In my house, we have a big living room with lots of sun, couches and chairs, but no television. My family comes and goes all day, talking, arguing and sitting. We keep the television in the basement, where the sun is mostly blocked out. The basement is where the family goes to watch television. It is really all it is good for.
Because of this, I am sometimes a little shocked around people who treat everything that comes on TV as an opportunity to talk. Sometimes people turn on their TVs, then ignore it and have a conversation, as though the program is simply environmental noise. To me, an important movie is like being in church - you respect it! You are before art now, you fool, art!
It's not always that way, of course. Some stuff is presented in a pretty straightforward manner. It has little literary or artistic merit, which makes it a great topic for the #BATTLEROYALE! It is ... SOCIAL TELEVISION!!
This is the most obvious social television, and most other social television is related to sports. Baseball, basketball, hockey, NASCAR ... my favorite, football! Even pro wrestling! It is all about getting together with friends and yelling through the television at each other.
We get more excited about these chemically enhanced men, none of whom know we exist or otherwise give a shit about us, for kicking balls between big sticks or running from one end of a space to another, than we do about getting a big promotion or an accomplishment for ourselves or our friends. It is the essence of social television - stupid, worthless, exciting, who-cases silliness.
Sports make for such great social television, I have a really difficult time watching it with no one around!
Sometimes women aren't into sports. They need something similar, but more romantic or with more humanity. For them, and for ourselves (let's face it), we bind over pathetic humans doing really stupid things ... or romantic things, amazing things, you name it.
Reality television has all of the qualities of a great drama with none of the art. Instead of elevating mankind, it reduces us to our most pathetic. It is fantastic but barren, otherworldly yet absurdly human. This kind of television can make for a great date — unless you learn how horrible the other person is by what they cheer for or bemoan. Have you ever thought less of someone you know after sharing a Reality TV experience with them?
Reality television unfortunately reflects humanity, in its most Shakespearean sense.
“Life ... is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Does anyone ever say anything worth listening to at an awards show?
It is fun to see the spectacle, the music, dancing, outfits. Sometimes there are scenes from movies, but hardly so much that you even understand what is going on. So please, go ahead and talk. Again, this is like sports — where we cheer when our teams wins, and moan when they lose.
I will admit I don't watch many awards shows. Sometimes I feel I should, because there can be a fine line between that and Reality TV (I am looking at you, Kanye). Also, sometimes they feature rarely seen artists and recipients of honors, and I am a sucker for a good documentary, even if it's packed in glittery goop.
I saved my favorite for last.
To me, Election Night is the ultimate sports event. The highest stakes in the most important game. I love watching the returns come in, but it is even better with other members of your team. Whatever your political leanings, watching election night together is the best because everyone feels like they've been working towards this goal, no matter who they voted for.
What do you think? What makes for the ultimate Social Television experience?