Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Lack of Evil in TV

After many recent discussions with girlfriends, I have realized that there is, generally, an apologetic approach to TV viewing among the education american woman. It is as though anything apart from the history channel, the discovery channel, and possibly, depending on the program, the Food Network, will "rot your brain."

While I am wholly against the TV-As-Nanny model of parenting, there are a number of us fully grown adult women who hold down full time (or more than full-time) jobs and engage in a variety of extracurricular activities, and who love to spend an evening with Tim Gunn, trying to see if the contestants can "make it work."  And, we all seem to be somewhat apologetic about our choice of passtime, though precious few of us watch without doing something else in the mean time, like scrubbing bathrooms in commercial breaks, painting toenails, or, in my case, answering work emails and writing powerpoint presentations. 

Despite the industrious multitasking, everyone seems ashamed to like a bit of fluff in their lives. Worse, I have heard it condemned as a waste of time, or boring, or generally horrible for you, as more enriching activities are somehow preferable. You could learn chinese! You could master souffle! 

Let me take a stand against this. If these ladies were all couch-sitting cheetos eaters who flip through soap after soap all day, barely accomplishing the laundry, let alone a job or reading a book, I might feel differently. But, we work hard. We have, in fact, earned our downtime - and not by virtue of our own egos so much as in independently verifiable productivity in our field of choice. We brought home bacon, cooked, cleaned, etc. The 2 hours we choose to spend with the Big Bang Theory is our way of unwinding. It hurts no one. We haven't got the mental energy to learn chinese. Hell, we probably don't want to. As adults, we're allowed to take time off from productive activity in order to relax for the next slog. This is nothing to be ashamed of, whether that takes the form of reality tv or running or baking or reading novels, good and bad.

As a younger women, I thought all big-time super-duper executive types were always engaged in high value enriching activity. Now that I have a few such folks on my facebook feed, let me tell you, there's plenty of beer and football going on. Everyone needs some time off. Now, let's stop apologizing for it and revel in our shared love of extremely bad draping and heidi klum.

1 comment:

hornett said...

These shows wouldn't be popular if no one was watching them, right? What's to be apologetic about? I think you should only be apologetic about your show choice, if you're hating on everyone else's choices. Like me! However, I dare you to watch Gossip Girl and not get hooked!