My guilty pleasure is television. Should I feel guilty? It seems that so many people are down on television, but it makes no sense to me. I’ll ask someone if they’ve seen West World and they automatically respond with, I don’t watch television, and then they go on about the YouTube channel they’ve been binging. It’s the same goddamn thing, people! And besides, no one watches “TV” anymore. It’s all streaming these days.
Sorry, I digress. I wanted to talk about television. Truth be told, it’s far more than a guilty pleasure. I quite literally grew up with it. In my increasingly vague memories of childhood, the television was always on, a constant backdrop to any other family drama that may be occurring at the time. Weaned on Sesame Street and The Electric Company, I raced home to the joy of after school cartoons and couldn’t wait for more on Saturday mornings. I learned about society and interpersonal relations from Three’s Company and the Love Boat, learned about the legal system from both Columbo and the Dukes of Hazard and became a Trekkie the moment I saw the Enterprise. I gorge myself on pop culture like tribbles wolf down poisoned Klingon wheat.
Why should I talk about this on my art blog? Well, because I watch videos whenever I do art. Some artists listen to music, I have gotten in the habit of watching multiple movies and television shows while I spend hours at work on my art. The few people I do open up to about my dirty little habits are astounded at how many things I watch. I’m not entirely uncultured about this. I do love the podcast, The Daily, from the New York Times and PBS Newshour is a regular in my YouTube feed. That being said, I have a near constant mental diet of pop culture and I’m probably going to talk about it, so consider yourself warned.
My tastes run decidedly towards nerd fodder. Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror are my mainstays. I do love me a good justice boner, so Law & Order, Monk, Psych and the like will always scratch that itch. My wife is somewhat dismayed by how much I love Matlock, which will only get worse once I start wearing the same white suits he does and affecting a southern accent. And I do like the occasional documentary regarding the political or scientific. Dramas bore me to tears; I came from a big family, I was a doctor and I’m an artist, I am familiar with drama, I don’t need to watch it on TV. Why reality shows are a thing are beyond me. I can remember when the show Survivor first aired. There was so much hype around it that I took the time to watch. I thought it was so bad that I couldn’t last out the hour and thought to myself, “Wow, that program format will never last.” Oh, how wrong I was.
While I started talking about television, I’ve already mentioned both movies and podcasts, so it would be closer to the truth to say that I am an absolute media junkie. The heart of the matter is that these little entertainment nuggets are a shockingly big part of my life and sometimes I will get obsessed with something and I’m going to want to write about it. And, if I do, in all likelihood, I’m going to publish it on my website and you’re going to have to read it. So, I’m apologizing in advance.