What are you watching?
So...with the pandemic I have had a lot more time to watch T.V. Not so much more that I'm sitting on my butt and binge watching, but I can at least take in some shows. Before the pandemic my life was so taken up by commuting, work, and other obligations that I was lucky if I got 30 minutes to an hour after my kids went to sleep to enjoy some time to myself.
In my house Netflix's purpose has for some time been to just cycle "The Office" or
"Parks and Rec" on loop..you know, like most reasonable Americans. I love these shows, and there's something about their character that suits them to being on in the background, almost like commentary on your own life. They're close to home in a way....more on that for later blogs. This is about why I enjoy GOOD T.V., not just something to have on in the background, but something that creates a world you can immerse yourself in for a few hours. T.V. that isn't an escape (as I think the aforementioned shows are) but are an invitation to an experience.
The reason I love good T.V. is the same reason I love good books. They get my mind going. I connect with characters, their motivations, their emotions, their moral ambiguities...I...and here's the critical part...I imagine with them. And that is exactly what I like about T.V., it is theater. It gives my mind a place to play. This is important for us. We all are to some extent our child selves. Trust me, to grow up is both overrated and impossible. We'll always carry our inner child with us, and that inner child is the most centrally human thing about us. We have an innate need to play, to imagine, to have leisure. (For my fellow Catholic scholars it's here that I will plug some writing by Josef Piper "Leisure, the basis of Culture" https://www.ignatius.com/Leisure-P1445.aspx.) For everyone else, trust me, imagination is important, more important than we give it credit for. C.S. Lewis believed that the imagination was the key to the heart, and I can't say that he is wrong.
So what have I been watching? Star Trek, mostly. A bit of Picard (My bald officer inspiration). The Mandalorian, I can't say enough of this show. Disney did a phenomenal job here creating a class space western. The show goes well beyond Baby Yoda, but let's be honest, he is the star. Weeds I'm re-watching this series. Just as an advisement it is not for younger audiences, or those who have a discomfort with morally ambiguous literature, but it is good satire and social commentary that addresses issues of class, race, gender, criminality, and in some cases dives deeply into some existential absurd-ism. Weeds can be funny, inappropriate, disturbing, and wickedly intellectual.
That's about it right now, What are you watching? Why do you like it?