Thursday, March 05, 2015

I'm Officially an Old Grump

I was having a doorway conversation with a colleague the other day, and s/he was talking about going to a pop culture conference.  So I politely asked about their paper, and s/he said it was on [a TV show about a sort of magical person who sounds like, but isn't Buffy, but you get the idea].  And after listening politely about the wonders of the TV show (but, weirdly, the person didn't really say anything about their paper), I said that I really didn't get the fascination with TV shows about a sort of magical person (and there are a number of them, and have been since Kung Fu at least, and maybe before).  (And yes, I know Doctor Who has that same basic plot, and when I think about it, it frustrates me, too.)

And s/he said that was okay, because there is something for everyone on TV!

And I was sort of taken aback and asked, "really?" because I haven't seen a show on USian TV in a long time that I really found compelling or wanted to watch (rather than having on in the background or something).

I just don't think much commercial TV is made for my demographic.  I'm okay with that, but let's not lie and pretend that there's something for everyone just because a 20 something likes it.  (I felt more connected to TV shows when I was a 20 something, but the last time I felt that connection was with West Wing or Northern Exposure, I think, both when I was in my 30s.)

So, yes, I've aged out of the TV sales demographic, mostly (except, maybe, for daytime TV, but since I'm work under the conditions I do, I'm not their demographic either).

I'm not (and wasn't) saying that TV stuff isn't worth studying, just that I don't get it.  And I totally understand when people don't find Shakespeare compelling, though I try to teach those in my courses to read him well and carefully even so.

Part of what bothers me about this particular show is that it just assumes a vague Christian framework for understanding the world, but the Christian assumptions are totally unquestioned, and sloppy Christian thinking, too.


  1. It's a good era for comics fans due to the wealth of TV adaptations. Personally, I'm only watching Agent Carter and, since that's over with no news of renewal, that's it for me in that genre. I find that I'm much happier searching out the occasional old, odd and overseas shows. Teaching inspired me to get watching City of Vice about the Fielding brothers. I'm going to catch up on the current season of Elementary once I'm through the worst of this mound of marking.

    So I understand your "grump" status but I'd say that, despite your lack of interest in current TV, it's hardly a sign that you're a grump. You're not spending your time complaining about all of it, for example. You're just finding better ways to spend your time!

  2. I like the proliferation of sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Streaming, which disconnect us from US Network TV. If we don't like what being offered to us here (and I don't, mostly, though I have been enjoying Elementary and Justified) we can -- to some extent -- have a look at world television (and film).

    Or, yes, doing something else. So many books, after all, and so little time.

  3. I find I have much less patience for stupidity and the assumption of low intelligence on regular TV, so I don't end up watching much. I do find some of the British shows compelling; the BBC 'Sherlock', for example, and some of the other BBC shows like 'Bletchley Park' are really well done. We end up watching through Netflix, and not through regular TV at all.

  4. I loved Bletchley Park! I like being able to get British TV just for gems like that. Call the Midwives was also very good.

  5. I'm pretty particular about the TV that I watch. Mostly it's either British, based on British stuff, or something I'd like to study. Occasionally a student will recommend something and I'll get hooked (The Blacklist, for instance), but I don't really have much time for TV, unfortunately(?). I mainly wish I could have more down time, I think. Although, I think Shakespeare would be writing for TV were he still around. :)