May 19th, 2009

The boob tube

Almost 30 years ago I found myself sitting in front of the television, remote control in hand, idly flipping through channels, not really watching much but staring at the screen because it was what people did in the evenings. I realized that I was spending a lot of time staring at the box, and not enjoying it one bit. I hit the power button and walked away, and basically haven't watched television since.

People keep telling me that I'm missing out on lots of good stuff, but every time someone recommends a program and I watch it I feel like I'm reading a Dan Brown novel-- caricatures rather than characters, racecar-paced plots, no subtlety, little artistry, and yet somehow addictive. TV seems like the ultimate in mental empty calories. I think it may be the fault of the format more than anything-- 25 minutes isn't a lot of time to tell a complex story and do it well.

Want to try to convince me that I'm wrong? What would you recommend that I watch? Anything science fiction is probably right out, and I'm obviously not looking for sports, documentaries, or reality shows, but beyond that I'll leave the field wide open.