First of all, I realize “Watch TV” comes across as sounding lazy, typical American, whatever. And I know it appears as quite a departure from my Day 1 and Day 2 artistic endeavors. But I assure you it’s not what you think I mean.
I don’t have a cable subscription, and I live in the Lehigh Valley where cable TV was invented; air channels are nearly impossible to receive here. Thus, I don’t really watch a lot of TV unless it’s via DVDs or internet streaming. But when I do, I have very specific things I want to watch, and it’s not mindless stuff. I like my TV viewing (whether actual Television programs or movies) to do one of two things, preferably both: stretch my mind, and stretch my imagination.
The TV shows I watch are lots of Sci Fi and Fantasy programs, like Star Trek, Stargate, Lost, shows that take me to new realms. The movies are usually of the same genre, but I also especially love what I’ll call “artsy” movies that really make you think and reflect upon, like The Fountain, The Tree of Life, or The Thin Red Line. Don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh too, especially “high-brow” comedy like Frasier, or Big Bang Theory. I even watch a “reality” show (via the internet), though not your typical one: Face Off; again, because it stretches my mind and imagination. And let’s not forget documentaries; I really enjoy those too, if they’re done well; I learned more about US history from the History channel’s The Presidents than I did in a whole year of high school social studies.
Having said all that, what really prompted this post is that tonight is family movie night, something we just started, and on the screen tonight is Despicable Me 2. I know the kids don’t get Steve Carell like I do, but I love when they laugh at those minions and times I wouldn’t expect. It shows me their little minds are working and that gives me hope that they see the world like I do, a place of “What if?” TV and cinema – in moderation – is a wonderful art form. What I’m most looking forward to about TV is introducing my children to my favorite films. I have to wait quite a while, because they’re under five, but it will be really interesting to me to see if they have the same kind of wonder that I have when I watch Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Dark Crystal, and The NeverEnding Story. They’re too little and could be terrified by these things now, but I’m hoping they’ll love them as much as I do. Someday they’ll be swinging around lightsabers and pretending to ride the luck dragon Falcor through the city. Looking forward to that day.
So that’s another thing I’d rather be doing now, watching TV.