Monday, October 15, 2012

Are We What We Watch on TV?

You know the old saying, "You are what you eat?"  This takes the premise that if you eat good, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, you're going to be healthy.  If you eat junk food, you're going to feel junky.  It makes sense, right?

Is the same true for what we watch on television?  I wonder.

I'm concerned because as the fall television season began I found myself really looking forward to certain shows that I can't seem to get enough of.  A list of those shows would include Dexter, The Walking Dead, Revenge, 666 Park Avenue (which I quickly gave up), and American Horror Story.

Now I'm no psychologist, but that list gives me pause.  On the surface it would seem I'm obsessed with serial killers, sociopaths, demonic possession, zombies, and more demonic possession. 

Actually these things give me nightmares.  I want to turn away and not watch, but the writing is so damned good on these shows.  Why does it seem the best shows on television contain some slice of society considered undesirable.

Some of the best shows are Sons of Anarchy, about a gang of outlaws, Breaking Bad, about making Meth, Nurse Jackie, about a drug addicted Nurse, and then all the above I named.  Boardwalk Empire is a hit and is about the mafia.  Look at how well The Sopranos did.

We as a society are obsessed with the bad guys, so much we make them good guys.  The good guys like Harry's Law, don't hit the right demographic.

I don't know about you, but I'm worried about my television karma.  I hearby sentence myself to an hour of the Hallmark Channel to balance my chi.

At least I'm not watching Honey Boo Boo.  Now there's something to have nightmares over.


  1. That's because all good stories must have conflict and the shows you listed fall strongly in the life-or-death conflict range. I love many of those shows too and I loathe all reality television.

    But I do wonder if our need for super-sized, concentrated action/conflict/stakes is dulling our taste for the subtle. Would we recognize good story telling if it had less adrenaline? Or have we been conditioned for blockbuster impacts?

  2. You made me spit my coffee with your last two lines! Amen!

  3. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! Get me a depends!!!! OK, a confession...I watched an episode of "Couples Therapy".....does this lower my human worth?? Do you love me less? Cause
    I also feel the need to punish myself!!!!!!