Oh, I don’t watch TV, you brainless moron

Ever asked somebody if they saw such and such the other night on TV , and gotten a reply “Oh, I don’t watch TV,” smelling faintly of holier-than-thou?
Why is it that we think people who don’t watch TV are so disciplined and austere, while people who don’t read (don’t, not can’t) are foolish and/or dumb and/or have no idea what they’re missing out on? Frankly, I liken not watching TV to not going to the theater. After all, that’s what TV is, isn’t it? Theater in your living room? With lots of little tiny bathroom breaks rather than one or two long ones. I’ve always considered Shakespearean comedies as predecessors to the modern sitcom. Granted, there is a hell of a lot of crappy, lame, disgusting TV out there. Fake wrestling, any reality show, MTV, Reno 911, etc, you get the point. But what about the gripping dramas? The witty comedies? The Discovery Channel and the Food Network? Yeah, there’s nothing beneficial about sitting around watching brainless sitcoms all day. But I see nothing wrong with enjoying really good TV, when the writers and the actors work together beautifully to bring to life a compelling story. TV can even make you smarter, or at least more knowledgeable, in the case of many shows on Discovery, the History Channel, the Travel Channel, maybe even CSI!
I guess I’m urging you, whether via tube, plasma screen, or free online TV, not to ditch television for the lofty feeling that comes with declaring you abstain from it. That lofty feeling will soon fade when you can’t discuss the latest episode of House with the kids on the playground, or think that dropping a penny off the Empire State Building could kill someone because you’ve never seen Mythbusters, and everyone in the room realizes that you’ve got a bad case of don’t know what you’re missing and/or stick up the rear.


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