I don't watch TV. For one thing, Musician Boyfriend hates TV (no no, you read this wrong. He does have a soul. He just hates TV.) I was reminded of this during our stay at The Talls' in Thunder Bay, when MB arrived 'home' one night to find TLC's "Toddlers in Tiaras" on in the background of our living room discussion.
"Whatever happened to The Learning Channel???" He sputtered, sorely disappointed in the shallow state of humanity.
The room grew quiet.
"Maybe they changed it to Tender Loving Care?" I squeaked.
MB barely slept that night.
So no, we do not watch TV. But thanks to the power of the Internet, I do watch 'shows'.
I follow The Office, for example. I did Arrested Development and Summer Height's High. I remain loyal to Grey's Anatomy (even if the dialogue is all starting to sound the same). And on one particularly single birthday, I stayed home and watched the entire first season of Mad Men.
"Oh, you feel like hating men?" asked Good Emma. "I have the perfect series for you," she suggested. "And consider Don Draper a bonus."
Last week, MB and I finished the new HBO/Scorcese hit, Boardwalk Empire. It's an amazing show. Set in 1920's Atlantic City, the show depicts the corrupt rule of America's major cities by (fairly interchangeable) mafiosos, mobsters and politicians. During prohibition (lead by uptight, church-going women, finally coming into women's suffrage of course.)
I crawled into bed one night (after watching a particularly hard-hitting episode) and eyed MB up with anxiety and suspicion. The problem with the omnipotent Scorcese and Buscemi pairing, you see, is that the show is too well done. It can be too real. And in a (fairly recent) world where men have everything and women have nothing, this can be trying to watch.
I was reminded of this same feeling during math camp lunch, sitting at a picnic table beneath the stone cold stares of four 10 foot tall sculptures, Champlain, Wolfe, Simcoe and Brock. It is the "Canadiana" building. These are our founding fathers.
And they are creepy.
(And if you've been following since June, you know how much I love Dads.)
Again, the feeling returned during MB and I's latest wine-fueled talk on the future of life on earth (we don't watch TV, remember.) According to MB, history inevitably repeats itself. We see no real progress and we can never be different. (No no, MB does have a soul, he is just a skeptic.)
There was a part of me that couldn't fully agree with him.
"I feel disconnected from history," I try to articulate. "Because (largely) it wasn't women making the decisions."
And for once, he has no rebuttal.
I can't relate to the used 1960s secretaries in the ad biz, or the kept mistresses of 'Nucky' Thompson and his cronies. Women, I argue, are in a different place in history now (if only slightly).
But I can relate to something from television.
Recently I embarked on the selfish (and wonderful) project of re-watching Sex and the City from start to finish, episode by episode. I'm on season 3 of women discussing the battle of the sexes and wielding post-80's shoulder-pad power over their male counterparts.
In SJP's August Vogue interview she mentions that her decision to end the show after season 6 was in part due to the fact that the show only belonged to a certain time.
I think she was alluding to the materialism and the smoking, vs the story of four independent, accomplished women on HBO.
But on my lunch hour, as I eat my wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free lunch and look up at these four, giant, unavoidable stone men (who if crafted anatomically correct, by the way, sport packages the length of my arm)...I can't help but hope that she is wrong.
(As much as I appreciate Jon Hamm in a suit. & Steve Buscemi with his eyes closed, at a flattering 'duskish' time of night, saying something very charming, in a suit.)