When I was young, I knew everyone on television.
I not only knew their character names, I knew their real names.
Now I don’t even recognize the names of the programs. I don’t know which show is a comedy and which one’s a drama and I have yet to figure out why anyone would want to watch something called reality TV. We watch television to escape reality, or at least we did when I started watching television.
Back then I couldn’t wait for the arrival of TV Guide’s fall season premiere issue. As a kid I would go through and mark all the shows I wanted to watch, just like I marked toys in the Sears’ catalog before Christmas.
Then I would spend that weekend at my grandmother’s, where we watched the Friday night line-up of season premieres, followed by the debut of all the new cartoons on Saturday morning. It was the only day of the week I was able to wake up early on my own.
I loved TV. As an only kid – in the first generation who grew up always having television – I spent a lot of time watching TV. Characters on TV shows were like my friends.
I would’ve recognized their faces in a crowd in a heartbeat.
Now, I wouldn’t have a clue if I was standing right next to someone on a TV sit-com.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have the television on quite a bit, mostly for background noise, and I watch different things. News. Or a movie. Or reruns of Seinfeld and Frasier.
And the black and white episodes of Andy Griffith.
I don’t think it’s because I like television any less than I did. Or that the quality of programming has deteriorated. If anything, it’s probably better.
If you don’t believe that, just remember Green Acres.
And Gilligan’s Island.
How could they possibly compare to Mad Men and Downton Abbey?
Oooops. Guess I do watch some new shows.
Maybe I’m not so old after all.