First off, apologies for all but abandoning this blog. I have been super-busy with the day-to-day needs of working on my degree, studying for exams, teaching, and finishing up a book.
Somehow, in my absence, readers have continued to visit, and the blog just hit 2500 views, despite the fact that I haven’t written anything since last November. So thanks yous go out to my casual visitors and dedicated friends, and whoever happens to stumble upon this thing while searching for links to Rachel Zoe and Andy Cohen.
Those of you who know me know that my wife has been out of town on a contract, another impediment to a blog dedicated to the experience of watching TV together. Nevertheless, TV has continued to play an important role in our relationship, even when she’s not around. In some ways, it provides some sort of sense of normalcy, knowing that despite our long distance, we are still the same people, performing the same rituals, by watching the same shows.
Which reminds me, in an odd sort of way, to An American Tail. One lyric that I will never get out of my head is from “Somewhere Out There” in Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth’s collaboration.
“And even though I know / how very far apart we are, It helps to think / we might be wishing /on the same bright star…”
While I never saw the movie, I did see the sub-par Saturday morning cartoon later on, decided that Fievel was annoying to me, and put it out of my mind for years.
To me, this song is appropriate for several reasons: 1) My mother has a tape recording of my sister singing this song as a duet, which she listens to repeatedly when she misses us, bringing the double whammy of distance and ideas of home, 2) As stupid as this sounds, I think that the “same bright star” for my wife and I, is TV, and most often, this TV is tuned to Bravo.
So, while it’s been difficult to be away from one another, TV has helped to bridge the distance, and somehow allowed us to spend some quality time watching low-quality behaviour.
For us (or for me at least) it seems the knowledge that we’re sitting in different places, yet watching the same stuff helps to bridge the distance and to create a sense of normalcy and shared pleasure that we can still maintain contact despite the distance.
Though I’ve talked about this before, Bravo also tends to provide the most bang for your buck in terms of a) shutting off your brain and just letting it happen, b) not having to decide what else to watch, because their shows just blend into one another (kind of like the ending of Michael Jackson’s “Black and White” video), and c) Entertainment value! Every time I think I’ve seen it all, Bravo delivers something I could have never imagined…like Cookie Monster on Top Chef?!
There is also the what the…? factor, as seen in the “Producer’s Cut” of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: The Dinner Party, which features some of the oddest behaviour from the participants.
(I can’t help posting this version!)
Despite the claims that TV is becoming “old media” my opinion is that TV is still something that bonds people together. The emergence of hulu and timeshfiting technologies seems only to have increased people’s ability to engage with TV and to watch things dependent on their own schedules. For couples, this can also mean “saving up” episodes and series, for future viewings together, or for conversations later on.
As for my wife and I, sadly, the busier we have gotten in the past little while, and the later that my wife has to work (during Primetime! – thus canceling the opportunity to talk about the night’s viewing) the distance seems more substantial.
I look forward to visiting in a couple of days, hanging out, and catching up, obviously with each other, but also on our deficit of shows.