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TV Hell

Right. That’s it. I’ve reached breaking point. If I have to hear one more conversation about a great TV series from America that is the best thing since the first loaf was sliced and  I shall be forced to, well, I’m not sure.

But put  it this way.I ‘d be very happy if each and every TV series box set was thrown into a deep pit and incinerated.

Oh but it needn’t be this way. I have loved with all my heart Friends, Seinfeld and Mad Men. But only recently have such series become part of the national conversation. Once, we watched TV as part of a diversion. we watched it in the doctor’s waiting room or before we went out. Or we put it on when we were with a lover and we wanted to provide the right background atmosphere.

But now, look what’s happened. We binge unthinkingly on endless hour after hour of box set. We’ve robbed TV series’ of their immediacy, their right-now-ness. I dread to think how much time people are spending watching these shows. a lifetime could be wasted without finishing every box set that we think we should watch (because advertising is relentless and unescapable). 

I think Charlie Brooker was on to something when he made a series called  How TV ruined your life. Most of the programmes people are watching are offering nothing but the same tired old plots, acting, the same situations. I put them into three categories: the crime drama: The Killing, Borgen, Lillehammer. The American ‘comedy’ sitcom: How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory. Only one of those could be genuinely considered a comedy. Then there are the more gritty but still unsurprising American cable dramas. The Sopranos has a lot to answer for. Come on! The Godfather said all there needed to be said about the mafia in under 10 hours. Then there was the horribly overrated The Wire, not to mention The Shield, then Prison Break. Enough. There are other things we can be doing. I suppose if I am honest with myself I envy the simple pleasures (and believe me, they are simple, there is nothing simpler than lolling in front of a screen for hours on end) that are derived from watching these shows., But I regret that they are missing out on so many more rarefied, and mostly more organic pleasures that this life has to offer., Speaking of which, I’m off to enjoy some organic pleasure of my own, and I won’t be using a TV to do so.

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