I watch too much TV

Yup. You know all those high-and-mighty folks who don’t watch TV and who say TV is polluting the minds of youth and making people lazy and fat? Well, they’re talking about me. I don’t think I’m lazy or fat, and I think my mind is okay (but how would I know?). And yet I watch a lot of TV. I’d say I watch TV probably about four to five hours a day. Something like that.

My new favorite show is The Bonnie Hunt show. I’ve always been a big fan of Bonnie Hunt, ever since Jerry Maguire (didn’t like the movie but I liked her in it). Return to Me sealed the deal for me. That is one funny movie!

If anyone watches The Biggest Loser, I just want to say I’m so glad that Michelle won and Vicky didn’t. I guess sometimes there is justice in the world, even on reality TV. I also want to say that Jillian Michaels would have made a much better Sarah Connor for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She’s buff and tough and reminds me a lot of Linda Hamilton from T2. That new Sarah Connor seems a little too wimpy.

Oh, and How I Met Your Mother is the new Seinfeld.

Really, though, I don’t see what’s so bad about TV. It’s just another medium to tell stories through, just like paintings, songs, novels, poetry, dance, and comic books. The quality of TV shows varies, just as the quality of books does. Books are not inherently better than TV shows. In fact, I’d much rather watch three seasons of Dexter than have to read another single book by John Gray “Ph.D.” (I want back the time I wasted reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus).

I did abstain from TV in high school, and I’m glad to know I can live without it if I want to (I’m not one of those addicts who just says “Oh, I can quit any time”). Still, I’m glad I came back to it. TV can be a good drug if you watch the right shows.

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10 Comments

  1. Agree whole heartedly. I use the TV for my relaxation. If you don’t want to there is no reason to concentrate too hard because you know the show will be repeated at some time.

  2. on a completely unrelated note: john gray “ph.d.” once spoke at my college, and a group of my classmates and i went — specifically to have the opportunity to loudly and drunkenly heckle him.

  3. I doubt TV makes people lazy and stupid, at least no more than they already are.

    There are varying degrees of quality in television programs and some require you to “get to know” the characters, the problems they face, the moral dilemnas. These tend to be the ones that don’t rot your mind.

    Personally I can’t get any fulfillment or enjoyment watching most TV, but every so often, something comes along that works for me. I need to be reading or talking to someone, or posting on a blog.

    On a related note, it bothers me that I have friends that do nothing but play video games and watch TV in their off-hours, but I tend to think that these things tend to be a symptom of idleness rather than a cause…or at the worst, a factor encouraging idleness, masking an unfulfilling lifestyle.

  4. I love TV. I love really rubbish TV too. My argument is that I spend a lot of my time studying, and so pointless, vacuous TV is my chill-out thing. My boyfriend watches TV to learn things from documentaries – for me books are where I learn things. TV is mind-switch-off.

  5. It certainly depends on what you’re watching – there’s a good chapter about this topic in Al Gore’s “Assault on Reason” which cites studies I can’t recall without the book here. The jist is that if you’re watching short segments with a bunch of 30-second ads in between, your attention span can be altered. I think there’s probably less ‘damage’ done by the Discovery Channel than the Home Shopping Network. My dad is involved with the optical design behind rear-projection television systems and tells me he creates the syringe for the opiate of the masses…

  6. I’m really picky about the TV I watch, but when I find something I like, I can sit and stare for hours. Because it’s just like you said: a new form of storytelling! I’m also a huge gamer. Providing games don’t send the feminist part of myself screaming for cover, I find them to be a total escape.

  7. Aren’t you a former English teacher? You’re the first English teacher I’ve heard say “Watch more TV!” Okay, so you didn’t exactly say THAT, but still… hilarious! I’ll bet your students loved it, too!

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