Viewing Pleasure

In the pursuit of commercial-free programming and a sharper picture, my parents gave in and subscribed to cable television in 1984. Suddenly, I found myself rising earlier than usual to watch Saturday morning cartoons, but not because I was afraid I'd miss something. Rather, I wanted complete control over the set. I chose the channels, flipped around when I wanted, and sat as close to the screen as possible. It didn't matter that the majority of channels I selected were already available pre-cable; what mattered was the power I felt from so many options.

My dependence on the tube has varied in intensity throughout the years — I was totally devoted in the late '80s through the mid '90s to shows like The Wonder Years (my first major crush being Fred Savage), Twin Peaks (I was young but somehow intrigued), Alf (who can deny a cute fuzzy alien with a taste for cats?), My So Called Life and, embarrassingly enough, Beverly Hills, 90210. Recent obsessions include bad reality television, Twilight Zone-esque shows, and holiday programming, much of which is played in the background while I work on the computer or straighten up the house. This year, I'm looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing in front of the tube, an activity that doesn't require spending money or leaving the house, but more importantly doesn't require brain power. Because that's what the holidays are about for me — a chance to think about nothing other than turkey and television. I encourage this holiday free-dom for everyone.


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