I left yesterday on a sour note when I was discussing movies vs televison. I tried to end on a conclusion describing why the reason the imbalance of 3:1 occurs, but it was my birthday and I had to deal with academic issues. So I’m tying up some loose ends with this post, describing why I watch television as a whole. This isn’t a post to describe why television is better than movies, because in reality, they’re just two separate entities that is similar to comparing apples to oranges. So here’s a list on how I justify watching so much television that is probably related to anyone who has ever turned on a TV.
10. There’s so much mythology and history behind the industry
Probably the sappiest and least relevant on this list, I do need to mention the industry itself. Television is a very political process with rival factions [FOX, CBS, etc.] trying to out edge each other and compete for time slots. There are clear victors [CBS Big Band Theory continues to hall in massive numbers] and rootable underdogs [Community, the poor television show that has to compete with BBT]. It’s rather interesting how these shows and their corresponding number play out. It’s fun to watch the peak of NBC as it ran Friends and watch it in the current state it is in now, last place out of the big 4 [FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC]. Television networks have been around for as long as television has been and the dynamic these networks have shared is probably worth studying if you’re that interested.
9. Wide range of premises
Do you want to know what it would be like to be a serial killer masking as a blood spatter analysis for Miami Metro Homicide? What about the life of a space pirate? Do you want to see a dysfunctional family way worse than yours? Or what about the comedic ironies of working in an office or the parks department? There are literally hundreds of television shows based on nearly every premise/job/situation in the world. High school life, college life, police man life, garbage man life, there is literally a plethora of insight to every inch of the world and beyond. These interesting premises open up new and very convenient doors for us.
8. There’s something for everyone
This one is similar to number 9, but strays further away from what I consider ‘real television’. Americans watch television for many reasons. News and weather are slowly being replaced by the internet, but networks like ABC, NBC, FOX, etc. will always being putting out television shows that appeal to the most broadest of demographics. And if you can’t keep up with those dramas, you can turn to TruTV, E!, MTV etc. for reality television and scary crime shows. It doesn’t matter what your taste is because it’s probably on the air. That’s the network’s job: they put things on the air that EVERYONE will watch. And it they make it even better when they try to involve you it in like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. So if you’re not watching something, open your eyes, there’s probably something out there.
7. The shorter more convienent time intervals
Movies require me to sit down for 2 hours to pay attention. I try my hardest to not break apart movies because it breaks the illusion of the universe/time/place that it’s set in while I watch. And during a busy school week such as mine, I only sometimes have 1-2 hour breaks, which 20-30 of those minutes consist of walking/finding a place to sit/waiting in line for food/setting up my laptop. So naturally, I don’t have time for an entire movie. But I more than often have time for last night’s Happy Endings or Family Guy or even one of the 40 minute dramas like Justified.
6. The triumph of relatable characters in relatable situations
Family sitcoms like Full House and The Cosby Show showed us that families could go through tough times and come out okay on the other side. Arrested Development showed us even the most dysfunctional families could be loved. Friends showed us that all we need are a good group of friends to have all the happy in the world. Dexter showed us that if you learn how to cover your tracks, you could become an national serial killer. Even far fetched characters like Dexter and Malcolm Reynolds, a space pirate from the series Firefly, can show us even the more basic and relatable aspects of fictional characters in fictional universes can be found within the audience. Whether they fill the void of darkness and our inner need to kill, or inspire us to be bad-ass, I’m almost positive everyone has someone they wish they were on TV. Mine just so happen to be: Brad, Mal, Dexter, GOB, Tobias, Raylan, Boyd, Shane, Eddard, Ross, Ted, Sterling, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.
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