Monday, September 19, 2005

No TV is good TV

Did anyone watch the Emmy Awards last night? Yaaawwwn. I watched, but only because I'm the type that likes to make fun of what people are wearing. I'm also the type that tears up even during the lamest acceptance speeches and loves to root for the underdog. Okay, I'm also the type that loves award shows, period. Maybe I was Milton Berle in a former life? But seriously, I've never seen such a jubilant celebration of mediocrity. The golden age of television has long since past, and handing out awards, year after year, to the likes of those insipid dorks on that hideous Ray Romano show, the increasingly freaky William Shatner and the weirdly waxy James Spader, is just bad form.

Watching the Emmy telecast, in all it's tepid, formulaic glory, totally sealed the deal that Mike and I made last week to cancel our cable and toss out the TV. It's time. Mike and I have always been guilty TV watchers; we know it's bad for us, and we don't much like it, but it's there and we're tired and before we know it, we've wasted another night flipping from channel to channel, zoning out on shows that we're overdubbing with our own sarcastic jibes, anyway.

Also, I don't much like the fact that Hazel always wants to know what's on Noggin. I like Noggin for what it is: commercial free programming for the preschool set. But I think that their "It's preschool on TV!" slogan is pushing it just a bit. I had no problem letting Haze zone out when I was pregnant, and I desperately needed a nap, or when Violet was a newborn, and I desperately needed a nap, or a meal, or a shower. But it's becoming routine, for me and for Haze, to turn Noggin on at 9:00, for the adorable "Max and Ruby", and then get sucked in to whatever's on at 9:30, and 10:00, and 10:30. As I sit here typing, Hazel's watching her old pal, "Miffy", and I'm enjoying my second cup of coffee and an hour of writing time. For that, Noggin, I thank you. But I've noticed a direct corrolation between Hazel's increased TV viewing, and an increased inability to entertain herself without the TV. It's harder for her to make games up, and amuse herself with her wooden food, or her dollhouse. After playing for a few minutes, she moves on to something else, then moves on again, and again, and I really think that that is a direct result of spending so much time in front of onscreen images that flicker past her at top speed.

So, for Hazel's benefit, as well as our own, we're pulling the plug. We are literally getting rid of the TV (we have one in our bedroom that we'll use for the occasional DVD in the afternoon/movie at night), and moving Mike's extensive vinyl collection into it's place. We're looking forward to rediscovering music and radio shows and reading aloud and board games. We're not looking forward to missing "Arrested Development" or "The Daily Show". But hey, we've got a DVD player. We'll get by. I'll let you know how it goes... can anyone recommned a good Noggin withdrawl clinic?


Blogger Carlos P said...

dvd in the bedroom. hahahahahhaah.

cute baby #3 is on her way. will her name be fuscia, or lily?

3:09 PM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

We haven't been as drastic, but we instituted a "no tv during the day" policy about 8mo ago. Best thing we ever did. Bunny plays so much more and will all her toys/games/art stuff not just her faves. When the girls are school-age we are going to move to a "tv on weekends only" policy. Don't get me wrong, I love TV, but I have seen how one show rolls into another and before you know it, your kids have been in front of the idiot box for 2 hours...not good.

4:19 PM  
Blogger brookeraymond said...

have you thought about downloading the shows you will miss? we don't have a tv but keep up on the daily show and (and a few others). learn about bittorrent and check out or have fun!

2:09 PM  
Blogger lesley said...

hells yeah! ditching our tv was the best thing that ever happened to me!! we get zero reception, but keep it for the dvd's. i know there is a direct link between my lack of tv and my lack of depression. i salute you!

2:33 PM  
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6:13 PM  

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