Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Television Viewing

Sometimes you'll turn on the television and you'll be fairly certain that civilization as you know it is over.  Amid the news programs and old movies, the reruns of shows we used to love and the occasional mini-series that totally rocks...television is basically a wasteland these days. 

I do realize that saying that almost qualifies me as an adult.  Next I'll be saying that I walked uphill both ways to school...

I mean, thanks to our fascination with people who have done absolutely nothing except market themselves amazingly there are actually folks who think that the Kardashians and Snooki are normal, and that people do really find love and "happily ever after" in a major competition involving 36 suitors and one bachelorette.  Really?  Ironically, I did watch one of these shows once...because I actually knew the girl who was the "bachelorette" and I was watching it hoping that she would handle it with class rather than what normally comes out of these shows.  She did...fortunately...and I was grateful...because she was a sorority sister of my daughter's.  (Of course, so was Nick Saban's daughter, numerous football players' sisters, University of Alabama's Homecoming Queen last year (also a roommate from sophomore year), sweet Ashley Harrison, who was killed in the Tuscaloosa tornado, the 2nd runner up to Miss USA last year, and the 3rd runner up to Miss Alabama this year.  Those Phi Mu girls at University of Alabama are beautiful, smart, and high achievers to say the least.)

I realize that sit-coms and dramas on television are what I grew up on and so I have always been a bit snobbish about "reality television." Other than a few notable exceptions - those being "Pawn Stars" and those two guys who buy junk from is all just fairly annoying to me.  I may learn something, but I cannot in good conscience waste every night watching something involving cussing Cajuns, whales, Jerry Springer contestants trying to pawn stuff, people actually losing weight while I am in denial, or any of the entertainment shows.  (Oh, go ahead and laugh those of you who know that I am on Facebook or writing here instead.  FINE.) 

Maybe it is that I am not entertained by the shows that feature dancing, singing, talent or dating competitions...although I catch them occasionally and don't die from boredom.  I just tend to go for the programs that I'm more familiar with...the dramas or comedies.  When I'm not watching Fox News, that is.

If he varies from Fox, Big Dave will inevitably find something horrible on because he has control of the remote most nights while I sit across the room typing on this computer like I am tonight.  (Right now, he has "Operation Repo" on...and the bleach blonde with the serious tattoos and eye makeup is beyond annoying.   She may be entertaining to watch...but I just get bored easily.)

Now give me something like "Smash" with all of that talent just waiting to spring into song and dance while they have characters that just can't stay out of trouble and "The Client List" which has some really great actors that I enjoy watching.  They are in the vein of "Dallas," "Falcon Crest," and "Knott's Landing"...with a twist of "Thirty-something" thrown in for good measure.  That feels right to me.

You remember those, right?  Shows that existed before the every night "CSIs" in every major city in the U.S. and the various "Law and Order" shows that were on so much that I never had to really know what time they came on because chances are if I turned on the TV...there they were.

And then there was that three year sabbatical from cable television that we had when we first moved out here to the thriving metropolis of Pike Road, Alabama.  We didn't get cable at first because it wasn't available...and we were trying to swing the increased bills and we just got used to not having it.  Then, one Christmas, Big Dave got a bonus at work and we ended up with can only be referred to as a "Big A**" television...a 60 inch wonder of technology.  Clear picture!  Huge picture!  Shows we can actually see without the ant races in the background!  He got cable for us at that point since it was fairly obvious that watching the fuzzy local television stations just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

He even built cabinetry around "Big A" and she rocked on for about four or six years...I can't remember...before she started looking a little blue around the edges.  A Google search found that we were not alone with our sick "Big A" TV.  Big Dave mourned when she became a victim of Sony's failure to produce a decent product as documented on the Facebook page "I Bought a Defective Sony TV" which has somehow mysteriously disappeared now that I've gone back to look for it.  (Fortunately for me it didn't go away before I learned of its existence and received a substantially discounted replacement set and refund on a bulb that was supposed to fix the problem but totally didn't.)  We now have more of a "Little A" TV...he is only 54 inches instead of 60.  Just in case you are wondering..."Big A" is still going strong, mind with a college kid and looking a wee bit Smurfish from time to time.  But for most things on television it is hardly noticeable and seriously it is a huge set and a lot more TV than most college kids even dare to hope for.

So, he went to a good home.  Which is good, yes?

After all of that, I should admit that I don't actually watch a lot of television shows when they are supposed to be watched because I hate that whole waiting a week thing to find out what is happening next.  Then I get all discombobulated because I will inevitably forget what day it is and miss something...and must then must remember to watch it on the DVR before somebody else erases it.  I have found it so much easier to just get the whole season and watch them one after the other so that I get it all over with at one time.  I've used this method with "True Blood" (because I don't get HBO...and seriously...a couple times a year is about all I can take of "True Blood" with all of its freakiness) and "Downton Abbey" (because I didn't even know about it until after season 2 was over) with great results.  I don't get a lot done otherwise...but I do enjoy myself immensely while I am marathon watching.

I don't know what the future of television holds...because you can watch your programs when you want...and there is talk that they've even found a way to skip commercials.  Frankly, I could use the ability to skip any commercial with medications (ie Cymbalta, Viagra, Cialis, etc.) because I just get freaked out hearing all of the side effects like "skin rashes, mouth sores, liver disease, dizziness or fainting..." (or worse).  I don't want to miss any Geico commercials, though...and I like most of the Aflac ones too.  My newest favorite Geico commercial?  Here it is...

I am okay with Flo...but I'm kind of over it as well.  What is she hawking?  Progressive? 

I hope that one day when people look back at what we are watching now and are trying to discern what kind of people we are that they will also get hold of some of our finer the "John Adams" mini-series or perhaps some episodes of "House."  But then again...that last one?  Never mind.

I am going to try to be more intentional about my time this summer and spend it doing those things that I have put off dealing with because I have been too busy.  Hopefully that plan will work.  If not...I do have a season or two of "True Blood" to catch up on...

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