First of all, lest you should think that I am completely shallow and obsessed with nothing but pop culture, let me assure you that I have in fact been using my brain the last few weeks. Truthfully, that's probably WHY I watch TV. To make myself stop obsessing over things in my life that are out of my control (and some things that are somewhat in my control, but I haven't quite fixed yet).
I have had deep conversations with several friends on weighty (but non-essential) theological matters (like women in leadership, predestination, and the Emergent Church). Also, I'm in the midst of planning CW's Christmas services (yes, we are doing two--more on that later). And trying to write more. I've got a fresh batch of ideas.
But in my downtime, I find myself gravitating toward my TV. It is Fall, after all. Lots of new shows. ANd new stories on the old shows. Now that I have my own DVR, it's not hard to catch up on anything and everything I want to. And as I tend to eat my dinner (and other meals when I'm at home) in my living room, rather than my kitchen, it's a great time to catch up.
I know lots of people who are always telling me they don't have time for TV. I think that's great. Very noble. I am sure they are involved in a lot of terrific things. ...Hm. So am I, for that matter. I'm out a few nights of the week, with Church stuff, Practice, and Chinese Church. But I still watch a ton of television, maybe because I have a living room all to myself. But I don't consider TV to be a completely anti-social activity. In fact, one of my nights of the week is dedicated to watching a particular program with my family and friends.
Heroes comes on Monday nights, and it is such an incredible show. I've loved it from the first ep. But you know I have a thing for superheroes. And now, just before it, Chuck comes on. It's only been two episodes, but I already like that very much, too. It combines spy stuff with geek humor, which is a fantastic combination. And then there are the other comedies--like The Office (I'm missing the Jim-Dwight pranks!!), the new Back to You, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. I've also been checking out The Reaper on the CW (even though I swore I was done with that channel after they canceled Everwood AND Veronica Mars!!--Luckily, the plucky Kristen Bell will resurface on Heroes!!). It's an interesting show, full of moral conundrums and theological liberties, but I'm waiting to see how it develops, just like Pushing Daisies.
I'm also still watching Bones (Brianne got me addicted!!) and Ugly Betty. What about Lost, you ask? Still a few months to go before that comes back on. February, I believe. Psh. Not that I'm any less interested. I know a lot of people are on the verge of giving up on it, but I'm holding out. I have to know how they're going to play this out.
And then...I got sucked into this British mini-series my friend Lynne lent me. It's called The Forsyte Saga. It's basically a soap opera set around the turn of the century, revolving around the members of the wealthy Forsyte family. At least, that's how it was described to me. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I am such a sucker for British stuff...I love the way they talk. And it did keep me wondering what was going to happen next. And unlike regular soap operas, there is an end in sight. I'm close to it! Oh, the feuds! The drama! The divorces, the affairs, the extravagance!
So yeah, all in all, I've been watching a lot of TV. But I'm not apologizing for it. I know a lot of people think that TV is kind of evil; or if not exactly evil, not a worthwhile way to spend time. Maybe not. I guess it depends. I'm not really of the philosophy that something has to be sanitized and religious for it to be watchable. Mostly because that's not the world we live in. I don't want to fill my head with garbage...but I don't want to ignore our culture, either.
I've said before, I think, that Stories are what I'm most passionate about anyway, and stories come in a lot of different forms. Including TV. So while it gives my brain a chance to rest for a little bit while I watch, it also keeps me thinking long after the show is done. About life, relationships--the way we interact with each other, and how things play out differently than we typically think they will. It makes me think about my own life, and about the stories I have developing in my head.
So, what do you think? TV: Good or Bad? You know my opinion. What's yours?