Okay, the title of this post is a bit of an exaggeration. Our 60″ TV died, rather dramatically, and now we’re left to realize just how much TV we watch. We’re not completely lacking: we do have a small TV in the bedroom and we watched Mad Men last night and will watch Smash tonight. Plus, we have a new big screen due to arrive Thursday, so we will survive.
Here are our usual TV habits: Assuming neither of us has a meeting, we start our TV watching at dinner time. We begin with the news and political shows—just great for the digestion! Then we move on to either a TV show we like or a movie (we watch TONS of movies). If we’re still up at 11, we watch Jon Stewart. Then we retire to read until the wee hours of morning.
Now that we are (almost) TV-less, things are different. For the first time in many years, we sit at the kitchen table for dinner. John and I always talk to one another even while watching TV so conversation during dinner has never been lacking. But how strange it feels to face one another instead of the TV. I kind of like it.
Then we have to figure out how to fill the evening. John is a much bigger reader than I am (that sounds treasonous coming from a writer. I always have at least one book going, but I’m an in-bed reader. Otherwise I feel as though I’m goofing off—I can’t remember the last time I picked up a novel in the middle of the day). So reading for pleasure is out. I’ve considered going back to my work-in-progress in the evenings, but I will be working round the clock soon enough as my deadline approaches and don’t want to resort to that yet. So I’m blogging, Facebooking, balancing my checkbook—in short, all the things I usually do in front of the TV, only I’m now giving them my full attention instead of fitting them in during the slow parts of a movie.
I have no guilt about our TV habits. Movies are not only entertainment to me, but an opportunity to study storytelling, structure, pacing and characterization. We’re only addicted to a few weekly shows (Mad Men, Smash, Downton Abbey when it’s on, and that highbrow entertainment, American Idol). It’s the dinnertime political talking heads I’d like to ditch. We’ll see how I do with that on Thursday, when the sixty-five incher arrives.
How about you? How big a role does TV play in your life?