Why We Watch TV Shows

Think of your favorite TV shows. I’m pretty sure you’ve got a list. Now think of why you watch these TV shows. For some of you, it’s going to be hard to find an answer. You probably shrugged your shoulders, or responded with something lame like, “Just like that” or “Because it’s fun or whatever”. Some of the biggest reasons why people watch TV shows are reasons that they will conceal with all their strength. They’ll give you reasons like they like the characters, or because the storyline is great, or (the most unbelievable explanation of all) that they get to learn a lot from the TV show. Think about it. Do you know who writes your favorite TV shows? Who directs them? Whose idea it all was in the first place?

Oh, before I forget, this post has a more button at the bottom of it, so in case you think it’s short and abruptly over, click the ‘More’ button to read further in.

Everyone likes to call themselves a fan of Christopher Nolan because they thought The Dark Knight was cool and well, since everyone intelligent seems to be saying Inception was a good movie, hell, even they’ll say it was! Even though they couldn’t make out head or tail of the movie. Ask them why they liked the movie, and their response will be, “The movie makes you think. That top in the end, did it stop spinning or not?” Poke a little deeper, and you’ll find that you’d have a better chance of getting a response out of a cow than from this so called Nolan fan.

Matthew Perry after he saw Inception

Chandler Bing everyone. Probably one of the most liked characters to ever appear on television. Everyone liked Chandler for his sarcasm, his witty remarks, his expressions and just the way he’d blink at Joey at times. Did anyone ever think about what the writer was thinking about his character when he decided that Chandler, the have fun all the time, not serious about life guy falls in love? Falls in love so much that he is willing to change so much about him and get married? A complete character flip. Did anyone ever label Chandler as courageous? That’s probably the last word that comes to mind when you think of him. Of course, he ran off before the wedding and gave everyone a scare, but once he came back and cracked a joke at a baby t-shirt, everyone hears the joke, laughs, good ol’ Chandler is back and let’s get on with it.

Chandler Bing, is an example in the TV show Friends about how a person, because of love, can change so drastically, turn his life inside out. If you’re one of those people sitting there thinking, yes, I thought about all this, then that’s great. You’re one of the few people who actually looks into shows. Chandler is hardly a fitting example for a deep character inspection though.

So why do we watch TV shows? What is the reason that most people watch TV shows these days? I’ll draw up a list for you.

  1. So that when everyone else talks about TV shows, you don’t feel left out.
  2. So that you can go and ‘like’ everyone and everything about that TV show on Facebook to make your profile look cooler, and shout out, “Hey! I watch this TV show! It makes me cool!”
  3. When someone tags you as a particular character in a TV show in a photo, you have a general idea what they think of you.
  4. Everyone knows it’s cool to watch TV shows. Psh, you don’t watch Lost? Loser.
  5. It’s considered a status symbol these days. [Making point 4 stronger]

I think it’s pretty ridiculous. Sure, TV shows are all about the thrill and the entertainment, but if you’re spending days on end watching TV shows one after the other you have got to think a little more about it don’t you? You’re dedicating so much time to it, putting up posters of these people on your walls, and surely it has to be for a reason greater than that they’re just ‘cute’?! A lot of thinking goes behind a TV show. There’s a writer, someone with an idea of the entire TV show who puts it all down on paper. Someone who through his life, has learned a lot, and has sketched various characters out and puts them all together for it to mean something.

Information. Most people laugh when I say this, but TV shows are a huge information resource. Watching a TV show (and then doing what a person should do) does not only make you smarter, it also increases your chances of doing well it the world and not sounding like a complete dumbass when you’re older and people around you talk about things other than what happened with Marshall on How I Met Your Mother and whether Susan got back with Mike on Desperate Housewives.

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24

I’ll prove my point with 24, one of the most watched television shows. For a 24 fan, the Counter Terrorism Unit, or CTU, goes hand in hand with the show. It’s where everything happens, it’s where Jack Bauer is always drawn back to and it forms the backbone of the show 24. I have a question for you guys. Does the CTU really exist in real life? Does the USA have a division called the CTU? It should right? You low-waist wearing 24-watching awesome dudes scratching your heads and shrugging your shoulders?

Wrong. There is no such thing as the CTU. The United States has something called the NCTC, National Counterterrorism Center. Additionally, there also exists the Counterintelligence Field Activity Agency. Sorry if I shattered your dreams of the CIA, CTU and FBI handling terrorist activity and tracking systems in the US. How many 24 fans actually took the pains of finding this out? If you’re an American citizen, and tomorrow someone from another nation comes and asks you who tracks and stops terrorist activity in the US, what will you say? The CTU? Or worse yet, “Uhh.. the Government dude”. How absolutely retarded are you going to look? After all that’s happened, after all the recent terrorist activity in the country and the WTC calamity, is that what you should be saying to someone?

What about us Indians? Who tracks anti-terrorism activity in India? I bet most Indians feel we don’t even have such a division. Isn’t it? Oh, so we do have one? Well what’s it called then? Where is it?

The Anti-Terrorism Squad or ATS, headquartered in Mumbai takes care of all that. If you don’t know this, and if you’ve seen ‘A Wednesday’, you should probably go get your ears cleaned out and then spend a day locked in your room deep in thought about what you expect from life.

For all of you who’ve watched the TV show Lost, what do you think the show has taught you? How to survive on an island? I bet you’ve forgotten half the things they did to survive out there. Prison Breaks fans, how about you? What did you learn from Link the Sink Burrows? Perhaps one day, we should all sit down and dissect a TV show and see the kind of things you can learn and pick up from them. You’d be surprised at the kind of answers you get. Each character, each scene, every TV show has thousands of things you can learn from and implement in your life.

But who cares right? It’s just a TV show.

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2 comments

  1. devyani · August 8, 2010

    intro -> great as always !
    “Oh, before I forget, this post has a more button at the bottom of it, so in case you think it’s short and abruptly over, click the ‘More’ button to read further in.” -> awesomely good style to add humour and sarcasm in the post !

  2. Constance · September 15, 2013

    Truly when someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to
    other users that they will assist, so here it happens.

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