Well, ok, that’s so far from being true that it shouln’t be made into a joke. However. Something occured to me last night while my wife was watching tv. It’s no secret that I get most of my tv from the interwebnets or DVD, but my wife still watches, mainly, broadcast tv and those are different experiences for one simple reason: the tv talks to you.
All through college (I studied media and advertising a lot) I heard that many people regarded the tv as a friend. Now, most people would not refer to their tv as their friend, or, at least, not publicly. But, many people privately regard television content, and time spent viewing it, as time spent with friends. Many of the same thought processes occur and many of the same emotions run through people’s minds. The reason given for this was always that people began to care about the characters; that people created associations in their minds, likening characters and stories to their own lives.
But I have come to think that that has a lot less to do with anything than does the fact that the tv talks to you. Think about the advertisements between shows, the variety and talk shows, the fourth wall breaks in sitcoms – all of these are examples of the tv talking directly to the viewer. And I think it’s that that creates associations, much more than the characters and their situations.
Anyway. I’m off to watch…whatever’s on tv at the moment.