Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deer in Headlights

My children like the most brain-numbing television. And they will watch the same episode over and over, quoting the lines as it goes along.
Sponge Bob, Hannah Montana, Zack & Cody, the Fairly Odd Parents and hosts of others parade across the screen, complete with laugh track and theme songs. Truth be told, they are simply fillers for the sponsor's commercials. And the kids can sing along to the advertisements, too.

My lovely offspring will stare at these shows, barely moving, let alone breathing, for hours. I think they would forget to eat or go to the bathroom, if it weren't for occasional reminders.

I know it's nice to "zone out" sometimes, and just have brain candy going on. But, my children are unable to function if their shows are on.

I know they come by it honestly. I have a terrible time walking by the television without stopping and getting "sucked in" to whatever is on. Even commercials hold some kind of appeal for me.
I get it from my mother. She and I can't carry on a conversation if the television is on and is showing something even remotely interesting.

Where this fascination comes to a screeching halt is right about the point when my husband gets the remote control. His television habits make me able to not only walk away from shows, but they bore me to sleep.

This afternoon I walked in and hubby had on a Japanese physical challenge show. They spoke in Japanese, and translated to English. And they had men and women who willingly threw themselves off of things, jumped across things, climbed up things, and even ate (gross) things. It was sort of like "Fear Factor" meets the NFL. It was "big time," and the contestants were serious about their challenges. I could not have been less impressed. But hubby was enthralled.

He loves Godzilla and Planet of the Apes. He loves movies that blow things up and involve major amounts of weaponry. And he loves to watch them all at the same time.

He can flip back and forth to six different awful shows at the same time- and keep up with them all. He even watches the news on five different channels- all at the same time. A scene from one show barely starts and he flips to another one.

And yet, he can quote back verbatim everything that's going on. I'm stunned. Amazed. But, strangely... bored.

For me, to watch a show is to have a total experience. It's like reading a book from cover to cover. You can't just pick through snippets of chapters and toss it aside if you want to know anything about the characters.

For hubby, to watch a show is to glean the bare bones plot. A magazine article is sometimes too long for him, let alone a book. He can hardly remember the characters' names.

This poses a problem with us watching shows together. Even movies in the movie theater are subject to his eccentric taste and his erratic attention span. He does follow along, asking, "Why are they doing that? Who is that? What is he going to do?"

That just makes me even more nuts! I'm watching the show at the same time as he is, for heaven's sake. I don't have any more information than he does.

When we were dating, we watched one to many movies with his running dialogue of queries about the characters, plot and events. Finally, I looked at him and said, "You know, honey? They ALL die in the end."


"Yep. All of 'em. Every single one."


"Yep. Big explosion. Boom- all gone."


Of course, NO ONE in the movie died, and he was mad as all get out by the time he realized I was just yanking his chain. But, I had finally gotten fed up with his questions.

(Later, we watched "The Perfect Storm." I tried to tell him -honestly- that they did indeed all died in the end. He was scarred from this previous experience, and refused to believe me. When they all really did die in the end, he fumed for days.)

All of his flipping around has made him much less likely to be impressed by ANYTHING. We can watch a movie with special effects and fabulous acting, great plot and super cinematography, and when it's over he'll shrug his shoulders and say, "It was alright."

Alright??? It was BRILLIANT!!! But, wait, I forgot, you like Japanese television and Planet of the Apes...

How can we be so compatible in so many areas, and yet be complete polar opposites in the area of entertainment? How can television have sooooo many BAD shows on at the SAME TIME????

I guess the best answer would be just to turn it off...

Oh yeah, like that's ever going to happen... My kids would revolt. My hubby would shrivel up and die. And I would be forced to actually clean my house, for lack of anything else to do.

So, I guess we'll continue to have our differences of opinion. And I may have to switch back to reading books...

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

Is it sad or just pathetic that I also know the Spongebob theme song? You made me giggle when recalling The Perfect Storm story!