Saturday, May 20, 2006

Boob tube blues

I don't dislike TV but I am always shocked at the way people in this country treat it as if it was a member of their family. My first exposure to this TV attachment came the first time I was ever invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. It was a family ocassion, with the bird, the string beans, the yams, the stuffing, etc. The TV set was on in the living room for the entire time and after we all stuffed ourselves, we were expected to all sit in front of the idiot box and watch a football game. This may seem normal to you all, but in many countries it is considered the worst possible manners to turn on the appliance while engaging in a social occassion. My shock became disbelief when I started working at an office and hearing people talking about their favorite shows as if they were gossiping about real people. Not only that, in the pretivoian period people went out of their way to tape the episodes they missed (Sex and the City had just started and people were having conniptions over it). In the internet bulletin board of the company, people would plead to borrow tapes as if they were searching for a missing child. This was amazing to me. I liked some shows but I wouldn't dream of taping them. If I missed them, I missed them.
(The only exception is this last season of The Sopranos, which I am following devoutly, I don't even know why).
I had a client once, who at a shoot for a TV commercial in Mexico City, said that he didn't care how or when we did things as long as he was back at the hotel to watch Law and Order at 10 pm every night. And he meant it. He didn't care to go to dinner or have drinks or be taken for a spin in a city he didn't know. He wanted his Law and Order.
TV is culture in this country much more than it is elsewhere. I don't watch reality shows, so I don't know who half the nobodies that appear in the tabloids are. I don't follow series so I don't care if Mischa Barton died or if Will and Grace is ending and what that means. I don't care.
I watch, when I remember, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, and I watch The Sopranos. I like, but can never seem to know when that show happens, Rescue Me with Dennis Leary. I love the actors in Big Love, but I'm not home on Sunday evenings and I'm too lazy to look for it elsewhere in the week. I like Entourage and look forward to catching it if and when I remember to (I love Ari Gold).
Tivo would be completely superfluous to me. In New York there is so much to see and do and avoid, that I'd rather be outside, dining, partying, moviegoing, shpatziring, or, if at home, reading a book.

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