To some, television is this bad, evil thing that we watch way too much of. That we are rotting our brains and as parents, rotting our children’s brains by spending so much time inside staring at a screen. I remember my eccentric creative writing teacher in college giving some sort of rambling speech about how TV was the devil and how he lived up in the woods with no TV and no social media so he could actually write. The same day I think he told us how Doritos were going to kill us and that to “remember: while us girls were wasting our time putting on our makeup, he was at home writing. He was so out there, it still makes me chuckle. But it also makes me miss those classes, cause he really was a fantastic writing teacher. But all of that aside…I take a bit of a different view on TV. I agree that too much TV can be absolutely detrimental, and I do have to remind myself to get outside and find that balance. But, too I don’t think you need to lock yourself up in the woods away from that evil TV devil.
After reading this, you’ll probably think I watch too much…or at least more than the average person. (But gosh, if only you knew other members of my family!) But to tell you the truth, I really don’t. I’ve never been one of those people who would just turn on the TV for background noise or just for whatever was on at the time. I typically would rather listen to music or audiobooks. Chris used to do that sometimes, but now that we have gotten rid of satellite and rely on only netflix/hulu/amazon and an antenna, our TV watching is much more deliberate.
TV has always been a special thing for me. Growing up, it was one of the ways our family bonded. It still is. Inevitably when we’re together, our conversation will turn to the latest episodes of our favorite shows. It has always created closeness in my family and a sense of community among friends. I remember distinctly every week as a teenager, going into my parents room to watch Boston Public, and then Boston Legal. The current event storylines that David Kelley throws into his shows always gave us something relevant to talk about. And as dad was acquiring all of the Twilight Zones on VHS, we would watch those together as a family when each new one would come in the mail. And though it might sound superficial, I think that love of the story of these shows definitely brought us together. (Movies too.)
I remember how my good friend Emma and I would stay up super late on Sunday nights to watch Grey’s Anatomy when it was first on, even though we had to get up at an ungodly hour to be in Jazz Band the next morning at 6. Grey’s has been around for 10 years now. And for most of those, it’s been a constant to my Thursday nights and something I always look forward to. In fact, my other good friend Elizabeth and I have a date to watch the season 10 premiere this week!
Chris and I watched the entire series of West Wing in the spring and early summer months – it was so, so good we are thinking of starting it over again – but I will always remember the first time we watched that show as a time when I was going through health problems, so many of our nights were spent in bed And that it was also when we decided to try to get pregnant and the early part of my morning sickness. That’s when that story was with us. And while we are still both shocked that we didn’t watch it when it actually aired several years ago, it was extra special for us to experience the show together for the first time.
We’re now slowly going through the series of X Files, which I never watched before, but for Chris, brings up memories of his watching these with his family while they were airing.
I think TV gets a bad rap. Because of reality TV crap and badly written fluff. (no offense, I know there are some decent shows out there) Because you can get stuck watching mindless shows that don’t really add anything to your life…
But the storylines of quality shows can really rival that of a good novel. Because when you think about it, though they are episodic, that’s what these shows are…a long running novel with characters that you grow to love and hate and relate to as they change and as you do. So when a series comes to an end, as Dexter did last weekend, it’s sad to let that story go. Just like it’s sad when you finish a good book.
While Dexter’s finale didn’t make me cry, I have to say Six Feet Under, Medium, and Boston Legal all did. And well, even though I’ve seen Gilmore Girls more times than I can count, the series finale ALWAYS still makes me cry. Chris rolls his eyes at how many times I can watch Gilmore Girls over and over again. But it’s really the same as how many times he’s read the Game of Thrones books, or how many times I’ve read Harry Potter. It’s revisiting a story, a friend.
So, for everyone else out there who loves shows as much as my family does, in light of Fall TV’s start this week, here’s what I’m excited for:
Castle – the end of the season premiere actually made me say WTF out loud.
New Girl – started last week, but is as funny as ever.
Modern Family – Chris and I re-watched the last season SO many times this summer, we can’t wait for it’s return Wednesday! This show has the uncanny ability to be hilarious and heartwarming in every single episode. Chris is Phil. Much of the time. And he will take to calling me Claire at times.
Grey’s Anatomy – As mentioned above, I’ve been with this one since season 1, episode 1 so I can’t wait for the new season.
Parenthood – Last season was a rough one, emotionally. I’m hoping this one has some more upper moments, but I love, love this show and am excited to be with those characters again.
Scandal – During the height of my morning sickness, I literally watched all of season 1 and 2 in a two-week time frame. You can definitely tell this is the Grey’s writer, and I’m looking forward to it coming back in October!
New shows I’m planning to try out:
The Blacklist – I love James Spader from his Boston Legal days, so we’re definitely trying this one.
Mom – Allison Janney is funny, so I’m hoping this show will be too.
Hostages – Saw the previews for this like 10 times during the Emmys, looks worth a try.
The Crazy Ones – David Kelley’s newsest writing! Robin Williams and it looks hilarious!
Shows that don’t start till Spring:
yes and yes.
What shows do you watch? Do you bond over TV with family and friends?