Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Television

I love TV.  I can't even make it sound more dignified than that.  I love it.  I watch it a lot.  Probably more than I should, but I don't care.

Maybe it's an only child thing.  I spent a lot of time with Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as a kid.  (For the record, I don't think it turned my brain into mush, and it definitely didn't make me fat and lazy.  I spent a lot of time wiggling, dancing, and playing in front front of the TV, not just lounging on the couch.)

Just like I used to feel bad about my love of reading and writing, I used to feel like a loser if I said I really like TV.  Like I was less intelligent, or had bad taste.

It took me a while to figure out what I liked about TV, and why I still like it:  I like stories.  Tell me a story and I am your slave.  Television is a veritable buffet of stories, and best of all, I can absorb those stories passively while I do other things.

Because as any devoted reader will tell you, one of the drawbacks of reading is that you can't do it everywhere.  Can't do it walking, can't do it while you cook, or brush your teeth (though I've figured out a few workarounds on that last one).  With TV, I even got to take in stories while I did my homework--I know, I know, my work habits suck.  I do not apologize.  It works for me and you're not my mom.  Unless you are, in which case, thanks for letting me watch TV while I did my homework, Mom!

My taste in TV shows is totally informed by story.  I hate the news, I don't like sports, I wrinkle my nose at most reality TV shows.  But give me a sit-com populated by characters I can really get behind, and I'm sold.  A drama that doesn't push into ridiculous soap-opera proportions?  Sure!  A sci-fi series with fantastic world-building?  I am in!  Even my taste in children's shows favors story.  My absolute favorite of my son's go-to shows is Backyardigans, because not only do they have repeated characters with distinct personalities, they tell a new story in every episode.  Perfect!

So, maybe you think less of me now, but I just can't care.  I will sit at my flatscreen's knee and ask for more stories as long as it's willing to provide them.

1 comment:

Heather Whitley said...

My TV preferences match my book preferences. Almost all fiction with a few non-fiction conceptuals thrown in.

I also have this crazy notion that watching TV helps in writing. Not really in style or description, but rather in pace, character, and plot. We do live in a tv saturated culture, and I think people have so many of their expectations created by their love for TV. Watching it gives you an intuitive understanding of what Americans want out of a story.