Friday , February 23 2024
A discussion discussing a discussion I had with myself.

Just One Reason Television Is Great

So, there I am last night, watching the premiere of The Apprentice: Los Angeles — yes, I watched it on Monday because my Sundays are booked with Desperate Housewives.  Despite the fact that Housewives  is a shadow of its former self I still watch it on Sunday nights and CNBC is nice enough to repurpose The Apprentice: Los Angeles on Mondays (and various other times throughout the week, check your local listings). And I promised myself that I wouldn’t discuss it at all, except to say that I watched. So, thank you CNBC for running the show in several different timeslots so as to better accommodate my hectic viewing schedule. 

I also sat there and saw How I Met Your Mother, but I’ve already made a futile attempt recently to harangue you into watching that bad boy, so I’m not going to spend too much time reminding you that How I Met Your Mother is one of the funniest shows on TV, and that you’re missing out. You should be watching this program. There is no reason no to. Seriously. 

What I would like to discuss, now that I’m done discussing that which I do not wish to discuss other than to say that I’m not discussing it, is a discussion I recently had with myself. 

You see, early last week I noticed my right hand was twitching from time to time, mainly my thumb. I kept singing theme songs to myself. I kept checking TV listings over and over and over again. It turns out, I realized, that I am a TV junkie and I was jonesing for a fix. 

That’s when the conversation with myself started. Why do I need TV, I asked myself, does it provide solace, does it provide comfort, does it provide something which my life is lacking on a day to day basis? Was I not loved enough as a child? Can’t I be spending my time doing something “more valuable?”   

Hogwash, I told myself, that’s pure hogwash. Television is a valuable artistic medium and a great conversation starter. Rather than being an isolating, sequestering, segregating medium, it is an engaging, enlightening, empowering one. The best television programs don’t just cause the viewer to engage with the program while watching, but after watching as well (it stays with you, you think about it again and again); the best television programs also make the viewer engage with others about them. They make you want to talk to others about what you witnessed, what you think is going to happen in the future, and what you actually want to see happen in the future. 

The darker me considered that answer for a moment and then decided that there was absolutely no way the lighter me truly believed it. Empowering? Really? Come on now, that’s lunacy.

But, it isn’t actually lunacy, is it? Love it or hate it, television does act as a conversation starter and allows people an opportunity to voice an opinion on something, even if it’s only at the water cooler. And so even if we’re watching it at home, all by ourselves, it’s a communal experience. Millions of others are doing the exact same thing. Even if I was watching alone last night, I could have a twenty-minute conversation at work about Barney Stinson’s latest saying. 

At that point the darker me threw up his hands in disgust, and walked off. But, he’ll be back. He always comes back (thankfully though I just use him as fodder for my next rant and rave and consequently look forward to his visits).

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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