Television: A Rant

April 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm (Life) (, , , , , , , , , )

Next week, April 19-25, 2010, is Turn Off TV Week.

Well, it started out as Turn Off your TV Week. Now, it’s known as Digital Detox week.

I kind of participate. It’s quite easy to quit television; I didn’t realize until just now that the week has been updated to include all digital media.

I grew up watching television shows on a television set. We had two channels, maybe three – I have no idea if or when we got a French channel to enjoy alongside the CBC and CTV.  CBC is Canada’s public funded channel and CTV is not.  The small town I grew up in did not get cable and access to American stations until I was in my teens.

This did not bother me. We had a TV set when I was younger but the only show I remember being allowed to watch was the Tommy Hunter show on Friday nights. We watched this as a family; Mom, my two older sisters, my younger brother and me. The majority of my time then was spent running wild outside.

The summer I turned thirteen (1973), we moved and that Fall I started the hell that is High School. That’s when I started to watch a lot of TV; every week night from 7 – 11pm and weekend evenings as I babysat. I watched a lot of cop shows: Cagney & Lacey, Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch, Quincy, Streets of San Francisco etc. Even now, I watch more drama than comedy when I flick on the TV. I also use to watch all of these shows. I use to watch a lot of TV. TV use to be better? TV use to be more of an escape. TV use to be more of a bonding exercise (at least, it was for me).

My younger brother (he is a year and a half younger than me) and I watched TV together. My eldest sister had gone on to University and my middle sister was off living a charmed High School life (or so it seemed). My brother and I bonded a lot as we negotiated for and discussed what we were watching.

We grew up before the age of video and DVD, a TV show was a one time experience. A few shows were still recorded live and though most shows were taped they were hardly ever rerun. I stayed home from one of the first wave computer classes because I was not going to miss the finale of MASH. Heaven knows, I might never get the change to see it again. (Yes, that is the sound of the universe laughing in the background.)

I still watch the majority of my TV shows on my TV set. It feels strange to watch TV shows anywhere else than on my TV set. On occasion, I have to. It is nice to be able to watch a missed show the week after I miss it rather than wait for the rerun or wait to buy the series on DVD.

I admit to being old school. I like the feeling of anticipation as I wait week after week to see what will happen on the few (very few) TV shows I still follow. I’ll even wait months for a new season to start even when I know I can probably download it elsewhere. (Season 4 of The Tudors won’t be on CBC until the Fall of 2010).

Sorry, this post is turning into a love-fest rather than my telling you whether or not I will be cutting back on using Digital media next week.

I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore; especially in the summer. I’m following maybe one show an evening now. And the ones I follow are starting to feel boring and predictable. TV use to be the only game in town. Now, I’d rather read blogs. However, every thing I really like usually gets canceled; unfortunately both the TV shows and the blogs. Boo!

Right now, the only show I’m still anticipating week to week is the Good Wife which has been reruns too often lately.

My time would be better served this week by recording everything I want to watch and watching it all on Saturday night – when there is never anything on.

As far as my digital needs go, I’m paying too much for too little. Didn’t TV use to be free? It wants to be free. Information always wants to be free. Ironically, I was happier with TV when we only had two staticky, snowy stations. If I could, I would jerry rig up a metal clothes hanger, give up cable altogether and go back to using my imagination.

But that would be more fun if I had someone to share the experience with.

Unfortunately, in my life, it’s not the Digital Media that’s the problem it’s my inability to make friends. Sometimes, the only other voices I hear, all day, come from a digital media source.

Thus ends my rant. Sorry if I depressed you. (I definitely depressed myself.)

😦

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1 Comment

  1. halloween spirit said,

    Oddly enough, I made some similar observations to my son earlier this week. With all the channels we now have, it is sometimes more difficult to find something I want to watch than when I had only CTV and CBC.

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