Friday, January 7, 2011

The Wonder Years

You know Thirty-Something was a show, a good show.  Although I was like a teenager when it came on so those people were old to me then.  Their problems with relationships and work and life were a little too adult for me.  Now I long for a television show that will show what my life is like.

They try these days, with reality T.V. to show you what life is really like.  However my life never seems like the Housewives of Atlanta.  They pick "special" people and put them in strange circumstances, like Survivor, in order to create something "real."  The shows that mimic reality fictionally, I find are more real than a show like The Bachelor or the bizarre shows on TLC that show like pregnant women who don't "know" their pregnant.

The truth is a lot stranger than fiction.

If you were in anything like me, you watched a lot of T.V. growing up.  Those were the days, huh?  It reminds me of a simpler time, when there were four channels, there was no reality T.V. and Geraldo introduced me to Drag Queens.  "We didn't have no Internet, but man I never will forget..."  Kid Rock was still a kid.  M&M was still a candy.

Now I realize that T.V. was always a little dumb, but I was partially raised by T.V., so does that make me a little dumber?  My attention span is sometimes as long as a commercial break but sometimes I can stretch it to a half-hour long sitcom.  The hour long dramas are great, but they take great concentration.  I often find myself needing to take commercial breaks in life, I spend a minute or two thinking about nothing or about buying something I don't need.

The introduction of Cable Television in my life was one of the pivotal points in my childhood.  My dad didn't want to get cable but the subdivision we moved into in Troy, Michigan when I was twelve didn't allow T.V. antennas. I discovered MTV then, that's when they used to actually play music.  I discovered hours and hours of stand up comedy that I would make sure my parents never saw me watching because comedians would always come to subject of sex.

There really was very little sex on T.V. when I was growing up.  In fact when I was a little girl I thought kissing was  sex because that's all they did on T.V.  Even on soap operas, which I started watching when I was a toddler, they used to be a lot more kosher than they are now.

But on the talk shows, I really learned about sex, drugs and rock and roll. I mean there were no rules on those talk shows and even though they weren't as raunchy as Jerry Springer, they were definitely a little racy.  I remember learning what a threesome was on Oprah, I learned what a Lesbian was by watching Geraldo, and I think Phil Donahue taught me how to dress provocative in order to lure a man.

I also learned a lot from regular T.V.  I learned quite a bit on The Facts of Life.  I learned about how to part my hair to the side and that my girlfriends will always be there for me, even when the men in my life come and go.  I learned a lot about "misunderstandings" from Three's Company, a little too much in fact.  I used to watch that with my parents every night, they thought it was a trip.  We would all laugh and laugh as Jack Tripper tripped on the carpet.  John Ritter recently passed, god rest his soul, he was like a boyfriend figure to me.  I wanted a guy like that.

I wasn't allowed, but secretly watched, "Fame."  My parents thought it was too adult for me.  They wouldn't let me watch the Love Boat as well, even though when they weren't home I was watching all kinds of twisted shit.

Nowadays, well they just don't make T.V. like they used to.  When I was in kindergarten, during nap time I would stay awake and dream that they would make a small T.V. that I could hold in my hand and watch episodes of Scooby-Doo.  My dreams have come true.  The only problem is, at the moment, I have not invested in a descent phone.  (My phone is so old school I think people think it's a brand new kind, it's the kind that comes free with the plan).

I didn't have a cell phone with a built-in T.V. when I was a kid.  I got my first cell phone when I was twenty-five.  If I could have watched The Smurfs at nap time when I was five, my kindergarten life would have been complete.  Instead I had to learn how Smurfette survived in a world of men every Saturday morning at six a.m.  Nowadays I actually sleep during nap time.  They say you should wake up in the morning and like close your eyes and meditate.  Or if you grew up like me, your mother was doing that while you were watching, Sheera, Princess of Power!

The Wonder Years, now that was a show.  The Wonder Years for me was in the Eighties and early Nineties.  That's when I still had my innocence.  At one point I didn't understand that I wasn't white, I was like eight.  A blond friend of mine asked me what my "kind" was and it shook me up.  I didn't understand what she meant.  I knew I was Indian, but I didn't know why it mattered so much.  I didn't think people noticed.  I think seeing a world of white people on T.V. had a lot to do with that.

There were no Indians on T.V. back then. But there was some good stuff. Do you remember 21 Jump Street, Johnny Depp's greatest work?  And then there was Bosom Buddies...that was Tom Hanks at his finest, in drag. I don't care how many Oscars that man wins, Bosum Buddies was his best work.

Ahh...those were the days.  Just tonight, a friend of mine didn't want to hang out with me, she wanted to watch Law and Order SVU instead.  I was ditched for a T.V. show.  I remember when I used to be that excited about T.V.  The only show I really like that has been on the air recently is Six Feet Under.  It's about death, but more about life.

Interestingly enough I'm watching T.V. at the moment.  It's more like the T.V. is on and I'm in the room.  The Office, a great show, is on right now. This is sort of my office.

Speaking of great shows, there is always trash T.V. like Jersey Shore and Celebrity Rehab.  These shows are so bad they're great.  They are the most fun to watch with friends so you can make fun of them and feel superior to these "weirdos."  

My life is different now that I don't watch that much T.V.  Unfortunately it's not as interesting as a Reality T.V. show, but it's probably better now that I stare at this computer rather than a television.  I switched screens is all. Instead of being addicted to television I'm now addicted to expressing my own thoughts on a computer.

I used to let the T.V. think for me.  I wonder, I wonder, who I would be without it.


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