Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Box

As in the telly, gogglebox, the tube, idiot box. I love watching television. There, I've said it. Sounds blasphemous, I know, but I really do, even though I will never, apparently, become a millionaire because of it. You see, millionaires and uber successful people in general do not watch television. Boring!

I am a child of the eighties and TV was a big part of my growing up. It was truly a window to the world, albeit a very special one. TV was where all the earth's flora and fauna lived (Survival, Bellamy), where the Greek myths unraveled before our eyes, secrets of ancient Egypt and pharaohs' tombs were explained and few but very good quality children's TV shows provided indispensable information about the world we were growing up in. Oh, and the obligatory cartoon at 19:15h every evening. A pretty simple fare, as you can see.

The nineties brought the atrocities of civil war in the ex-Yugoslavia live on the small screens and into our homes. I swapped the grim reality for MTV as it once was, with Ray Cokes shows and cool videos, making my growing up all about the Seattle grunge, a perfect backdrop to the angst of the world and the angst of my teenage years.

The nineties also honed my taste for TV shows - a good mix of crime and thriller with a sprinkling of a documentary. Feature films - not so much, at least TV is not my go to medium for these. I much prefer the cinema. As you can imagine from the above, I gorged myself on Sherlock, Poirot, NYPD Blue, Law&Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, Inspector Morse, etc.

Of course, as any teenager, I also devoured shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, My So-Called Life (a clear favorite) and Dawson's Creek. Many a night was spent dreaming of Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano and me wishing for Angela's (Claire Danes) cool hair color and haircut.

The noughties and the onslaught of stupid reality TV didn't affect my choices much. I just learned to filter, so no Big Brother for me. It was more CSI (in all its incarnations), Midsomer Murders, The Medium, NCIS, and the like. But the noughties also brought us the holly grail of chick TV - Sex and the City, which for me goes on a par with any of the famous sleuths whose adventures I religiously followed.

It is during the two pregnancies and the ensuing maternity leaves that I've spent many an (odd) hour in front of the box. Cooped up with the baby (both were born in the fall which meant I spent the better part of their first four months indoors), it was one of the things to do without interrupting much of their habits/behavior. The TV also provides constant noise, chatter, illusion of something important happening which saved me from going crazy with a newborn more than a few times.

Interestingly enough, I turned my attention to reality TV in these periods of my life. The first time around, I loved Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, while these days I'm more about How Do I Look?, Dress My Nest, Say Yes to The Dress, What Not To Wear and Love It or List It Vancouver. These shows are really only light entertainment but bring with them a good story and a touch of  interior decorating magic (e.g. Dress My Nest). Some of the presenters like Stacey London (What Not To Wear) and Tom Filicia (Dress My Nest) I've grown to really appreciate and like for their wit, insight and useful advice.

I want to be Claire Underwood when I grow up!
Recently, it was Homeland, new Sherlock and The Silent Witness, as well as two political dramas - the Danish Borgen and the House of Cards - that rocked my TV boat. I can't wait for the 5th season of Homeland (will the Clare Danes/Rupert Friend thing take off, or will there be a new guy for Carrie?), as well as the follow-up to the House of Cards - Francis finally made it to the White House and who wouldn't kill for Claire's wardrobe and that haircut?!?!?!

But what I'm really looking forward to is the Sherlock New Year special which will see the detective and his trusty sidekick go back in time as the original Arthur Conan Doyle heroes. Martin Freeman grew a mustache for the role, while Benedict got himself married and with a newborn - that must have softened those steely eyes a bit, right?

In the meantime, summer days are spent enjoying the latest season of Bones (hello David Boreanaz, you will always be the Angel to my Buffy....er...I haven't mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have I? Uh, guilty pleasure ;) and Castle. With a healthy sprinkling of the Sex and the City reruns - it's summer in New York and Carrie is cheating on Aidan with Big - my favorite episodes.

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