I asked my partner very politely to not put Breaking Bad on. I told him straight up that I wasn’t interested in beginning a whole new television series again. It’s tiring, you know? The addiction to whatever show you pick, the need to watch just one more episode, the staying up extra late to catch the last 40 minutes of whatever because God knows, it’s really important that you witness yet another cliffhanger.
I was told by many people that this show was awesome, spectacular, one of the best! But I resolutely resisted watching it and am currently regretting giving in. I couldn’t help it – Jesse is so lovable (in a strictly fictional way, I would not find a real life Jesse lovable) Walter is great to watch, and you find yourself rooting for them to succeed. Which is odd, when you think about it. You, the viewer, are hoping that Walter and Jesse succeed in 1. making drugs. 2. selling drugs. 3. killing their enemies. 4. disposing of said enemies bodies well. 5. and never getting caught.
Wait, what? Damn television! Sucking me in and confusing me like this! Oh, I love it, and fine, I’m hooked.
Before Breaking Bad, I was into The Vampire Diaries. I thought it might be one of those shows I shouldn’t tell anybody I liked, but I soon found myself recommending it to people. Even people who wouldn’t be interested in it at all, like, my boyfriend’s brother. Because nothing screams ‘bachelor’ like a show about a love triangle between a high school girl and two vampires. I stand by my enjoyment of this show. It’s not nearly as cheesy or Twilighty as it sounds, I promise. It’s filmed well, acted well and the characters have depth and story lines. There are also good sub stories with the supporting cast, which throws relief on the love stories.
Before TVD (look, I’m even abbreviating now) it was Game of Thrones, before that, the West Wing, before that the OC, and it goes on.
I should stop selling shows to you guys now, because they aren’t paying me to, and I’m sure you don’t want to hear about what you could easily watch. So let’s talk TV in general. I don’t watch a lot of it. I sat down the other morning to watch some children’s cartoons while I ate breakfast and was deeply saddened to find that they’ve changed Franklin to be that crappy animation that looks really cheap and computer generated. What ever happened to the beautiful drawings it resembled? Actually, I’m going to make a separate post on this deeply serious issue. Stay tuned for that (word play, whaddup)
I don’t watch much day time television, nor night time, nor morning time – make that especially not morning time. But I do get sucked in to good television series on DVD. No ad breaks, no waiting a whole week for the next episode and you can pause it. Proper TV makes me a little depressed, and always has. Something about the awful presenters, sad advertisements and huge ad breaks makes me bored out of my mind. Besides, the quality of series has gotten fantastic over the years.
I specifically hate that feeling you get after watching television. Dry mouth, bleary eyes, buzzing in your head. A feeling where you’re not quite sure what you’ve really been watching. It’s draining and horrible. I read recently that according to an American study, children should not even be exposed to television until they’re over 3, and especially not if they have a disability. Before that article, I watched a documentary that explored ‘stupidity’ and my first enlightenment to no television for children came from a man asking the question of why we subject children to television when it leaves us feeling so worn out and hollow, why we think it is okay to allow them to sit in a stupor and tune out to noise and colours. I had never really thought about it before, but it was then that I awoke to my own feelings when viewing TV.
I thought back to when I was smaller and I remembered that time of day when it was twilight, the light was fading, dinner was cooking and a sullen feeling was over the whole house. Children’s shows were ending and the news programs were beginning and suddenly it was cold and dark and you were being made to eat dinner, then bathe, then bed… Dreadful time, and TV at the very center of it. It measured time in a way I hated, gave me an unshakable lethargy and so I don’t plan on subjecting my children to those same feelings.
Yet, I love me some great well-made BBC, HBO etc series. I see them as being different from regular television because they’re made with a higher standard, and your brain seems to stay focused and active when watching them – unlike that next episode of reality TV where you can’t seem to find the energy to change the channel. I don’t find this hypocritical either, for I’m not showing 4 year olds Game of Thrones, which would be messed up anyway… Don’t show that to your kids. I would allow my children to watch the Lion King on rainy afternoons but not 3 hours of commercial TV. Is this different? I think so. A movie, like a good series, engages you much more than regular viewing.
What do you think? Do you have favourite shows but can’t stand television? Do you think television can negatively impact young children (1-4)?
Related article: Kid’s TV Time Linked to School Woes, Bad Habits