Or- Why I Love TV
One of my favourite things about the NYWF is that, for four whole days, I was totally myself. Not once did I fail to correct someone’s assumption about my age or stop myself saying something nerdy. I had some great conversations about things that I would usually try not to admit in public. I think a big part of this was that on Friday afternoon I participated in a Debate called “Free to Air Television is for Old People and Idiots.”
Effectively I outed myself as a total nerd to a room full of strangers. I was even in costume, wearing my Converse All Stars, television necklace and a bowtie in my hair (this will make more sense in a moment). It was liberating to talk to people who already KNEW I have a painfully large crush on David Tennant, worship Steven Moffat like a god and recently cut my hair to look like Lynda Day.
And so I thought I might as well out myself to the rest of the world as well. Here, therefore, is a slightly edited version of my speech-
“Television, as far as I’m concerned, has a lot to answer for. This haircut for example which is the kind of thing that happens when you watch 21 hours of 80’s drama in five days.
The primary reason why Converse All Stars are my footwear of choice is that David Tennant wore them on Doctor Who. Bowties are cool because Matt Smith wears them on Doctor Who. And I’d really, really like a fez. These are not the kind of fashion decision that really help you in life.
I also have an irrational fear of mousetraps, gasmasks and driving down country roads at night. Which is stupid because I live in the country and I’m yet to meet anyone who wants to skin me and eat my liver.
I am, I’ll admit, a slave to television. I organise my life around the TV guide. There are things I wouldn’t miss to attend my best friend’s birthday party. Or that I’d get my best friend to reschedule her birthday party for. I take pride in the fact that in two years I’ve only missed one episode of Good News Week. And that’s because I was in Rome getting addicted to Italian MTV.
So far I’m not providing an excellent case for the Negative. Although in my defence, I’m a nerd not a loser. And there is a subtle but important difference. More importantly though, I’m not alone.
Despite anything that lot say, the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of television is still consumed programmed on free to air. We have time shifting, we have internet streaming, we have DVD box sets, yet prime time isn’t dead.
You can’t channel flick a DVD. There is not sense of discovery, no chance of finding joyous hidden surprises on the more obscure digital channels. I discovered what, in my opinion, is some of the best writing ever to grace our screens while ideally perusing 7Two at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. (For the record I’m referring to Press Gang which will blow your mind and make you cut your hair.)
But the thing I love most about television is the waiting. I love waiting seven days for the conclusion of a cliff hanger. Because in that time you can develop rather a lot of in-depth theories about what might happen. There is a lot of opportunity to argue with friends, family and workmates. Some of my favourite conversations have been loud, animated discussions about minor plot points.
Yes free to air television has it faults. But so does life. Sometimes you have to wait. Sometimes you realise you’ve just totally wasted an hour of your life. Sometimes you loose something only to discover that someone’s moved it and you eventually find it while drunk at midnight on a Friday. You are, however, much better off watching TV than giving life a chance. Trust me. I went out there once. It’ll only disappoint you.”
This is a good point to mention that I’ve started another blog. I created it a long time ago but have decided to have a crack at maintaining it. Titled “A Beginners Guide to Free to Air TV” it shall be a place to discuss what I’m watching on the box.
This year it was slightly less fun because I hate last year’s winner with such a