Saturday, February 11, 2012

TV: The Love, the Hate, the Meh

By Kerry Schafer

Growing up a long, long time ago in small town British Columbia, our TV viewing options were pretty limited. Two channels - CBC or something else which I've now forgotten. Even if we had been blessed with such a thing as cable or satellite back in those days, our TV viewing would still have been limited. My mother was very strict on this. For the period of at least several years of my childhood there was a limitation to one hour a week.

A difficult choice ensued. Hogan's Heroes was my favorite. There was something about that group of POWs and their clandestine (and funny, definitely funny) activities that appealed deeply to the childhood me. I loved watching Hogan pull things over on Colonel Klink. Loved Schultz and the fact that he knew what was going on but pretended not to. One hour a week, meant the possibility of two episodes.

The other sitcom choice that vied for my love was Get Smart. Not the new movie, young whippersnappers, but the original goofy series. Loved this show nearly as much as Hogan and his crew. Max was a lovable idiot who always won out in the end.

Difficult choice, but a simple solution could have been one of each during the week to make up my TV viewing, right?

Not so simple. Because on Sunday nights at 6 pm there was The Wonderful World of Disney. A good Disney night was pure bliss. My brother and I would have cereal for dinner that night, and watch together. If I'd chosen to watch something else, he got to watch without me and that was torture. Disney pretty much trumped the weekly half hour shows, no matter how beloved, except for the problem that bad Disney nights sucked. I wasn't much into the Donald and Mickey and Goofy scene, and certainly wasn't likely to voluntarily sacrifice my favorite weekday shows for them. Here's the problem - you didn't always know for sure what was going to be on Sunday night, and if you bypassed Hogan for Disney, and then Disney turned out to be Donald Duck, that was bad.

Very unfair of my mother, I fervently believed, to put us in the situation of having to make these difficult choices. Now, I thank her deeply, because with the TV off the obvious solution was to dive into a book and I'm pretty sure my limited TV viewing combined with a voracious love of story had a lot to do with the fact that I was reading well above my expected reading level from an early age.

Over the years I've had other favorite TV shows, things I looked forward to every week and hated to miss. The Muppet Show. Grey's Anatomy for the first couple of seasons. ER for the first couple of seasons. Burn Notice. NCIS. But for the most part these days I just don't care that much about any TV show. I rarely watch unless the Viking has it on, and then only to hang out and spend time with him.

As for shows I hate? The one show that inspires total ire and outraged wrath on my part is Toddlers and Tiaras. I've been in a room when this show was on a couple of times, and either it goes OFF or I walk out. My blood pressure rises, I begin to rant and if one of those mothers walked into my presence I'm not sure I would be able to maintain any level of socially acceptable behavior. Just writing about it is getting me all ranty, so I think it's time to wrap up this post and move on to other things.


  1. "I know nusink, nuuuuusink." "Ja wohl, Herr Kolonel."

    Unless it was Davy Crockett on Disney...'cause he's the king of the wild frontier. He's a man who knew no fear.

    Noooo, I didn't watch too much TV

  2. OMG, I'm right there with you about Toddlers and Tiaras. Hate it. And Dance Moms over on Lifetime. I can't even watch the commercials for either of those shows. Why people would subject their children to that is beyond me. :steam:

  3. Those moms are highly narcissistic - inflicting their own baffled desires on their kids, and shaping little narcissistic monsters in the process. That infuriates me. The sexualization of children infuriates me further. See - I should never get started on this one.