The problem with listening to so many podcasts and reading the A.V. Club’s TV Club is that it keeps me from forming my own opinions about things.  Just passively listening/reading and not being able to engage is fun when you’re walking the dog or at the gym, but when I want to talk about what I’m into I don’t remember if any of my views are my own or if I’m borrowing them from the Internet.

For instance, TV Club will post reviews of a show within the hour after it aired (which is weird, I think, but only weirder that I look out for them).  When Ricky Gervais was on “The Office” I knew it was going to happen, and it was cute.  The reviewer of the show wrote that he wished it was going to be a surprise, and I spent the rest of the evening in a TV-grade upset because I ALSO wanted the cameo to have been a surprise.  In the review of the pretty stupid so far “Perfect Couples,” the reviewer mentioned that it’s a waste of single-camera use since the show doesn’t do anything with that concept.  Now when I watch it (while not paying attention because it’s on at a perfect doing-baby-stuff time) I actually want there to be a laugh track to tell me what’s supposed to be funny because the tone is so wrong.  I don’t know that I would have noticed it before.

I’m not sure that the last paragraph makes much sense, but the point is that I want to have opinions and discussions again.  I have my associate who is also into the same things I’m into, but 90% of our conversations go like this:

me: I haven’t seen “Alien”

him: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE

or

him: Joke about Oasis

me: I’M GOING TO POISON YOU!*

I don’t see friends that much anymore and our few minutes together are spent catching up on events, and not discussing the latest episode of “Glee.”  I don’t even know if my friends watch “Glee,” let alone if I even like it.  I miss talking about books, movies, and TV.  It’s fun to make something more important than it actually is.  I used to have opinions and I used to do the work required to get them.  Now when I think of something other than “I liked that” or “Jon Hamm is funny,” I can actually hear gears cranking and out comes a little nugget like (spoiler!), “the killing of Ned Pepper in ‘True Grit’ didn’t have an emotional payoff.”  And then I collapse at the effort of doing something other than mindlessly watching an episode of “Roseanne” on Netflix.

Anyway, in order to keep my mind sharp I need to think about things for real before just looking up a review online and letting that do the work for me.  I wouldn’t enjoy posting comments online as a way to take part in a coversation.  Maybe I should join a book club for people who take six months to finish a book.

*These things don’t actually happen, but there is a lot more tension in the house now that “Top Gun” is available to watch instantly on Netflix.  It’s like I’ve moved from not having seen it and refusing to watch it, to actively not watching it at all times.  I know that Goose dies, everyone.  I don’t think it matters that I know who or what a Goose is.

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