Friday, October 24, 2008

That's entertainment

Edited: Saturday, October 25, 2008 @ 9:25 a.m. **

I am a person with varied interests. Music, darts, theatre, children, computer programming, animals, pool, law, pinball, math, ... My tastes are eclectic.

T: Do you have Captain Tractor? Or Offspring?
Used Records Employee: Who listens to Captain Tractor and Offspring?
T: Well, me ... and the people who stole my car ...
URE: ... or at least they do now ...

When it comes to entertainment, I like mindless comedy. I also really enjoy drama. And musical. Action is okay too. Horror is one genre I frankly don't much appreciate. Basically, it's good if it makes me think. Or laugh. Or cry. It can be based in reality, if it is tastefully done. Tragedy is okay, if I am in the mood for tears. Gory messes do not appeal to me. Harm cannot befall a child, or an animal, and it would be best if things ended on some sort of positive note. If I want anything too real, I'll watch the News, thanks anyway. (I should note that I do not watch the News for entertainment value; it's for information purposes ... it's for education ... learning what to do, what not to do, and shaping opinion.)

Really, I like a little bit of almost everything. Almost ...

My idea of the worst kind of entertainment? Violent, graphic, gory, tragic fiction that could really have happened (but didn't; hence, "fiction"). I don't understand these kinds of shows. I don't grasp their entertainment value. Why would I want to watch graphic depictions of horrible things happening to reasonably decent fictional characters while at the same time learning nothing? I don't get it.

But H, who is like me in many ways, dramatically differs from me in this one area. H actually really enjoys what are, in my view, awful programs.

This, as much as anything, is why we have two TVs.

Now, I can watch reruns of "Friends" and "Seinfeld", or new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men", or whatever else appeals to my teensy little brain. And at the same time, H can retire to a different room to watch "Life", "24", and "The Shield", and presumably take pleasure in the fictional suffering of others. He really seems to enjoy it. I am mildly disturbed by this.

Tonight, H decided to attempt to watch "Life" with me sitting nearby. An ex-con whose 10-year old son had been murdered by a newly escaped felon was then himself graphically murdered by said newly escaped felon in front of the police, who were trying to protect everyone. They showed all the blood and everything. It was way cool.

Here we have practically everything I hate ... violent, graphic, gory, tragic fiction that could really have happened (but didn't; hence, "fiction"). And a child being harmed to boot. Fabulous! And as they cut to commercial:

T: How can you watch this?
H: I didn't know that was going to happen!
T: It happens every single week!
H: No, it doesn't.
T: Okay. Not that exact thing. But something very similar.
H: But ...
T: Seriously! How can you enjoy this?
H: ...
T: Watching some poor likeable guy get shot in the head.
H: ...
T: Well?
H: Would you like me to watch it upstairs?
T: ...
H: Fine! (grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter) *

(Ordinarily, I might have just left the room. But the knee isn't fully healed and I still don't do stairs so well, so there aren't many places I can go just now without considerable effort. And it's his stupid show anyway, so ...)

I'm going to sleep now. With visions of sugar plum fairies and violent showers of gunfire dancing in my head. And I hope to not dream about some fictional dead guy and his equally fictional, equally dead 10-year old son.

But I sure hope H enjoyed his remaining 50 minutes of mass destruction.

* It should be noted that H didn't really grumble. Much.

** Edited to add: I have just learned that H actually slept through the disturbing scene in "Life". And that, even though he was exhausted and sleeping through the show anyway, he still left the room to watch the rest of the show, rather than just letting me change the channel to something we both would enjoy. And he stayed up an extra hour after "Life" was over to watch an equally disturbing episode of "The Shield"!!!

My husband has no sense whatsoever. Could somebody please organize an intervention?


georgie said...

well i guess i am an equal opportunity movie/tv watcher LOL the good the bad the ugly...

Momma Trish said...

Georgie - The shows H likes are extremely popular. I just don't personally see their appeal. Do you enjoy them?