Thursday, January 29, 2009

jumping the shark and television indulgence

Anyone looking for anything higher than low/middle brow entertainment discussion should skip this post.

When my dear wife and I were in our pre-married life, she used to hang out with my youngest brother while he was in college on occasion. He didn't have a car, so they would get to know each other better by taking a trip to the local grocery store. My brother had a pretty tight schedule, so groceries took a back seat to all kinds of television shows. I want to say 90210, but I think that was my other brother's guilty pleasure. I never thought to arrange my life to television shows, but I've found certain shows to be enjoyable discussing with my family and friends. Especially when the topics surrounding ministry seem so overly serious at times.

After a long week, Thursday is like our Friday in the ministry. My dear wife and I watch Grey's Anatomy and ER. I had thought ER Jumped The Shark (JTS) several seasons ago, but the last two years the show has rallied. Much more interesting characters--even some plausible story lines and dialogue. Grey's Anatomy--JTS. The whole talking to a dead guy thing for Izzy Stevens might have been interesting for an episode or two--but this has gone on for several episodes. She had better be schizophrenic soon or I'm done. The thing is, there's nothing better for me on a Thursday night than snuggling up with my dear wife and turning my brain off--I always hope there's going to be something good on the tube that day.

I am currently teaching confirmation for the first time in about 4 years. I enjoy it, because I don't always have to do it. Confirmation is supposedly a top reason why some pastors leave the ministry. I like using TV clips or movies as illustrations for lessons I'm teaching--it is one way I can build connections with my students. I ask kids what they are watching--and I try picking up a show or two, a movie or two in order to learn a little about their media diet. I picked up a real guilty pleasure with the OC, and now I've tried "House" at the behest of my latest confirmation class. OC deserved an A-minus, House is probably a B.

Most of the shows I watch are for social connection, not because I necessarily think they are quality productions. I would place 4 shows on a list that do not require a social connection to watch--my personal favorites:

Daily Show
Colbert Report (though my 2 year old asks to watch him with me--in addition to calling him "Colbert," she also calls him "Bartlett Pears (a Colbert joke).")
Big Love
Friday Night Lights

Thank you, Hulu, for providing me access to 3 out of 4 of these shows. Thanks, brother, for passing on Hulu to me. And sorry, sucka, to my brother in Canuckville, who can't access Hulu. As far as I am concerned, the only drawback to living in Canada--no Hulu.

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