Tuesday, 9 March 2010

What's All Your Furniture Pointed At?

I don't have a television.
But you can stop with the sympathetic expressions... this is a personal choice. (Yes, really).
The thing is, it never ceases to amaze me just how much we rely on our TV for entertainment, even when there is nothing there to entertain us. I mean, out of the ridiculous abundance of available shows, how many are really worth watching?

Come Dine With Me... Britain's Got Talent... Britain's Got Talent in the Jungle... I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here... I'm a Celebrity Come Dine with Me... Z-List Celebrities Eating Dinner... Celebrity Big Brother... Dancing on Ice... Dancing with the Stars...Celebrity Dancing on Ice... Dances with Wolves on Ice....

(I can't help but feel the decline of television came with the rise of the "reality TV" show. This, of course, came at the same time as the rise of "celebrity" and now it seems the two are so inextricably married, that if you are on TV for more than 5 minutes, you are entitled to paparazzi. Why? Because everyone is sitting at home staring at their TV screen, so if you're on it, you're famous. You don't actually have to do anything).

How many of you turn the TV on before you think about what else you might like to do with your evening? And how many of you channel-surf before settling on the 'least bad' programme on? (Be honest, you don't really want to be watching re-runs of The World's Fattest Pets do you?)

I'm not against television; merely our reliance on it and the overbearing presence of it in our homes and lives. Rather than being an appliance that we go to when we're in the mood to watch something - much like you would pick up a book - most people switch it on automatically, like a lightbulb. It has become a necessity.

Like Joey from Friends said, "You don't own a TV? Then what's all your furniture pointed at?"

People have actually congratulated me on doing away with it - but not as if I have given up smoking, (which would be a more apt comparison...) but as if I have joined a convent.
"Wow... good on you! I could never do that, but I think it's great that you're making that kind of sacrifice."

No I haven't joined a convent, but bless you for your concern. I really love a great TV show - if only there were more of them! -  and there are particular shows that I can't get enough of. Since I don't have a TV I watch them online, or DVD, and this way I can watch them whenever the mood strikes, not because the TV is on and there is sound and pictures coming out of it. (Also, this way my furniture can point at other furniture, which is much better for socialising.)

So alright, what do I watch that's so damn great?
The latest entertainment marvel I'm hooked on is Modern Family.  Now HERE is a show which has it all; it's sitcom, it's mockumentary, it's satire, it's sensitive, it's insensitive, it's heart-warming, it's hilarious... there is no bad guy, there is just one (forgive me for saying it) dysfunctional family, and each character is as likeable as each other. It's unusual. Not since Friends has a show got it so right, but unlike Friends, each episode is individual - a glimpse into a day in the life - and you don't have to follow dramatic "will they? won't they?" relationships and incestuous hook-ups. The most ironic thing of all is that Modern Family feels more like reality than anything I've ever seen on "reality TV" shows.

Watch it here (and give me your verdict:)

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