Television: Not Sure How I Feel About This One

Television is widely known as the idiot box or something turning our brains to mush making us all zombies!  I don’t subscribe necessarily to that radical belief, but I do believe too much television is bad.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of amazing programs on the airwaves these days, but I feel as though this were something we should all take in moderation.  I know what you’re thinking, “But Tucker, I can’t live two seconds without remaining confused about the next episode of Lost!” You, sir or madam, have a problem.  It isn’t about making sure you view it the second you can or else you won’t be able to live.  It’s about appreciating the artistic value of the piece of writing/acting that counts. I have a friend.  Their name is Netflix.  Netflix allows me to catch up on almost every television show I could ever want on their nifty play it now feature.  It is cheaper than a cable subscription, and there aren’t any commercials (my favorite part)!  Back to the point at hand.  Television has historically evolved since its introduction to the united states in the ’30s.  Revolving around a few channels networks like CBS, NBC, and ABC, you flipped the dial on your TV ten or so times until you found the beginning again.  The creation of television advertisements and entertaining television “shows” added a weekly family ritual marked for a specific time and date every week.  As television has moved through the decades, different trends have become evident (getting to my point) and literally hundreds (thousands now?) of channels have been added to the dial.  Today that trend is science fiction and fantasy series, penetrating the hearts of television viewers worldwide.  The reason I’m not sure how I feel about television is because of how much programming is out there and how dedicated viewers are to seeing “the next episode” as soon as possible.  The phenomenon isn’t so much the idea that one must see what happens next (in America), but that we need to know so we have something to talk about the next day.  It almost seems more important that we know the social aspects of these television shows to be within the “in” crowd, so that we are not left out (even if we don’t really like the show).  I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because I’ve experienced this phenomenon and wanted to be cool and talk about the new big show the next day *cough* Lost, Heroes, Chappelle Show, American Idol, Jersey Shore etcetera *cough* (What? I’m feeling a little sick *sniffle*).  I’m not going to say I’ve taken part in one or all of these shows cultural identity as the water cooler topic of the day (okay, fine, I have).  I will say that all of them reached a point in their existence where we were no longer were watching because it was good, but because we thought everyone else believed it was good, therefore, we watch it (it’s science people).  Listen, I like television (and you should too) but like it for your own means.  And don’t become an electric sheep, wired into television programming like it matters more than your own REAL life.  I think I’ve gotten my point across, as always post questions or comments if you like, and you will most likely find me responding to it.

Your humble servant,

Tucker Paul Stempler

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