My maturing TV tastes

I remember a time I thought documentaries were boring. If I watched them it meant I was old… and boring. Now, I find myself more interested in those. So, fine, call me old and boring.

TV dramas have never interested me. I think the world has too much hatred and violence. Those primetime shows all have one underlying theme: murder.

I can turn on the local news if I want to see that. That’s real reality TV. But even then there is something unfulfilling about a one-and-a-half-minute story on the news.

For me the sole purpose of watching TV was to be entertained. If you’ve watched scripted shows — and by that I am also including the reality shows that follow around an outrageous couple or family, since those are set up to a point — there is something scripted about them. Why? Because they are.

Entertainment value has worn thin with those reality shows. The next best thing to reality shows and million-dollar game shows and shoot-’em-up-dramas is the true stories of a documentary.

I want to learn something when I am watching a documentary. I find myself wanting to know the back story and following the storyline to completion. I have patience for this now, I didn’t back then.

As I am getting older I have a certain tolerance for what comes across the TV screen.

I used to watch shows like Deal or No Deal or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I was tuned in to see someone win money or lose it all. I didn’t care about their life because they were only spending a few minutes on the air and that was it. I fast forwarded through the segments where the contestant’s family was brought on and cheered for their loved one. Get to the damn game and the real reason we’re watching, right?

Now I want to know what makes people tick. I want to hear the sappy stories that will make me cry. Somewhere along the line I had a shift in my TV viewing priorities.

So, I’m old. I can accept that. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s almost 6 p.m. and I have to get into my pajamas.

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