"How do you have time to watch television?"
I have heard that question more times than I'd like to remember. It's often a condescending question, posed by someone who thinks they're above you because they're spending their time reading Heidegger and -- dare I name drop him? -- Foucault instead of catching up on 30 Rock or watching the new episode of Top Chef. But what, may I ask, is the difference? I highly doubt that these dense, undecipherable philosophers can really help me more than the 21 glorious minutes of The Office every Thursday night, the 42 minutes of Freaks and Geeks I put on while folding laundry, or the 6-hour marathon of Arrested Development I watch when I'm literally just too lazy to turn it off. I am here to prove to everyone who might question the value of television -- from Full House reruns to Ace of Cakes to the new 90210 -- that we can learn more from TV than any academic or philosopher could ever teach us.
Before I begin, I want to address a few possible objections, that while valid, do not apply to me, and I therefore feel inclined to ignore:
1) "Television has led to an obese America." That's fine, but I watch 3-6 hours of television a day on average and weigh 115 lbs. (Don't worry, I'm petite.)
2) "Television kills brain cells." Maybe, but I'm in grad school, and believe me, reading about hermeneutics kills more.
3) "Television perpetuates negative stereotypes." I'll keep that in mind -- next time my plane crashes on a mysterious, possessed island, I'll make sure not to assume that the cute old white man couldn't possibly be married to that quirky black lady.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to watch every TV show out there -- even some of the more popular shows haven't made it on to my regular schedule -- and you'll soon find that I have my favorites; but I hope that every TV lover will find something here for them. And if I write something that seems nonsensical to you (e.g. objection #3) then you have a few shows to catch up on yourself. Feel free to put in requests for discussion, or better yet, burning questions about the meaning of life that you think Dawson Leery might be able answer better than Nietzche.