Recently I’ve been watching television.
This is a new thing for me. I didn’t have a TV at my old flat in Royston and, as my wife and I were going through our split and I was still living at the old house, I would retire to the conservatory each evening and leave her to watch what she wished in the living room. We had very different tastes in TV as I’m not massively into watching Come Dine With Me. Endlessly. I’m weird like that.
So, apart from when staying with friends and loved ones I really didn’t see any TV at all between December 2011 and… erm… almost two weeks ago, until I came to stay with my aunt.
Of course, when I’m with the children we’d watch CBeebies for a while, but that’s a bit like being locked in a bubble, or some sort of alternative reality. World War III could kick off and they probably wouldn’t tell you, and you’d be watching ‘Me Too’ while the ICBM’s exploded and melted your face. Which actually sounds more preferable than watching ‘Me Too’ but I digress.
My aunt watches TV. She has Sky and so she has about 9 million channels. And, actually, I’m kinda liking seeing new TV shows I’ve not seen before. The Real Housewives of Orange County is one of my favourites.
Oh fuck, I think I said that out loud.
Moving on. Nothing to see here.
My aunt’s house is warm and feels like a home after a while of feeling homeless. It’s amazing what things make a home to me. A sofa, a bed, warmth and love. My aunt is the same person she was when I was a boy, and someone who has helped me out when I didn’t think I was worth it. It’s comforting being here, as it was when I was a boy and I’d stay with her, mu uncle and my cousin, their love shielding and protecting me from my mum’s alcoholism.
My aunt likes watching news channels, mainly so she can express her utter disbelief at some of the things that are going on in the world via the medium of swearing, and so from going from not watching TV for over a year it now feels like I’m overdosing on it. Feast or famine. And now I’m feasting on it like a hungry lion.
Coronation Street, Fox News, NBC, Modern Family, The Real Housewives of Orange County (Did I mention I really like that? I did? Oh. Tits.), Question Time, Celebrity Juice. The other week I found myself laughing at Mrs Brown’s Boys FFS which is proof that TV can rot your brain a bit but I’m lapping it up. Even the adverts are engaging me. I’ve never wanted to buy so much. I’m even thinking of buying a Febreze car plug in and I DON’T EVEN HAVE A CAR!
I guess it’s a need for distraction. Me watching an ‘I lost the weight with Jenny Craig’ ad and eagerly waiting for the beginning of The Chase is simply me just wanting my brain to switch off. To think about other things. And I guess that’s why we watch it isn’t it? A bit of escapism? Something to take us away from the throttling grind of an arsehole of a day?
Or for something to discuss with someone around you? Yes we can passively watch TV and let it roll over us but is any TV watching truly passive? Surely our brains engage at all times?
But too much TV is bad isn’t it? Too much TV for children is bad. People say that. But too much TV for adults is not. Or is it? And what is too much? If it’s on all the time, from morning to bedtime is that too much? What about if you’re a widowed 80-year-old who doesn’t see anyone. Is that amount too much? Is that a bad thing? No. My gran had it on all the time and considered it ‘company’ and many others feel the same. So who am I to criticise? Whatever it takes to get you through the day.
Perhaps my flat in Royston didn’t feel like a home because I didn’t have a TV. The sofas weren’t pointing at the magic box in the corner of the room. They were pointing at each other and in the middle there was an empty space which I occasionally filled with my gorgeousness. I dunno.
But what I do know is as long as you’re enjoying, excited, captured or engrossed in something. Or it makes you think or rant. Or sad or happy. All golden in my book. Quiz shows, panel shows, soap operas, home design shows. Everything. It’s all good. It’s all good and it’s all educational in some way.
Except for Location, Location, Location. That’s just shit.
What do you like to watch? What are your favourite shows and what should I be watching? Please let me know and help me expand my television knowledge.
And thanks, as always, for reading my brain dump.