For many years now I have preached the ills of television. There is so much drivel that comes through the tubes it seems to be quite literally rotting our collective brains. It is as addictive as drugs and nearly as harmful.
We have become a culture of zombies. Watching the flashing lights, quick edits and loud Top 40 soundtracks while our minds shut down for the night. Instead of fulfilling our civic duty, or enriching our lives we are content to sit listlessly hour after hour while the same scenarios play out night after night.
I’ve often thought that if some worldwide disaster occurred shutting down television across the globe the suicide rate when go up exponentially. How many lives are wasted by sitting for countless hours in front of the boob tube? How many of those pathetic little lives would actually have to consider there pathetic ness if the TV went down?
TV is so mindless, so lowest common denominator, nothing good can come from it.
Or so I once thought.
About a year ago I became ill and spent an entire Wednesday night laid out on the couch watching the television. It’s something I always like to do when I’m sick. It must be the white blood cell level, but when I’m ill there is nothing more soothing than passivity. And nothing produces passivity more than television.
That particular night was the premier of the second season of Lost.
I was hooked before the first commercial break. The show had quality. It was well written, well acted, funny and mysterious. And it was exceedingly well produced. Hour long dramas on TV always looked...well like TV shows to me. The production values have always lacked causing them to look forced and fake. But Lost was a wonder. It looked like money.
When did television become so cinematic?
Quickly my wife became hooked and we caught up with season one on DVD while we watched season two unfold on TV.