s been repeated so I’m back up to speed.

How weird is this? I'm intelligent. I’m educated. I have “real” friends (as opposed to our TV Friends we visit with sometimes). Why am I so fascinated by the encapsulated lives of people who cut hair for a living? I don't get it, I’m not proud of it, but still, you'll find my ass on the couch every Wednesday night.

It’s embarrassing (somehow an addiction to crack seems less mortifying) and I’m going to change my ways. Really.

But ooh, Project Runway Season 5 starts up in July. Can’t wait!


Lynn LaFleur said...

I believe we all have our favorite TV shows. I've never gotten into all the reality shows, but I do love Dancing With the Stars. I almost cry when the season ends. Luckily, it's on twice a year. Only two more months until I can watch it again. Yay!

I don't watch a lot of TV, but I won't miss the shows I love, like 24. I was totally bummed when it didn't come on this year because of the writers' strike. I supported the writers' strike, but couldn't they have waited until all 24's scripts were done? Sheesh!


Titania Ladley said...

Great topic, Tielle! To me, it sounds like you're watching TV on Wednesdays more to veg out and relieve stress than anything---and there's not a thing wrong with that IMO!

When my kids were little tykes, I watched way more TV than I do now...well, make that listened. I'd have the TV on while doing all those endless chores but I wasn't really *watching* it. I had it on just to hear adult voices since hubby was gone a lot and we always lived away from family. I don't watch much now, although I will admit to an American Idol addiction, and every now and then, I'll watch Deal Or No Deal or some such. More than anything, we rent movies (by Netflix), but once the movies are over, I'm all TV'd out for a long while. :D


Kathleen Bradean said...

I don't watch much TV because it cuts into my reading and writing, but I'd never pooh-pooh TV any more than I'd pooh-pooh music I don't listen to or genres I don't read. There are things TV and movies do better than any other medium. Shows like Top Chef let us see inside worlds we don't know. Shows like The Tudors may play a little fast and loose with history, but they make historical figures come alive. These were real people, after all, something most of us never learned in history class. Watching TV can even help our writing. Not many people say, "I'm scared," or "I'm sick of his crap," but we can see it plainly on their faces and in their body language. Translating that onto the written page teaches us how to show, not tell.

Besides, darn it, there's nothing wrong with just being entertained.

Anny Cook said...

Two years ago I turned my TV off. Haven't watched it since. And since I was a 24/7 television person, I was shocked to find that I don't miss it at all.

Interesting. I thought I would go through withdrawal, but what I found was that I didn't miss it and have more time for other writing and reading.