Wasn’t that a line from Georgie Girl? I’m beginning to understand that more as I get older, and it especially pertains to my TV watching. My question – What’s this all about? This violence in nearly every show I enjoy? And why do I enjoy them? First, it’s the characters, themselves – not the victims or the perps, but the people who solve the crimes, and how they argue, play, disagree, ponder, come to consensus together. For all I care it could be issues of solving road construction plans or environmental policies or city issues – would much rather it not be about finding and capturing murderers. And those shows that have the Steve McQueen San Francisco-like car chases that are bigger than life, or the movies that destroy some 50 cars in one 2-minute commercial (Really – saw one at the movies yesterday!!), give me a break.
Now I know why I have so much trouble adding conflict to my writing. I don’t write conflict. Tension and disagreements or strong differences of opinion are fertile grounds for my mind to work out the issues – seems I have been born with a mediator’s heart. But the over-the-top violence? Not into it.
Last year hubby and I recorded shows we enjoyed but didn’t want to stay up so late to watch on a regular basis, and they all seem to be 10 p.m shows – Castle, The Mentalist, CSI (with Mark Harmon), The Good Wife and Blue Bloods. Of those, four of them are involve brutal murders that need to be solved, and always with other murders show-cased on ‘Next week’s show’ previews. Only The Good Wife presented shows filled with non-murder tension, although some horrific crimes were still presented, tho only sometimes murders.
Why am I watching this stuff? It only serves to make me unhappy with my own writing, my sweet contemporary women’s fiction novel with so little conflict in it that I think late at night … maybe I should drop somebody off a bridge or have an accidental drowning for a little more spice. Then my heart gets the best of me. Nope. Not what I ever want to do. It’s just not me. No wonder I don’t like the murder on the ‘cast’ shows I enjoy.
So, for me these shows have become pretty much a thing of the past. I’ve been watching HGTV, Hallmark (in spite of the commercials that just won’t stop coming), and some spoiled children who shouldn’t be able to afford the huge houses they seem to have a budget for … and … I’m getting judgmental here, aren’t I? Then I tell myself, well, this is the time to listen to some wonderful music on NPR, or my stereo, and read or knit or nap or have coffee with a friend. The more I involve myself in other activities (like yoga and gym classes 3 times a week and walking with a friend two other days), the more I am enjoying my own life, not stressing about the TV lives of people I don’t even know.
It’s also given me so much time to work on My book. My life. My reading list and My friends. I sort of lump it all together into MY TIME.
In the spring and summer, even the fall, I never fall into these traps of TV watching. I’m too busy outside, soaking up that Vitamin D, going for walks, reading on the patio, writing in a journal every moring with a cup of coffee, again on the patio, and inspecting the asparagus, reminding myself over and over again that I really am going to start making my own salad dressings, and will learn to make a non-fail vinagerette … so many plans, so little time. I guess I just don’t have time for TV anymore, unless it’s Anderson Cooper, Masterpiece Theater, or something equally as refreshing. It’s comforting to finally know how much pleasure this gives me, and to still have the breath to enjoy it.