If you’re the type of person who says they don’t watch television because it is a waste of time, and judge others who do, I probably won’t be able to take you seriously. I’m not here for your pretentious attitude.
I just feel like there is something so special about television. You get to follow characters every week through different storylines, and you get to watch them grow on screen. When you are watching really good television it is all worth it for the character development. Jesse Pinkman, of Breaking Bad, is a great example of this.
If you’re like me, watching television leads to you getting invested. I mean emotionally invested. I can carry on full conversations about some of the television shows I watch, and I sometimes find myself speaking about the characters as if they were real people. I know I am not the only person who has fallen into this trap, and to be honest I am really not bothered that I have.
The thing some people find ridiculous about my little television obsession is my need to ship characters together. For those of you who don’t know, ship is short for relationship. If you’ve ever frequented sites like Tumblr, you’ll notice that a lot of users use the phrase “I ship so and so.” No, it doesn’t mean that they want to see their favourite television and movie characters voyaging the high seas. It means that they want to see the characters get together. If it just so happens to unfold on a boat, then that is a pure coincidence.
I just cannot help but get emotionally involved. The writers behind these shows obviously want us to squeal, while wrapped up in our snuggies, eating Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream while ugly crying like it’s no one’s business.
Is this strange and unhealthy behaviour? In moderation, no, I don’t think so. When you become a fan of a television show, you may become emotionally attached. Think about it. You let these characters into your life for 30 to 60 minutes every week. We are essentially following them on their journey. If a show is well written, this attachment to the characters is inevitable. That’s the whole point of good television, right?
I attribute my detailed analysis and love of character interaction to my love for writing. I thoroughly enjoy writing characters. Ever since I was a child I’ve made stories out of nothing. I would watch the birds go by, give them names and plan out their lives. I even gave them accents! I suppose this is why I get so invested in characters on television. The writers are essentially creating these people and relationships that are supposed to have enough substance to last months, and years. I admire that, and I play along.
It’s a little bit of harmless fun that creates a much needed break from the harsh realities of real life and mundane schoolwork that sometimes lacks creativity. I don’t see what’s weird about having an emotional reaction to a drama or comedy series. That’s why I watch them.
In saying this, I do have my limits. I think there is a line between cute and fun shipping and emotional attachment, and then the creepy, really bizarre side of outlandish online fan fiction and photo manipulation. I mean, it’s cool, whatever floats your ship…but sometimes I find myself on the weird side of the Internet and I have to stop for some self-reflection.
Also, to those who say television rots the brain, I believe I am doing just fine, thanks. It’s all about balance.
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