Monday, August 22, 2011

Revisionist Reruns

I'm a bit of a t.v. junkie, I admit. I like my shows and there's nothing better for me at the end of the day than settling in all cozy with a blanket and a beverage and getting lost in someone else's made-up drama, or laughing along with a sitcom, or having my heart race with anticipation as the characters try to catch the bad guys, or get themselves out of whatever scrape they're in.

I'm a sucker for story, and good storytelling in any medium--books, movies, television--is always going to capture me. But television is often less story-based and more character- and situation-based. If I like the characters or relate to their situation, that is what captures my attention.

Different kinds of shows have captured my attention in different times of life. Today, through the magic of Netflix and Hulu and iTunes, I'm able to go back in time and watch shows that I missed the first time around. I've surprised myself lately by tuning into some shows that I glossed over or even disparaged when they were contemporary, but watching them now I find myself hooked.

My changing t.v. preferences seem to speak to how I've changed as a person. Workplace comedies were amusing to me as a teenager, but as I got older and entered the workforce, the humor of them changed because I had seen the real side of those environments. My favorite show ever, The West Wing, (which I've watched all the way through at least three times), I thought was "boring" and "political" when it debuted. I loved FRIENDS from the first time I watched it, and followed it all the way through high school, college and beyond. Every episode. I admired how grown-up and quirky and out-in-the-world they seemed, but once I was out there myself, none of the many similar shows that followed ever captured me in quite the same aspirational way.

It's fun to go back and watch reruns that are new to me, and to catch up with shows I used to enjoy and see how my perspective on them has changed. Beyond sheer entertainment, I learn something about myself in the process.

What t.v. shows do you love, and how have your tastes changed over time?

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