TV and Me

Daily writing prompt
What TV shows did you watch as a kid?

Somewhere I lost the regular television habit. When I launched in 1964, on expulsion from high school, to the 1980s, when we started having kids, I lost the practice of regular watching.

I might catch an episode or two while visiting friends, but my later teen and adult years were TV-free. Some friends think it’s an understatement to say that I lack a lot of shared culture.
Why this big hole where others are filled with warm memories of Seinfeld and Cramer? It’s simple. For one thing, I was very poor, and moved around a lot in the Sixties, and in the Seventies, I had effectively broken the habit and saw no need to reacquire it.

Knowing I was deprived, friends invited me over to watch shows they thought were interesting, and it was a great way to socialize. But I really didn’t see where I was missing much.
The only TV I missed were the group get-togethers we had during grad school when we’d all go out to watch the hockey games at a local bar. There was a camaraderie to those events that could never be replaced.

In 1981, I married my lovely wife, and eventually, a television set entered the living room. It became essential equipment when the kids came along. But by mutual agreement, our kids watched Public Television shows, carefully selected videos, and other adult-vetted materials. Fred Roger’s show made me late to work more than once and was one of the shows I always tried to watch with the kids. You never outgrow your need for a day in the Neighborhood.

Towards the end of the ’80s, I slipped into the world of video production on a part-time basis, and a new reason for not watching TV appeared. Like many people who edit videos, I developed an annoying habit of cringing, calling out, and generally booing edit decisions that I felt were poor. Cut too soon, too late, or use a lousy transition, and I’d holler. Grandiose establishing shots made me mad, but a subtle diminutive edit would have me gushing praise while others watching wondered what I was going on about.

So, for peace in the house, I had to stop watching television – again. 

10 Replies to “TV and Me”

  1. I never had the TV habit and didn’t have a TV until my mom got me one because she thought I was alienating myself from the dominant culture. I thought she’d just said something incredibly sinister. Now I watch British TV in the evening. That’s it.

    1. Well you and I agree. I think my sense of humor was favorably warped by contact with a British archeologist and British comedy. Just a few weeks ago my sons and I made contact with a pair of British street comedians called “Streetcomedy” and it reinforced my idea that my sense of the comedic was influenced by that ( but maybe not Benny Hill). I think they resist Americanization of their media because they understand that what they have is in demand without dilution.

  2. I stopped watching a lot of tv in the 80’s. There wasn’t any big reason why. I was out and about so I didn’t get the chance. It’s a shame because I really did enjoy tv.

    1. Everything is streamed these days, though which makes it easier to cater to your own tastes, but the cost is high, and about to go higher.

      1. I stream a channel called Acorn and I sometimes stream Britbox. You’re right about the cost of streaming. But I’m the only one in my household to use the internet so I don’;t run through my data usage. I don’t know how families can afford that. It’s expensiive.

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