I write better, faster, and more prolifically when I have television or a movie on in the background. I’ve stated before that I can’t write to music, but what I haven’t confessed is that sometimes, on rare occasions, I watch bad television.
What is truly frightening, however, is not just that I have it on, but that I find myself actually paying attention to, and enjoying it.
Take tonight, for example. I had Nick at Night on, and they were doing a marathon of Home Improvement. There was a Christmas-time episode that involved Jill (Patricia Richardson) leaving Tim’s (Tim Allen) restored hot rod out in the snow without the tonneau cover on. A blizzard came, and filled the car with snow, soaking the leather, and ruining much of the car.
The rest of the episode involved the fixing of the car, and the responsibility for causing the issue – apparently Jill has difficulties accepting blame.
It wasn’t a particularly funny episode, though there were moments that made me grin. In fact, what hooked me most was that they were showing a married couple in a sitcom having a real fight. Screaming and snide remarks that were meant to sting, not just induce giggles.
I’d never really appreciated this show when it was fresh. I think I was at one of those ages where I was both too old and too young to get it. I couldn’t identify with the kids, and I didn’t identify with the parents. Now, though, after twelve years of marriage and some screaming matches of my own, and, I’m ashamed to admit, more than a few stinging remarks, I can watch it and be impressed that a sitcom would stage a fight with that much emotional truth.
Don’t worry though.
I will never write a post claiming that there’s artistic merit in Saved by the Bell.