World Television Day: BEDN #21

It’s World Television Day! Hurray for that. I love telly. I don’t have one though. My dad, upon hearing this news, was aghast. He told me I wasn’t being fair to my kids. What Dad didn’t consider was that with Netflix, the various online catch-up channel options and the DVD player on my laptop, we don’t actually need a TV in order to watch programmes or films. Plus, y’know, I don’t let them watch it all the time, because they will get square eyes. That’s definitely true, because my mum told me…

I remember one of my friends at high school didn’t have a TV and it was never really an issue because in their huge, bustling family life there was always so much happening. Her father eventually capitulated in order to watch an Olympic Games (I dare not try to remember which), but I seem to remember the TV was on loan and went back to the shop the minute the Closing Ceremony was over. Life then went back to its usual busy reality and I don’t really think the telly wasn’t missed. TV or not, I was always a bit envious of my lovely friend and her big, yet close-knit family. And the fact she had a proper clothing allowance and so was able to go shopping without her mum from a much younger age than I was! Anyway…

TV for me these days is a bit of a hit and miss affair. I have several shows that I adore, but rarely watch a whole series from beginning to end. I get easily bored, and life often gets in the way of the TV schedule, and then I forget to do the whole on-demand thing in time. I even missed the start of the new series of Borgen. (I’m definitely going to catch up with it though, so no spoilers!) And I’m probably the only person I know who still references episodes of Friends like they’ve just happened. Seriously. From the window of our new flat I can see a woman in another house regularly hanging out of a window to smoke, and the other day I said that we were watching her as though she was Ugly Naked Guy. See? Never grows old…

Mind you, neither will The Good Life, and that ended roughly around the same time I was born. Other series I’ve seen from start to finish are an eclectic bunch that includes The West Wing, Buffy (but not Angel, for some reason) and The Darling Buds of May…Hmm. An odd collection there.  I have a lot of fondness for The Big Bang Theory and How I met Your Mother too, but I’m not chasing every episode down. I love a good crime drama and am really looking forward to watching David Suchet bring Poirot to a close later this year. Nothing beats a bit of Sunday night Agatha Christie in the winter evenings. A gentle murder mystery after a giant roast dinner feels like a terribly British way to spend an evening.

The one type of TV show I don’t really watch is reality TV. It means that I have to abandon Twitter on a Saturday night because my entire time line is filled up with stuff I don’t understand. I’m not utterly against reality TV, I’ll admit I watched the first series of Big Brother as much as the rest of the world did. But I just know that I only have one life, and so if I’m going to spend some time of it in front of the telly, then I’d rather be watching a great film, well-crafted drama, or a teenage vampire slayer save the world, than cringing on behalf of some misguided individual who thinks they can sing and is basically being encouraged to make a fool of themselves in front of millions. It’s all just a bit too much schadenfreude for me.

The list of programmes that (according to the rest of the world) I should have watched is legion. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead. I only managed a handful of episodes of The Wire and I never even watched The Sopranos. One day, when I’m really old, poorly or bored, I shall hope to come across some vintage channel that will allow me to make up for this sacrilege. Until then though, I shall carry on referencing Friends as though it’s box-fresh, missing most of the great programmes, and watching the odd episode of comedy. Life’s too short to spend it all watching telly, as much as I love it…


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