So here’s the thing: I love reading, as the blog dedicated to my reading life can probably attest to, but I also, sometimes, (alright, more than sometimes) love TV. I love watching TV shows. When they are well crafted, got well rounded characters, a story, complex storyline… the story and world of a TV show can be just as engrossing and absorbing as that of a book. However, books get the ‘intellectual’ wrap, whereas TV gets the ‘trashy’ wrap. Parents hardly ever tell kids off for reading, don’t they? Most of them encourage it, practically pushing their children’s noses into books. But TV is the opposite. How many parent complain to their child to get off the couch and stop watching TV?
However, is watching a TV show (if its a good TV show – I’m not talking about Jersey Shore here) that much worse than reading a book? I mean, I reckon that watching say, Downton Abbey or Damages or the Newsroom is better for your brain than reading some (to remain nameless) vampire romance. Downton Abbey – I learnt about England during the first half of the Twentieth Century. Damages – I still don’t completely get the American legal system, but watching that show definitely helped. The Newsroom – I never watch the news, so it caught me up on important world and US issues, and also taught me the ins and outs of producing a news show, which is very interesting to someone who works in similar roles behind the scenes in the arts (like me) (what a great show, by the way. I highly recommend it.). Much more intellectual that some trashy teenage romance.
I don’t choose to watch a TV show over reading a book sometimes, it just happens that sometimes the TV show I’m watching is more interesting that the book I’m reading. So really, I think, I’m choosing one story over another. After all, that’s what books, and tv shows, and movies, and plays and so on really boil down to: STORY. So I try not to beat myself up if I find that I’ve been neglecting my latest read for a really gripping episode (or five) of a tv show. It must be that the story in the show is more engaging than that in my book.
So I’m going to stand up for the TV shows of the world. I know it’s strange, for someone who loves books so much, but, as I’ve said before, what I really love is a good story. So I’ll stand up for any good story, no matter its shape or form.
(Can you tell that I’m kind of trying to justify why I haven’t been reading much this week, and therefore don’t have any book from my 1001 Children’s List to update you on? Can you guess what I might have been doing instead…?)