#192 TV

If you’ve seen House of Cards you’ll know there are some unexpected twists and turns, but basically we know that the Underwoods are going to get up to. They’re going to do whatever it takes to hang onto power so that they don’t have to face the moral and emotional voids inside them. Yes, it may be horribly realistic, but it’s not truly surprising.

When my wife and I are watching our favorite program, we genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen next.

“Ballela? A spider spitted some blood on my finger!”

“Oh no! I need to drive you to the doctor. Let’s go! Wait. Where’s my doggy?”

We probably have too much choice these days. Being able to choose want we want to watch on telly, whenever we want to watch it, seems like an amazing idea, but it turns out it’s not that great.

When House of Cards ends we’ll have to start plodding through the listings again, looking at the pictures. That’s got four and a half stars, that’s got to be good. But then that thing you started to watch together, when you were both too tired to have an actual conversation, had four and three quarter stars. You couldn’t make it to the end of the first episode. How did that maverick FBI agent always have such a perfect hair do? You laugh about it, but then you start plodding through the listings again, with that sinking feeling.

“Five, four, three, two, one, blast off… we’re here! On the moon. Let’s go shopping!”

There’s a subscription free channel. It’s live, so you never have to trawl the listings. There is no clear story as such, and the actors seem to be improvising, but it’s never predictable. No one is ever trying to assassinate the president. If there is a president, she’s probably a cat.

“Meow, I’m a cat. I’ve got a chocolate wand. I’ll magic you into a rabbit baby. Aah, rabbit baby, you’re so cute!”

A video monitor isn’t absolutely necessary. But it’s so much fun. Especially when your kids share a room. There are drawbacks, of course. Most episodes, for instance, end with you having to go on set.

There’s a blood curdling scream. One of the actors turns to the camera and shouts directly at you. “Daddy! The cat just bit my bottom!”

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