I’d like to say it’s because I’m getting old, but the truth is, I’ve always liked talking to (well, at) the TV. My fondest childhood TV memories are always tied in with the experience of watching shows with someone. Watching the Famous Five on our tiny black and white TV, where one loose collection of pixels might have been Timmy the dog, or just static, who knows. Our mum hated ‘You Can’t Do That on Television’ which made the illicit pleasure of watching it with my brother on the TV in Mum and Dad’s room (one of us nervously acting as lookout) all the greater. My sister and I stayed up on Saturday nights to watch 21 Jump St and sometimes Dad made us honey crumpets.* Even as adults, my siblings still drive to each other’s houses to binge-watch DVD boxsets when we get the chance, or text each other madly during Game of Thrones. Last year I watched an entire season of a really genuinely terrible reality show for the sake of texting 3 other friends with commentary.
I find the experience of watching TV alone to be oddly isolating. Maybe it’s because I’m susceptible to loneliness. My dogs are loving company when K is out but they don’t respond to my excellent witty comments or angry ranting with much gusto.*** As my poor TV-sharer K can attest, no TV viewing is complete without me pointing out all the things that annoy/interest/confuse me. It occurred to me the other day, as we were watching Veronica Mars (yes I know, we are 10 years later than everyone else, and yes I particularly know, all of you who have been telling me for those 10 years that we would love it. We do, just like you knew we would. OK, OK? Are you happy?), that while it’s not unusual for people to like talking at TVs (even 35 year olds) the things that I tend to obsess about might be weirder than the average.
For instance, I like****:
- evaluating every item of furniture that appears regularly in a show for its perceived comfort level. That chair looks comfy. What do you reckon about that one? Too squishy? She has good taste in couches. Ooooh, those Chesterfield armchairs are classy. Who would buy that? God I want to sit on that one real bad. I love sitting. From the mightiest Pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn’t enjoy a good sit?
- complaining about casting choices, including but not limited to (oh ho ho, never limited to) shar pei faced actors in their 30s playing teenagers, women with muppet arms playing semi-invincible super strong badasses, Channing Tatum playing anything but an inanimate carbon rod
- obsessing over who an actor looks like or reminds me of or what other show they were in (sure I COULD just IMDB it but even though I hate uncomfortable brain tickle it gives me there’s nothing like that delightful moment when you work it out)
- getting worked up about inexplicable logical flaws in ads (this one is K’s favourite).
I suppose I’m lucky the internet exists. Now when K isn’t around to hear me ranting about McDonalds advertising I’ll be able to live tweet it instead. This is probably for the best as otherwise I guess I’d eventually turn into an old angry person writing letters to the editor about why the chairs on TV don’t look as comfortable as they did in my day.
* My children, for whom ‘more crumpet please’** seems to have been among their first phrases, will never know the intense delight that came from receiving a crumpet 3-4 times a year.
** Loony would have said ‘more crumpet please’. He also said ‘one hundred thank yous’ to the waiter who made him a chocolate milkshake last week. Politeness runs deep in that one. Mischief, on the other hand, says something that starts out sounding like ‘more crumpet please’ but can easily degenerate into ‘cumpet. Cumpet. CUMPETCUMPETUMPET’ interspersed with either psychotic wails or bitter sobs, depending on the time of day.
*** K would doubtless have me say here that eye rolling, exasperated sighs and shushing are not generally considered high on the gusto scale, but honestly Brown Dog just farted when I asked her if she enjoyed me yelling at the Toyota ad and it’s like a chemical weapon, so I’ll take the (loving) eye rolls any day.
**** You may observe most of these things are things I actually DON’T like, but I like crapping on about them,