Change your views on the tube
Published: Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 23:11
Television — often referred to as the "idiot box" or the "boob tube."
How many of us have friends who pretentiously say "I don't watch TV," or "I have better things to do" when you ask them about a recent television shows you've enjoyed? Let me tell you something pretentious friends, you're missing out.
I have a very strong appreciation of television. And maybe I like to ‘escape' sometimes, but that's not the reason I am writing this article.
As an English major, I love to read, immersing myself into a novel is one of my favorite things to do. But reading is (sadly) becoming ‘out-dated' in today's world.
And let's face it; good movies are hard to come by. Every once in a while you'll come across a movie that will make you think, feel, and enjoy yourself. But Christopher Nolan and David Fincher can't be making three movies a year.
That's why we have television. And in many ways, it can be superior to film. The characters have time to develop, the story lines can become more intricate and waiting a week for a cliff hanger makes it all the more exciting.
This is exactly why trilogy films are so popular. Movies like Star Wars and The Godfather are popular because we saw Luke Skywalker and Michael Corleone develop. But movies that get sequels these days are Saw and Big Mamma's House, not exactly the riveting stories we care to lose ourselves in.
Obviously, not all television is good. You have to really find those shows that will make you root for the anti-hero, and make you ask questions you never thought you would consider, like Dexter, Weeds, and Nurse Jackie. Or you fall across the show that will grip you into watching it week by week like Lost.
Or perhaps actor-actress chemistry with intriguing crime stories like Bones will trip your trigger. Some prefer a show that can take something as mundane as working in an office, and interest us in watching week by week, like highly quoted The Office.
What's really amazing is with all these genres of television, you even have your satire/comedy that can give you more insight to U.S. culture and current events than national news channels. 30 Rock and Daily Show with John Stewart are perfect examples of this.
Tina Fey does a magnificent job of working in topical jokes with ironic and satirical insights into our culture today, all while making audiences crack up.
John Stewart can point out the irony, contradictions, and plain ignorance of talking heads, politicians, and celebrities, all while slipping in factual information (instead of just calling people pinheads and telling them to shut up while being a guest on his show).
Don't get me wrong, there are shows out there that will rot your brain, or are strictly just for cheap entertainment. But it's those programs that can entertain and connect us on a deeper level, teach us valuable lessons, or share nuggets of important lessons that make television a great hobby for us.
Just because a trashy book is a book, doesn't mean reading it makes you more intelligent; just as some television is trashy, but that doesn't mean all television will rot your brain.