or My Life-Long Affair with Television. Actually, there are a lot of famously popular shows that I have loathed over the decades: Amos & Andy (thank God—I’d have to shoot myself if I’d ever like that horror), anything with Jackie Gleason in it, I Love Lucy, The Three Stooges (no surprise there), Twilight Zone (I am a wimp), Get Smart, Seinfeld (not a single character I liked at all, and yes, I love a great many New Yorkers).
Here’s a list of Things I Learned from TV Shows:
1. Humans might eventually get a clue: Star Trek in all its variations.
2. The quirky smart guy is a lot sexier than the conventionally handsome one: Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild,Wild West.
3. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
4. Sometimes it’s good to dump procedure and change the rules of the game: Star Trek.
5. History is much more interesting than what they teach in school: The World at War.
6. Watching dance in nearly any form is bliss: all sorts of programs, but mostly PBS.
7. Shakespeare: Hallmark Hall of Fame & PBS.
8. Everything sounds better with a British accent: PBS.
9. Lots of stuff from Rocky & Bullwinkle, most of which led to rebellious behavior later.
I could go on. And of course there are not-so-great lessons I also learned: the fat girls will always be sidekicks and/or pathetic, schadenfreude rules, girls are supposed to be___(boy, fill in the blank on that one…).
I was an unusual kid-with-two-working-parents in the 50s and 60s. For much of it, both parents worked two jobs. And I was an only child; I was alone a lot. I read voraciously. But I also spent a huge amount of time making things with the tv on (my Troll dolls had amazing wardrobes). To this day, I rarely sit down to watch TV without also sewing, crocheting, knitting, or otherwise making something—or lots of somethings. I love it when it’s complicated and tough (Oz), when it complicated and sexy (Justified), when it’s just plain complicated (Game of Thrones), when it’s preachy (Boston Legal), when it’s sleazy (Revenge), when it’s quirky and delicious (anything by Joss Whedon).
I love it. I don’t think it’s hurt my brain. But I wonder. Sometimes.