Tuesday, November 13, 2007


As I sat down this evening to get my weekly fix of The Biggest Loser, I began to think about the role that television plays in my life. I try not to let it rule my evenings; I have been known to turn it off if nothing strikes my fancy. But then I began to think of TV through the course of my life...

When I was a kid, the sound of the TV on at night was very comforting to me. My brother and I shared a room right down the hall from the living room, and I remember lying in bed, listening to the hushed tones of the TV and of my parents' voices. Some TV show themes make me particularly nostalgic: Welcome Back Kotter, The Waltons, and others. Life stood still on Saturday nights at eight o'clock when The Muppet Show was on. The four of us, Mom, Dad, Glenn, and I, would gather on the sofa to watch Kermit and Miss Piggy and Gonzo and the rest, and laugh our butts off.

I would race home after school to watch TV, and wake up extra early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. Who didn't love the Superfriends (Wonder Twin powers, activate!)? I was addicted to The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, and Little House on the Prairie. The best movies were on the UHF channels at 4 pm on Sundays: Clash of the Titans, Godzilla, and all the kung fu movies.

As a teenager, TV was a way to bond with my mother. We'd watch Moonlighting together, or Miami Vice, and sometimes Magnum, PI. We lusted after Tom Selleck and Bruce Willis, but not so much Don Johnson - a little too slick for our taste. TV brought my brother and I together too, as who could possibly miss Pee Wee's Playhouse? Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho!

In college, I started to watch the 11 o'clock news as a way to unwind (what can I say, the 90s were good to me). In grad school, my roommates and I would invite everyone over to eat, drink, watch X-Files and The Muppet Show in French, and play cards. It was cheap and fun.

Now I watch Sesame Street with the Banana, and they still show some of the skits they showed when I was a kid. This summer, I really got into the Phillies, and the games became a way for WT and I to spend time together. TV has always been a big part of WT's life, as his father was a newscaster for quite some time in Philadelphia and New York. As I flip aimlessly through all 300 channels that we now have, I still pause sometimes to watch Little House. It takes me back.

While TV may not be the optimum way to spend my evenings, I sometimes have difficulty turning it off. I also spend too much time on this here dang computer. ;o) Even in this day and age of seemingly endless new technologies and gadgets, there's still something a little magical about television. And it's not always what's on at the moment.

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At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

now I am going to show my age (LOL).

the 60s...after school was sally starr (popeye theater). parents used to watch the tonight show. the monkees (mike mike mike). saturday mornings - bugs bunny, the banana splits, the bugaloos, h.r.puffnstuff, and the holy grail of american bandstand.

the 70s - three's company, all in the family, maude, the waltons, little house on the prairie, several miniseries (backstairs at the white house, eleanor and franklin). mucho soap operas in college (I admit I cut class to watch the soaps - ryan's hope, young and the restless, all my children, days of our lives, general hospital). phillies baseball games.

the 80s - dallas. mtv. cmt. mr. rogers neighborhood. (personally for me - marriage, cancer, divorce, back to school.)

the 90s - ren & stimpy, beavis & butthead, mtv's the real world san francisco (pedro's death hit me hard).
(personally for me - adopt my first cat, marriage, graduation, layoffs, a return to philly from dc.)

the 00's - I have given up on tv. I listen to baseball games on the radio. as bruch springsteen sang "57 channels and nothing on". (personally for me - buy a house, adopt more cats, begin knitting again, form a knit/crochet group, get my knit teacher certs.)

wow - such evolution!

anne marie


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