I used to get really irritated when people told me they didn’t watch television. I grew up on television. I saw the Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, Bewitched all as first-run shows. But, not everything we watched was a sitcom. I remember watching Upstairs Downstairs with my parents on Masterpiece (when it was still Theatre). The girls in the neighborhood and I used to play our version called “Milady” in our attic. The older girls made the younger girls wait on them like servants. When it was our turn to be in charge, suddenly the big girls conveniently had to go home for supper. I see now how the system was rigged, but it didn’t seem that way at the time.
Later, I married a man who did not grow up with television, so we have very few popular cultural references of the 70s, 80s, and 90s in common. Sometimes, if I’m home during the day and he’s not, I will turn on an NCIS marathon, but usually we don’t watch much television except for Project Runway and Downton Abbey. For the third time in two years, we’re watching the full DVD set of The West Wing. Usually, however, the television is off and we read.
So now, I am one of those people who says she doesn’t watch much television. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I suspect it’s similar to how I feel about people who say they don’t read. Assuming that they can read, those folks have chosen not to. I feel sorry for them, but I do understand that with the glut of material out there these days, and so many other choices for entertainment, people don’t read like they used to. I wonder what they’re doing with their time. Because I emphatically believe that people who don’t read are missing something by not doing so, I wonder if they, in turn, think I am missing something really good by not watching television.