Saturday, April 27, 2019

Discovering Television

I’m learning to like watching tv after a lifetime of mostly ignoring it. As a kid, my siblings and I didn’t watch much TV - I have memories of corny after school specials ("My Mom’s having a baby") and being forbidden to watch "Saturday Night Live" while my parents were out (we mostly didn’t). "Happy Days" on Friday and "Love Boat" on Saturday were OK if my parents weren’t watching anything else.

Honestly, I’d so much rather have been reading a book.

My TV - with its also antiquated cable box
This is probably why I have a library in my house today, and an old TV with a screen that is measurably smaller than my laptop screen. I just never really got in the habit of TV.  When I got my first apartment I couldn’t really afford a TV. Cable was new, and financially out of the question.  A few years later, married with a child, I moved to England and our TV wasn’t compatible with UK voltage (and I have some vague memory that you had to pay tax on watching TV, so that was a nonstarter).  Mostly I remember reading books while Ariel, my youngest, watched episodes of "Sesame Street" that my friend Darryl sent me on VHS for 3 years, bless him to this day. I also went through a strange cross-stitch* phase in England.

Life is different when you lack the TV habit. Famously, I never even notice TVs in hotels. I once swore there was no TV in my hotel room at a work conference. I just simply do not see them.

But, on to the real reason for this post: TV has gotten so much better. Like amazingly better. So how can I not pay attention now? Also I really have to figure TV out so I have a clue how it all works when I’m in the nursing home in 20 years catching up on all the shows. ;)

My TV awakening started a few years ago when I was recovering from surgery. I was off for 2 weeks over Thanksgiving and I watched 4 seasons of "Game of Thrones." If you fast forward through all the sex and violence you can do that in less time than you’d think. I know that sounds like you'd be leaving out the best parts, but I was trying to catch up, so I focused on the dialogue. If their mouths weren’t moving, I was skipping it.

I didn’t only watch GOT during my convalescence. I asked for recommendations, and so I watched the "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and it was highly entertaining. Then "True Blood" which was unbelievably addictive and satisfying. "Breaking Bad" was like a car accident I couldn’t look away from. I have since watched all of "Outlander" - a book series I had adored for years- and most recently, "Killing Eve," which has some seriously kick ass female characters.

I’m increasingly amazed at how good TV can be. This is a far cry from Love Boat, am I right?

My next post will feature my predictions for who is most likely to sit on the Iron Throne, because I am now in the TV Club. 

One of my cross stitch projects while in England