Monday Meanderings–Television: A Blessing or a Curse?


Photo: Lorna's Voice

Photo: Lorna’s Voice

(If you’re here for Sunday Whirl, it’s the previous post).

Before I get into the topic that struck me this week, I’d like to introduce you to Lorna Lee. Lorna’s blog, Lorna’s Voice, is one of those blogs I visit for a bit of vicarious humor therapy and an occasional dose of good common sense. A sociologist of the PhD variety, a humorist, and a published author whose writing skills are indisputable, Lorna makes sure that a visit to her blog brings joy and insight to her readers.

Last week, I had the honor of being interviewed by Lorna. As a great advocate of her fellow writers, this lovely lady does all she can to make sure our newly released work receives attention. She was able to take my responses to her questions and inject them with fun…and most of you know that I’m, perhaps, way too obsessed with death and things dark. Well, in my writing, anyway.

I want to invite you to check out the interview  (Victor Isn’t Talking to Me, but Victoria Is). Follow her site for your own humor break and be sure to check out her memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know: the Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost. It’s a fun read but full of wisdom.

Photo: Lorna's Voice

Photo: Lorna’s Voice

Now just a few reflections on television:

When I read about some of you who do not have television, I feel a tinge of envy. I think of how much time can be wasted in such passive activity, how much improved communication could happen, how much fun could be had, how much work I could get done.

I was five when we got our first TV, a 12” screen in a ginormous box with three channels that went fuzzy at night-time. The first show I remember watching on it was about the release, at last, of Dr. Salk’s polio vaccine. And, of course, Howdy Dowdy.

1950-Zenith-G2957R

The reality is that my husband loves television. He loves sports, 70’s TV Land programs and sports. I already said that, didn’t I? I’ve made friends with the whole situation. We are together and when he watches, I make jewelry, or knit, or (now) write if the program is something I can tune out. Oh, there’s a few things that get my full attention: a drama like Blue Bloods, Longmire or Person of Interest, 49’er football, and TCM classic movies.

A few nights ago we watched a program that David had recorded: the 30th anniversary celebration of M*A*S*H. This was a 2 hour+ discussion with the cast members, producers and screen writers who were still alive. They were all older, just as I am. Hawkeye and B.J. looked like you would expect. Hot Lips had way too much Botox, no doubt in an attempt to live up to her persona. The conversation was peppered with snippets of shows that demonstrated the discussion topic.

30th Anniversary Show

30th Anniversary Show

At it’s conclusion, I asked David to save it. I intend to zip through it sometime (if I can figure out the remote) and take notes. There was a wealth of valuable insight and information on plot, character, and so much more that applied to us as writers.

If I’m able to pull it off (manage the remote, that is), maybe I can share my thoughts in a future post. But one thing I want to offer you to think about today is their perseverance. The first season was a dismal failure. It ran against Disney’s crowd pleaser and was about the Korean War, during the Vietnam War. When the script writers took it from pure humor and brought out the deep emotional component of loss and war, it moved from the world of Sitcom to a compelling message written with ample doses of humor. The producers and studio hung on and we all know how that ended up. The show had a message and a mission—war is an atrocious futility.

I have a little different take on TV now. When I watch drama, I will pay attention to plot and character development. I’ll look for themes in a series. I’ll note what works and what flops.

So, take what you like from this. I hope it gives you some food for thought and maybe a different take on television.

Have a good week with the pen or keyboard and don’t give up!

Oh good grief. The holiday confused me. I had this scheduled for Monday night instead of Sunday night. So here it is!

Key M*A*S*H actors

Key M*A*S*H actors

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6 thoughts on “Monday Meanderings–Television: A Blessing or a Curse?

  1. Have to say, I do the same thing… when I can tune out that is… and try write. Nice you did not stay away too long being somewhat a mentor here – you have a great week too!

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  2. Thank you Victoria for introducing me to Lorna’s blog, and your fabulous humorous interview, too. I love it! I don’t consider myself a writer but thoroughly prefer a good book, to 8 hrs of TV. Except for Gone with the Wind– wink 🙂

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  3. Off to see the Butler this afternoon. Sure there will be some writing lessons embedded in that.

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  4. Ah those were the days Mash: all human life was there, and I agree, the writing was superb. If ever you’re bed bound, and books too heavy, TV is a Godsend. Not least because it sends me to sleep!

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  5. brian miller says:

    smiles…i think that as writers we can take much from learning from other writers…i like your approach to tv…its the same for movies…i am intrigued with story telling…if the story is bad, i usually wont stick with the show, if the characters are shallow…i wont either…

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