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grace

TV Lovers & Haters?

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following on from ed waffle's thread "I Hate Television", it occurred to me - from my own perspective as someone sho lives alone - that the list of haters and appreciaters of TV MIGHT divide down the lines of those who have OTHER company at home (the 'haters'), and those whose homes are largely silent (apart for MUSIC, of course!) without it (the 'appreciaters')...

what do you think?

i am happy to confess that, in addition to my animals, the characters on my television 'people' my home. therefore i choose what i watch carefully!

and i REALLY appreciate television.

i guess i am asking all of the people who 'hate' or scorn or dismiss television: is it perhaps, to some extent, because there is a lot of competition for your attention, in your home-life?

don't get me wrong: i have lots of other things to do - but i often have the TV on at the same time, sort of 'for company'!

TV-lovers are welcome to respond also. :)

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I don't hate TV but I wouldn't say I hate it. There are a few programs that I enjoy and try to watch every week. TV is good for seeing things that you may not normally get a chance to watch. Over the Christmas break I watched Aereos (not sure of spelling) has anyone else seen that? Also handy for watching all those ballet videos:D

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Our house is occupied by myself, my wife and two cats.

I have seen in other households (my wife's family, for example) that the question of the evening is "what will we watch tonite?" although that may already be decided.

We ask "what will we listen to tonite?".

She usually picks the genre--string quartets, for example--and I get to pick the CDs. We are now listening to Mozart chamber works and concertos for oboe, clarinet, horn and flute. Great stuff and I recommend any of these works without reservation.

Occasionally we use the TV for tapes--we watched the third act of

Die Walkure a few nights ago--but that is about it. At some point we may get a DVD player and if so may have to get a new TV to play it. Ours was purchased in the late 1980s and it has nothing digital about it. There seems to be some really astonishing things coming out on DVD, especially operas, that I would like to see.

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I live with someone, and we don't have a TV at home at all. I used to live alone and I didn't have a TV then, either. I'd realised that it took up too much of my time that I could have spent doing other things, and I'd put Radio 4 on for 'company'.

Now life at home is very interesting. We listen to a lot of music, but most of it is Hip Hop and Reggae, as my partner is teaching me to appreciate these genres! (I prefer classic bands like the Rolling Sones and mainstream dance music.)

I'd like to get a DVD player at some point, because I do miss my 'soaps', and I could do as my uncle does and buy whole series of them at a time (e.g. the Sopranos, 6 Feet Under) and watch them over a rainy Sunday or a quiet Friday night in. I also got the NYCB Workout for Christmas and as yet have not been able to look at it!:rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Ed Waffle

At some point we may get a DVD player and if so may have to get a new TV to play it. Ours was purchased in the late 1980s and it has nothing digital about it.

You don't need a special TV in order to play DVDs, Ed. Just hook the DVD player up to the set and you're good to go. :)

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I seldom "watch" television, although I frequently have it on. It's "company," as Grace says. When my wife was alive, there were a couple of programs we did watch -- Mary Tyler Moore and All in the Family. We also watched tennis matches and baseball games. But usually, when we weren't at the ballet, she'd be reading her book and I'd be reading mine. Now I turn on the TV just to have some soothing background sounds. (The choices are quite limited in this respect. But music on radio or CDs doesn't fill the same function, since I tend to concentrate on music.) I still go to the ballet, two or more times a week and still read, but the background noise provided by TV is increasingly essential.

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Like Farrell Fan, I keep my tv on a lot. I actually watch a few of the dramas (West Wing, Law & Order et fils), some PBS shows (always try to watch/tape Bill Moyers' Now), and -- in season -- as much skating as I can.

If there's nothing watchable, the sound is a good cover-up for the sirens, shouting people, car alarms, barking dogs, garbage trucks, etc. from the street.

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My TV is always on! I'm a news junky, but also love the dramas like West Wing, The Practice, Law & Order, The District, Judging Amy, and of course ER! :)

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I must confess my addiction to the Inspector Morse series on PBS - even saw one the other night I'd never seen before! Poor John Thaw, I miss him...but at least we, his fans, have the different programs he was in as solace.

Used to watch Homicide Life on the Streets... and grew up with our Sunday ritual of 60 Minutes, though I don't think it's as good as it used to be.

I think TV has the ability to offer many newsworthy and notable programs, as well as entertaining ones, but I have to say that the vast majority of what's on is pretty poor and often embarrassing.

My other problem with TV as it exists in the USA is that I'm too cheap to cough up the fees for some of the better cable stations! :rolleyes: So, instead, my mainstays are PBS and A&E. :)

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It's interesting. My TV is only on when I'm using it to edit video footage. But my Mom has said the same thing as a few others here; she keeps the TV on for background noise (and she does live alone)

I understand that, in some ways I probably use the computer the same way, but TV just doesn't fulfill that function for me. I think my mental filters on TV are just too low. I end up screaming at it when I see something that I think is irresponsible or inane. Is some of it just the ability to filter?

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I definitely keep the tv on as background company (not simply noise! i could put on the radio for that!). But, I also do LOVE tv. It's my passion along with ballet. I know some of you may gasp at that. I am a product of the tv generation, afterall.

But, I don't watch reality tv or most comedies for that matter. I LOVE scripted dramas of the serial kind with character development (i.e., not the L&O franchise). For the last few years, I have found many of these shows much more satisfying as the movies I have seen. My faves of the last few years (which have all, for the most part, varied in quality during that time): Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, Angel, Alias. Past favorites (of the last decade plus) included My So-Called life, China Beach, Homefront, Life Goes On.

TV is not for everyone. But, it does bother me when people dismiss the medium as a whole. I HATE certain aspects of it (this reality show phenomenon), but there really is some fantastic stuff on, with smart dialague, solid acting, etc. Many of the strongest writers in Hollywood move to tv in the '90s, as the writer is king (exc. where reality shows area concerned) in TV, whereas the director is in movies. SO, the writer gets to see his or her work more accurately realized in tv. Plus, he or she gets to develop characters over weeks, months, and years.

BUt, going back to the original question. B/c I don't categorically hate tv, it is often my companion, when I need noise and visuals in my apt. I'll usually leave on HGTV, Fine Living, or Style so I can see the houses and interiors! I go to sleep with the tv on (on sleep mode). We'll see if I'd be willing to change that were I to have someone sharing my bedroom...

-amanda

who starts a NEW job doing TV research on Monday (after 3.5 months unemployment)

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I hate background voices (LOL, there are enough inside my own head) so the TV is OFF unless someone's actively watching it. I've been obsessive about this since I was a teen. I realized, at that time, that the TV in my family's house was always on even when we ate dinner; it bothered me so I began to shut it off at mealtime. I've carried that habit throughout my life.

Since we now have only the most basic cable package (3 networks, Fox, Travel, 2 PBS stations, a Spanish station and a couple religious stations plus one or two more), it's very easy to NOT watch TV. The only program I watch is ER and occasionally I'll watch Seinfeld repeats.

It's rare for the 3 members of my household to be home together before 10 pm on any given day. Invariably there's one person home at a time. None of us seems to watch TV much since we abandoned the larger cable package several months ago. Back then, I could become seduced by the news channels and Bravo and easily find myself spending a couple hours in front of the TV.

I'm not a TV hater. I think that, along with the trash, there exist many quality programs within a pricey cable package. But life is short and there are so many other interesting things to do as well. I like background music, but not background voices, while I'm doing them at home. But for at least part of each day, there's nothing like absolute silence.

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Originally posted by AmandaNYC

I LOVE scripted dramas of the serial kind with character development (i.e., not the L&O franchise).  

Amanda, one of the "bonuses" of the first half-hours of the L&O shows for this NYC resident has been playing "Name That Block" during the exterior location shots. You don't enjoy even that? It's very disappointing when the detectives have to travel to the suburbs and I haven't a clue. :)

Hearty congrats on your job! I hope you enjoy it and flourish there, but I hope it doesn't interfere with your activity here. :)

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carbo, so true about the NYC street scenes and I admit I was a true L & O devotee during the Chris Noth days...now I try to catch in on occaision.

AmandaNYC, I'd like to offer my congratulations too on your new position :) and thank you for reminding me that our one family TV viewing habit has been "Alias" - gotta love that Irina D's mothering instincts and Sydney's daredevil technique... Did catch a few episodes of "24" and have to admit that I found it intriguing but just wasn't able to watch it regularly enough to make it work this time around.

vagansmom, are you implying that you hear "voices"?;):eek:

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i don't know WHAT's been going on with my computer, because after i posted this thread the other day, it appeared that i had lost it...i went in to edit it and it wasn't there...not anywhere.

and there are plenty of other 'new' threads i am seeing today, that i haven't been able to 'get' over the last week - even though, from the dates, i can see that they WERE there.

actually: the penny has dropped. i HAVE just realised WHY this happened to me - so now will try to get around that problem, in future. (it's a long story...)

anyway, i am glad that i didn't lose it, and glad to see people have been responding. and, after the first few posts from people who feel very differently...very pleased to see that i am not a total freak. farrell fan, victoria, carbro and amandaNYC: thanks for understanding!

BW - i too miss john thaw *&* inspector morse, as if he(they) had been a very good neighbour... shame he died so soon (both).

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Originally posted by grace

BW - i too miss john thaw *&* inspector morse, as if he(they) had been a very good neighbour... shame he died so soon (both).

I think I have read all the Inspector Morse books published but haven't seen any of the television shows.

It must have been difficult to dramatize the books successfully, but probably well worth it. I have seen pictures of John Thaw and he looks like Endeavor Morse would look.

The city of Oxford plays an important role, as does eating and drinking. There is plenty of both in, I think, each of the books. Part of it is to show class differences, part to have a setting for Morse and Sgt. Lewis to discuss the case, part to show Morse as a tightwad, Lewis as a decent sort.

If one were to chart the amount of alchohol that Morse consumes, it might show that he was at least half drunk most of the time. He is often at pubs when they open and more often when they close.

One vignette that I recall very clearly (although I can't think of the book it was in) was a night that Morse had a ticket to the opera. It was a catalog of everything that could go wrong. It was his favorite, Die Walkure. Neither the soprano singing Seiglinda and the tenor singing Siegmund were well suited for thier roles, although this often happens in Wagner.

However, Morse was also surrounded by the seatmates from Hell.

On one side was an enormously fat man who arrived just as the lights went down. He laboriously removed his coat and his vest, managing to poke Morse with an elbow several time. He also wheezed audibly On the other side was a woman with a full score that she was following with a flashlight--the score would have been about 500 pages long. Behind him was a person unwrapping, one by one, a large box of candy.

He stayed at the bar after the first act, then went how to put on a recording--the Solti one, I think.

That is the type of thing that could be very well done on TV.

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...But then, Ed, I didn't need a TV or even have to read the book to paint an amusing picture in my head with that little tale!;)

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ed, i have avoided the books BECAUSE the TV series was SO well-done, that i didn't want the images from the book to compete with the images i already have.

you're right that the city of oxford plays a large part, as does the milieu of academia, and the english countryside, and also, serious MUSIC...

ed, i hope that, if you see any of these, you enjoy them.

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Oh, Ed - what an episode! There's another one I've missed...they must have used it in the television series, I'd think.

OK, I'm going to make a summer reading decision...after The Da Vinci Code!

Did you all ever see John Thaw in that wonderful tv/film version of A Year in Provence?

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Have any of you John Thaw fans seen Kavanaugh, QC, which is sometimes shown on public television? He plays a lawyer who frequently takes unpopular (or, at least, low-paying) criminal cases. Each 90-minute episode is a complete story. They vary in quality, but can be very good. One of the best things in it is a colleague of Kavanaugh's (played by Nicholas Jones, brother of Gemma) who is a pompous, ambitious snob. He's the comic relief.

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no - i haven't. but i think i've seen it advertised, so i'll keep an eye out for it. :)

BW - yes - i think i recall seeing that, too!

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Yes, Ari, I've seen that one, too...though, again, not all. At first it was hard for me to see Morse in that new role, but I got used to it and enjoyed it, too. Hmm, seems to me that I tend to go for the BBC sorts of productions, eh? On the whole, I have to admit I've always thought they were much, much better.

My other favorite series was truly Prime Suspect - grisly in parts, but excellent. Helen Mirren! As an aside, have any of you ever seen a movie called "When the Whales Came" - it's with Helen Mirren, but quite a number of year ago...and Paul Scofield. If not, I urge you to look for it. I'll see if I can find more on it on the Internet... I'm not sure my description could do it justice. Narwhals figure in it. :P

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BW - "BBC sorts of productions": i know what you mean, and you are right that it IS a BBC "sort" but i THINK it was ITN: 'same diff' ! ;)

you have reminded me of a COMPLETELY different subject, which ought to be a new thread...so i'll go and make one, for the new zealand movie, Whale Rider.

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One of our, um, er, four TVs is often on. We're trying to wean our youngest daughter, who is unhealthily addicted. The rest of us watch our favorite shows (West Wing, ER, Friends) and not a whole lot more.

Hubby is in the TV business -- he works with producers and networks to improve the quality of children's programming -- so the love/hate question is viewed as a false dichotomy in our house. We talk more in terms of what one likes/hates, and why, and how come there can't be more to love on the air?

BTW -- hooking up a DVD player to an old TV is not as simple as you might think, Ari, but neither is it as impossible as you might believe, Ed. I speak from experience, as our main set is older than yours (early '80s). You need to get a kind of a junction box, about $40 at Radio Shack.

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