Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ME AND TEE VEE

I have a weird relationship with television.

I don't like it. TV is a time-waster. I've mentioned before that I have a quotation on my wall that reads, Death twitches my ear; live, he says, I am coming (Virgil). That's how I feel about television. Death's right around the corner, so how's about we not waste life watching TV?

Nevertheless, I like entertainment.

So here's how it ends up working out―TV shows aren't watched; they're listened to. In our house we turn on a TV show―and when I say TV show I suppose it should be said that we don't actually have "television"; our TV is hooked up to a Mac mini, so our version of TV comes from Netflix streaming, Hulu, iTunes, or DVDs―and do other things. In the same way that most people turn on music to accompany their other activities, we use television shows as a sort of soundtrack.

It sounds awful, doesn't it? You imagine walking into the Romo house to the racket of perpetual television and you get the shakes, don't you? Totally understandable. However, such is not the case. When we have comp'ny, the TV goes off. Believe you me, it's not like the noise is our home's heartbeat. Rather, when it's just us―Mark, Lo, and Meg―we turn on shows and mostly click away at our computers.

This works well because we don't actually need to pay attention to the shows to know what's going on. Why's that? you wonder. Oh, because it's the same circuit of TV shows and DVDs that we've seen before. Over and over and over. My television friends, Mark calls them. The main players: The West Wing, Bones, Psych, and most recently grafted into the clan, 30 Rock.

Common:

Working on an expense report to the quotable banter between Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy.

Designing a poster to the comforting tones of CJ Cregg briefing the press.

Lazily getting ready for the day while Shawn and Gus finagle their way into a case.

And such. And such. And so on.

It works this way with movies as well. My iTunes would tell you that I've "watched" It's Complicated 35 times. But I haven't actually sat down and "watched" the show more than thrice. I tell you, it's much like listening to a favorite album while you clean out your closet. Only better. The dialogue in It's Complicated and the like doesn't get stuck in my head, playing on loop, preventing me from falling asleep.

(The Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack is the worst when it comes to prohibitive repetition . . . Joseph was an unimportant slave who found he liked his master, consequently worked much harder, even with devotion . . . Joseph was an unimportant slave who found he liked his master, consequently worked much harder, even with devotion . . . Joseph was an unimportant slave who found he liked his master, consequently worked much harder, even with devotion . . . Joseph was an unimportant slave who found he liked his master, consequently worked much harder, even with devotion . . . then suddenly!―it's time to get up and do another day. Dammit.)

6 comments:

Weezie said...

This is how I like to watch TV, too, and it drives my husband nuts! Not surprisingly, it's the same shows, but with NCIS and How I Met Your Mother thrown-in...

Hen Pecks said...

I usually tap away to DIY and HGTV networks on hulu. I'm hoping some of the construction knowhow filters into my subliminal.

Sparks said...

What can the husband expect, Weezie, for you to do just one thing at a time? That's simply ludicrous.

Can you imagine, Mom, one day you wake up and you're ready to just up and build a shed in the backyard, no other prep required?

Hen Pecks said...

Or better yet I just "come to" and it's built.

tom lindsey said...

You would be shocked to know just how much software I have written while 'watching' The Big Lebowski. And believe me, there is more than one F-Bomb buried in all of that code.

Sparks said...

Well now I feel like I'm in on a secret, Tom! The mysterious world of software code. There's effs in there. I never knew.