Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 100: The One Where I Talk About TV

Perhaps it's fitting that my 100th post in this experiment comes the morning after The Wifey and I just watched the 100th episode of Friends. Do any of you know which one it is? I've seen many die hard Friends fans in my life and I'm sure one of you knows which episode I'm referring to and is laughing to yourself because of some scenes you remember. Don't hide. Just admit it and share in the comments below.

Because of the 100th Friends episode, I supposed it's a good time to share a thought I've had for a while about TV shows. I want to share one observation about TV shows and a possible application for our lives.

TV, great TV, is excellent entertainment and an escape from reality. We are taken to another world – whether it be six good looking friends who live across the hall from each other (except for Ross & Phoebe who should have saved some dough and lived in the same building, right?), or a bunch of people who get stranded on a mysterious island after their plane crashes, or a future world with spacecrafts and robots. We get to be observers, but all the good shows make us wonder what our lives would be like if we were there. We long for it. But what is it?

It's the community.

We are drawn to the community, whether it's light and hilarious or dark and difficult, we're drawn to humans engaging with other humans in an unfiltered way. To be sure, TV magic cuts out or shortens in dramatic fashion the boring or dull moments of life – the waking up process, going to the bathroom, the morning commute to work – unless, of course, they move the plot along.

But I think TV magic also gives us a glimpse of moments in life that could have some comedic or dramatic flair that we have otherwise dulled down ourselves. There's a scene in Friday Night Lights where Coach Taylor goes over to one of his players' houses to let him know that he'll be playing in a game that Friday. The conversation lasted about two minutes in TV time. And for us as watchers of the show, that's the only way the conversation could have happened. How different would it have been if the player got a text from his coach? Or an e-mail? Or even a phone call? It wouldn't have been good TV. If that's the case, I guess the question I want to ask is, "is it good reality?"

Texts, e-mails, phone calls – all of them aren't bad and are useful in everyday life. In keeping with the parallel, TV shows use all of those communication tools as well. My only question is, do we rely on these tools too much in life and miss out on the opportunities to experience on a greater level the communities we are so drawn to on TV?

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