Saturday, 28 March 2009

TV, I don't miss you

While it may make me seem like some kind of social freak, I must tell you that I don't watch TV. Well, I do, but generally the images on my screen are those of long-ended sitcoms or films from yesteryear (You know, that trustworthy period aka 'way back when'). There are exceptions- Doctor Who, The IT Crowd, and, erm, that's about it. I have well worn DVDs of the three series of Black Books, various Red Dwarf series, Spaced (I am an Enormous Spaced Fanboy. An ESF, if you will), Blackadder and a bunch of titles that ended their runs before I was born, or at least soon after.

Many people I know are huge TV fanatics, and while I am a little envious of the Battlestar Galactica club (I did see the first season before quitting watching TV- I loved that, but never followed it up and am now too far out of the loop to get back into it), I can't say that my life is all that worse off for not being addicted to Lost, Heroes, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Big Brother, Celebrity Nose Picking or anything else that has been littering various channels in recent years. In fact, I feel rather netter for it. Thanks to the internet I am able to moderate the stream of mindless waffle that I am exposed to (and yes, I acknowledge that there's way more waffle online). Thanks to podcasts and streaming media I'm up to date with the news, and am probably privy to a wider range of opinions in doing so.

A lack of TV shows clogging my daily and weekly routines has freed me up to do the other important things in life, such as cooking properly, scratching myself luxuriously and getting through some of the stack of books that I keep buying and never getting around to reading.

You see, I am somewhat at a loss as to how people do the TV thing now. With a bajillion channels hurling a constant stream of lurid vomit into your eyes, how do you find the time to sleep, work, brush your teeth or indeed switch channels? I am genuinely curious. I was once a complete TV junkie, soaking up series after series of dross (Buffy, Angel, Highlander: The Raven, Star Trek: Voyager) with the odd nugget of joy (Father Ted, Men Behaving Badly, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), but after switching it off (or at least ending my love affair with the latest episodes of whatever), I seem to have lost the knowledge of cramming life with those of onscreen fictional characters.

I am, however, curious to check out some of the series that have been consistently appreciated by friends, such as House, Life on Mars and the like. But my problem is, for every good show that comes along, there seems to be twenty five that scare me off again. Sex and the City? Gossip Girl? Reality Pitchfork Dancing? Bah. Give me a 70s sitcom and leave me with my scorn.

I fear the TV addicts of today are hiding a grim secret. They have evolved beyond the rest of us. As they sit before their 125-inch LCD MindBender 5000 screen, I imagine their heads splitting open, revealing hundreds of quivering tentacles, each boasting a pair of tiny eyes and a tiny remote control, their open skull writhing with screen junky minions. Their TV set then opens at the sides and hundreds of tiny televisions extend on flexible wires, settling in front of each Head Worm. Only then can the true TV watcher be able to suck in all of the required shows at once. Only then will they be able to keep up with all of the Reality Show nonsense at once. While Celebrity Career Suicides On Ice plays to one, another will be glued to CSI: Basingstoke and another to Imbeciles On Parade, and yet others will be glued to more. You see what you've done to people, TV? You've mutated them, turned them into drooling, incoherent alien beasts with heads full of worms.

Actually, maybe my lack of a regular TV fix has done that in my head in a vain attempt to keep my brain docile enough not to scream at passers-by and hurl my own shoes at them in sheer frustration at their obsession with the lives of people they don't know and will never meet.

I love you TV, but I don't miss you.

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