Destinations Magazine

From Where I'm Sitting : The Power of Television.

By Simonea
From Where I'm Sitting : The Power of Television.
Two weeks ago, not one but two people recommended a particular boxset to me....I had been to see the fabulous British movie "Pride", which if you haven't seen it yet you really should, I loved it! Anyway, a good friend - before I saw the film - recommended the series "Stella"....a few days later I was chatting to my uncle about "Pride" & he also recommended "Stella".
Centred around an ordinary working class family & set in the Welsh valleys, it is a brilliantly written comedy...laugh out loud funny but also full of so many moving family moments....very relatable, very watchable.
With only 10 episodes in a season, I have already watched a season & a half, just over this weekend.
For one reason & another, I haven't watched much TV over the past evenings just seem to have been full of other stuff, blogging, house stuff, magazine browsing plus another thing about having a teenager is the time they seem to go to bed = much later!
I totally lost myself in the "Stella" boxsets this weekend & it was wonderful, I had forgotten how great a really really really good TV series is. It's been a while.
The power of television.
Just like reading a great book & then wanting to discuss it at a book group or with a friend, I love that thing of watching something & just having to share with someone.I guess it's that "water cooler" thing, some TV shows just have to be discussed, argued about or oohed & aahed over.
I can remember working as a temp in an office where no one really took much notice of me....and bonding with a co-worker over a TV series - it might have been "Will & Grace" I think. I was only there a few weeks but that initial conversation broke the ice & made my days that much easier.
I can also remember warming to a friend's new boyfriend (who no one thought that much of initially) over a TV show & seeing a totally different side of him as we discussed the most recent episode.Can you judge someone by the TV they watch? Absolutely! 
From Where I'm Sitting : The Power of Television.
\My husband has now given up on "Homeland" so I have to watch it alone....except that I text continually through each episode with my friend S.Sometimes to check that she is as confused as I am by what is happening & sometimes just to share our opinions/thoughts/fears as they pop into our heads....we do this every week.
We also do this as we watch "Strictly Come Dancing" (the UK version of "Dancing With The Stars")  & "Great British Bake Off"....some TV moments are just better shared, don't ask me why?!
What is it about TV shows that binds us to the characters so strongly &, seemingly, forever....?
You can immerse yourself in a movie, but there is something about following characters on TV over a period of years that really binds you to them....
we feel for them.... 
we identify with them....I wanted to be Carrie but was really Charlotte & I always felt like 50% Monica & 50% Rachel.
we cry over them....weddings & funerals - endless episodes of "Friends"deaths & relationships - "Grey's Anatomy" & "Private Practice"
Far and away, the most I have ever cried over a TV episode was a) when Jimmy Smits' character died in "NYPD Blue" & b) when Dr Mark Greene died in "ER"....his daughter places headphones on his head & he passes away whilst listening to the most beautiful version of "Over the Rainbow", the song that he used to sing to her when she was young. I cannot even hear that song without remembering sitting on the carpet in front of the TV with tears running down my face feeling completely inconsolable!!
I was a huge fan of "24" & watched every season, exhausting & stressful though it was watching Jack Bauer struggle & fight through one hair-raising situation after another....there were moments when I literally couldn't bear to watch or when it was so nerve-wracking that I had to stand up & watch through my fingers!
It must be a combination of great writing & great acting that makes us feel so personally connected to the characters....we want Jack to make it out alive, Ross & Rachel/Carrie & Big to end up together.
Over the past five years or so, the popularity of the boxset has soared.Interestingly, I missed all of "Grey's Anatomy " & "Private Practice" first time round on TV & so I watched both series obsessively on boxset.....BUT although I have "SATC" on boxset, I have never watched it & I never watch re-runs of it. I associate it so much with a particular time in my life & although I loved the show & watched every single episode, I almost want to keep it perfect in my mind & not revisit it.
There is something special about a boxset there anything better than an afternoon or late night watching a favorite series. "Just one more episode", you tell yourself & then before you know it, it's's totally addictive!
We all loved "Friends" because it was funny & well written.It was also extremely relatable, about that time in your life when your friends are your family & you're sharing a flat/looking for the right job/partner/finding yourself.There is something comforting about the show, it never fails to be funny & I guess there is almost always a happy ending, it's feelgood TV & who doesn't love that?There truly was something in "Friends" for everyone, no wonder its success was so enormous.
It's an incredible show that when something happens to you in real life, you can relate it to an episode of "Friends"....but that quite often happens!
And therein lies the power & the magic of television, it instantly takes us back to a moment in time, it connects us to each other & it makes situations & life events seem normal & universal. Unless of course you're Jack Bauer.
Do you love TV & what are you watching & loving right now?  

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