The appeal of TV ?

So… what is so interesting about TV that it is worth watching every day? Am I the only one who can’t get emotionally involved in any shows? Does anyone else think it’s strange when people talk about fictional characters as if they were real?

The whole phenomenon is weird to me. The only thing I can watch is some movies and cartoons… even then, I tend to require a good amount of alcohol in my system before I can enjoy them.

Enlighten me, please.

Can’t explain or understand the appeal myself, for the most part.

There’ve been a few TV shows that I was interested in sporadically. Newsradio was one, and I’ll admit I was addicted to Star Trek:TNG. I’ve seen a couple episodes of Third Watch, West Wing and Law & Order that made me say to myself, “Self, this looks intriguing, and you oughta watch it to see what happens next” but for some reason, I can’t seem to keep anything like a TV program schedule in my head, and even when I do remember that something is on, I usually can’t maintain interest long enough to not do something else.

This becomes a real problem when I try to talk to my sister, for whom West Wing matters a LOT.

My husband is the TV addict in the house. My viewing has dropped considerably in the last few months. Before we did our remodeling, I was glued to HGTV. Now that the work is done, I don’t even watch that any more.

I’ll occasionally turn on Comedy Central for stand-up shows, and I’ve been known swivel my chair away from the computer if there’s a movie on that I want to see, but mostly, I don’t watch. There are no series I feel compelled to follow. I have never watched a “reality” show. I don’t follow sports. I don’t even use it as background noise.

I suspect it’s because the quality of most programming leaves much to be desired.

It’s a form of storytelling - something people have been doing forever. TV can serve the same purposes that storytelling always has: exploring new ideas, reinforcing cultural values, passing information, connecting with the other audience members, and pure entertainment. At its base, it has the same appeal that oral storytelling, fiction writing, movies, and theater have. It’s a different medium, and has different conventions and rules than the other forms have - but it’s still about telling a story.

Which is not to say that there aren’t bad stories on TV and wretchedly awful story tellers on TV. And it’s still too new for much of the drek to have been filtered out. But good TV can be worth the half hour/hour it takes to watch it.

I have never been a rabid consumer of TV entertainment, as I didn’t have one from 1976 to 1991. After that, I watched it to catch up with some things I missed, and amass a videotape collection. When I’ve tried to watch what they show in prime time, none of it seems to have appealed to me. I can’t get interested in shows about whiny, self-absorbed yuppies; or the tracking down weirdos who kill people; soap operas of any stripe, sports or the new genre of reality television. The most TV I see in a day is during supper, when we watch either the Food Network or HGTV. Occasionally I see something on Comedy Central. Other than that, it never occurs to me to go see what’s on and veg in front of the set for hours. The fact that I didn’t have TV to watch for 15 years probably has a lot to do with it. I don’t go around decrying its vapidity, I just don’t watch it. I have lots of other stuff to do!

I’m only a TV addict during the summer, when I have no school, and during “Alias”, of course. It appears to me that a lot of teens my age watch a surprisingly high number of hours (but then again, I spend more time on SDMB :smiley: ) watching TV. It’s most likely because their brains are so fried during school and they just need something that will allow them NOT to think. Or something like that.

I’ll watch the Daily Show almost religiously but other than that I do not get into TV. An exception to this is whenever there is a show I actually enjoy like Futurama, Andy Richtor, or some other cancelled show on Fox. Other than that, I keep the TV tuned to the Independent Film Channel for background noise. Even if I don’t like television shows, I absolutely love movies.

once Farscape, Futurama, and Family guy were unceremoniously given the axe, by the idiotic suits at skiffy and fox, respectively, there was nothing i found worth watching, i dropped my cable back to bare-bones and kept my 3 MB cable internet connection (i would deop cable tv altogether, but apparently charter requires you to have at least bare-bones cable

i haven’t watched TV in, oh…4 months, and i don’t miss it, i have my DVD’s and broadband and that’s all i need

Every day? Only worth watching the news (but I’m addicted). Otherwise it’s just a question of finding the few good programs on the tube…

I grew up with a very limited amount of TV. My parents were very strict about age limits, so when everybody in my class was watching Dallas, the TV at home would be switched off or in channel 2 (there were only two channels back then).

During college, I lived in a dorm with 69 other girls and found myself part of the 17-girls minority who would rather watch Willow (by only the third time) than the 5th rerun of a 90210 episode.

Lived with no TV during 6 years, didn’t miss it. Bought a computer with DVD drive so I’d be able to watch movies in the computer.

The only reason I own a TV right now is for when the family comes to visit.
All that said, I plan on getting cable next time I move: the basic package includes channels in Italian, Portuguese, French, three different kinds of English and German, so it’s a way to keep my language skills sharp.

Well out of movies, music, literature and TV, I think that music and TV are the easiest media in which to find art reliably and consistently. Both also require the smallest commitment of time and money to find really good work. I can listen to radio or watch TV for free and, if I don’t like something within 30 seconds, turn it off.

I have yet to see a movie that has as many laughs as 4 episodes of a quality TV comedy.

And TV has sports.

I didn’t own a TV for about a year and then 9/11 happened and I rented one the next morning.

My husband loves TV, he works hard and really likes to veg out on the couch with his beloved sports and trashy reality shows. He knows he is sort of being numbed out, but TV is a way for him to decompress after a long day.

For me, the big turn-off is the commercials.
I just cannot stand being held hostage to advertisement.

I like the news but do not watch it daily because I can get news on the internet (or here.)

I haven’t watched television in over 4 years. I gave it up cold turkey. Best thing I ever did. ;j