Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't Let Television Die!

OK, so apparently my family is way behind the times when it comes to television. We still have basic cable, which is generally the same 50 channels we've had for as long as I can remember. We've never had a dish or digital cable, which also means we've never had a DVR. I've never had one, used one, or really even seen one. My family still has nights when we clear an hour (or 2) to sit down (sometimes together, sometimes on our own) to watch our favorite TV shows. For example, we all watch How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory on Monday nights. When the next (and final) season of Lost starts we will drop everything to watch that when it's on. And yes, we sit through the commercials, this is usually when we will get a snack or go to the bathroom or simply just talk. Maybe other families didn't do things like this together and that makes it easier for them to abandon TV, but sitting around the TV at 8 or 9pm every night was "family time" (along with dinner of course).

I hate it when I ask someone if they caught last night's episode of (insert TV show) and they're like no, but I DVR'd it. It's like well I wanted to talk about how this character ended up being a psycho killer, but since you haven't seen the past 3 million episodes I'll just go talk to myself about it. I totally agree that Tivo was a great invention, it's a really big pain when I have work or classes and miss a show that I like, but it seems like it's just making people even lazier. I can't help but conjure up images from Wall-E and Click. If you have seen them you know what I mean, if you haven't, where the heck have you been?

I do also agree that TV isn't what it used to be. I don't get the whole CSI and reality TV thing. Like it was said in class, it was awesome in the beginning, but now it's just completely redundant and no one cares anymore. I miss the unity certain TV programs and shows gave us. Maybe it was just because of the small town environment, but I don't know one kid that didn't watch TGIF Friday nights and One Saturday Morning on ABC. If someone didn't watch them when I was in elementary school, they were considered weird and a dork. That was what you did and for many years everyone followed the shows that aired Friday nights and Saturday mornings. I mean 90's TV was awesome, plain and simple. Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Step by Step, Looney Tunes, Goosebumps, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Bill Nye, Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego... the list could go on forever, but I digress. Needless to say, I miss those days and the television that went along with it, before the internet was a common household commodity.

Another thing that I don't do too much of (and my parents don't do at all) is watch TV on the internet. Unless I miss an episode of my favorite show I don't watch things online for the most part. Frankly, I find it a bit ridiculous. Why would I sit uncomfortably hunched over to watch something on a 17" computer screen days after an episode actually aired when I can watch it while it's airing for the first time on my 40" TV while sitting comfortably on my bed? Also, my internet is not reliable at all. Half the time I have to drive to campus just to use the computers because my internet isn't working or my computer doesn't have the latest software.

Maybe it's just the way my family was/is, but my whole life my family has centered a lot on TV, TV shows, and movies. Every Halloween we would watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and of course all the Christmas specials at Christmas time. We still watch some shows together, but not that often because every one's busy with their own lives, but I will carry the great times my family spent around the television set my entire life. If that makes me sound like a fat and lazy American so be it, but it's hard to think that I might not be able to do the same thing with my children someday. It would definitely be a big change if television were to "die" and it'd be sad to see it disappear from our media culture.

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