First song ever played on MTV...don't think it actually killed the radio star but it did make us a generation that had yet another thing to watch on TV. I admit it...I like TV. I know the "in" thing these days is to get rid of it, to pass judgement on those who watch it or what is on it but to me like anything else TV is there to be entertaining and nothing more.
I remember watching TV, black and white, 2 channels, went off at 9 pm in Romania. I liked it as a child mostly because of the few American shows that were on...they connected me to my parents who were in the same land. I wanted to meet Rockford, Kojak and had quite the crush on Sydney Poitier. As I arrived in the States I was astounded by the number of channels, the color, and learned quite a lot about the English language from Electric Company and Zoom (tele ...vision - television). I learned about conjunctions, getting a Bill passed, adjectives and a host of other subjects while humming along with Schoolhouse Rock. I understood about teenage alcoholism, date rape, anorexia and teen pregnancy from after school specials. My mother and I watched Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley together and often talked about my day while watching it. We then faithfully allowed ourselves to drift to Denver with the Carringtons (OK admitting slight crush on John Forsythe...come on that voice, that head of hair). I wanted to be one of Charlie's Angels, find Love exciting and new on the Love Boat and of course be on the plane, the plane in Fantasy Island. I knew Luke and Laura as if they were cousins working at Astoria General Hospital. I watched men be rebuilt, then a woman, then a boy....am pretty sure with inflation he would be the $16 Million Dollar Man now and most insurances would not have covered all that reconstructive surgery.
TV is a part of my childhood, late nights watching Friday Night Videos and Thriller Chiller Theater with my Dad, as well as part of the time I spent with my family - not instead of my family. The programming for children today is quite diverse and has a lot of educational value and yes there is also the stuff I cannot understand the attraction to but they like such as Pokemon (um large eyes, people whose mouths don't move when they speak, weird little creatures...maybe that was a Fantasy Island episode too). I limit my kids time and monitor to make sure they are not scared or exposed to anything beyond what they should grasp at their ages. My husband is a sports fanatic so my share of TV is fairly limited, I get maybe 2 or 3 shows a week which all seem to have a common Quincyesque theme. There is nothing wrong with watching television, or with playing on the computer, reading, listening to music...like anything else it should not overtake your life but should be your moment to relax, smile, cry or do whatever makes you less productive in an otherwise productive life. You can elect to watch drivel or masterpieces, you can elect to stay on or change the channel from another docudramareality show, you can choose to believe the news or at least feel you know what propaganda there is out there and of course you can elect when to turn it off. The selection is entirely up to the individual and not the television's. If you choose not to have a or watch TV at all I respect your decision, however, to all those who with a cynical sneer tell me how they no longer watch TV and in spoken or unspoken ways say they superior to those of us who do, I respond in my best Flo Southern accent "kiss my grits" !!!