Saturday, June 27, 2009

BIG TV: to have or not to have?

So, my brother is a TV crazoid.

He has this huge TV that makes me bleary eyed to watch -- I don't know -- if is it 50 inches or 70 inches -- but it's the size of a Toyota Prius. When I visit him at his home, I had to sit in the kitchen to watch the tv in the den that thing is so big.

Last time I visited him (he lives out of state), he was watching a football game (which was in HD before HD tv was so common), and the numbers on the jerseys were two feet tall. I could see the nose hair on some of those players. It was unnerving -- it was like being next to a Clydesdale.


He doesn't have cable or satellite -- he just has the channels you can get with an antenna, and then he spends the rest of the time on Netflicks where he watches old TV shows from the 60s.

Today, he told me that he had just finished watching Mission Impossible. I was like -- the Tom Cruise one? He said, "No, the ones from the 60s that are so lame."

I said, "why?"

He said, "Well, we [meaning my family] didn't see 'em the first time."

I was like, Okay.

Growing up in the mid sixties, my parents, especially my mother, thought TV was evil. Kind of the way the parents of the early twentieth century felt about novels.

You know -- passive attention, no brain growth, full of fantasy, romance, and likely to lead you to commit immoral acts. All of that sitting and staring and wishing to be a tv star was bad for the brain. I now see what it has done to the butt. My mother had such foresight, but I digress.

At one point in my life growing up, the television was broken for two years. The picture tube was broken, and it probably cost 25 dollars to replace, and well, my mother was in no hurry. She was an early caller of it for what it was to her: the idiot box.

Which makes me think of an no longer needed vocation -- the TV repariman.

These dudes would come to your house, take the back off your television, spread the innards across the hardwoods, replace some tubes, check the schematics and voltage charts, and charge fifteen dollars. House calls is what they were.

A whole different world... some savvy people could actually fix their own tvs with parts they bought at a hardware store. I remember stories of my friends' fathers who would put their heads inside the picture box of a tv, fool around with unscrewing this or that, and get shocked. They always survived, or all the ones I know did, but they never walked quite straight again.

Because we never watched tv during the week and even perhaps when the tv was broken, my best friend Marcie, on the walk to grammar school each morning, whose parents "allowed" her to watch tv, would tell me whole episodes of Bewitched of I Dream of Jeanie.

Marcie was so detailed oriented (she could even remember dialogue --I know you have friends like that) that I always felt like I had watched them too, and when other kids would talk about what happened on a tv show, I would act like it was a part of my life too.

I mean, I was in elementary school, you had to be part of the norm or, well, you wouldn't get to play kick ball at recess. You would be relegated to sitting on the unmoving swing, dejected, ostracized, a type of social leper.

I guess all that time on the swings turned my brother into a TV maniac. He is, however, not a slave to what's on tv -- but to the tv itself.

He hates the news; "If it bleeds, it leads," he likes to say, but he loves to watch what he wishes to watch -- and he has never, I mean never, had cable.

When he visits me, he watches C-Span cause "he doesn't have it." *roll my eyes*

Yep, really. I could not make up my brother.

So, he bought himself a TV the size of a small country and watches what he wants when he wants and if he wants, and he's really proud of himself. I told him that I really like this show called Burn Notice, and he said, "well, I'll watch it in a couple of years when it's out on Netflicks; I'm in no hurry."

What was I blogging about?

Oh yeah, my brother has gotten my husband thinking about a bigger tv. My brother told me on the phone today that Costco was running a special on 65 or 70 inch tvs, and that I needed to tell my husband.

I was like 65 inches? As in across?

He said, "duh."

I said, "that will take up one wall."

He said, "Your point?'

I said, "never mind."

Men, they love what they love.

But the more I think about it -- hmmm.... Steve Burton -- 65 inches across and in HD and in my living room.... doesn't seem like that bad of a way to go blind.

It could be worse -- it could be Peter Graves.



  1. We didn't have a tv until 1965. We we finally got one, Bewitched came on too late for me to watch. At least I now know why I was always an outcast. Steve Burton--65 inches--he he.

  2. We didn't have a tv for several years either. Probably why i read so much. Btw, it's "netflix." and my parents watched all the mission impossible episodes that were on there, too. As well as Boston Legal and other shows from the sixties. They tried to get me to watch stuff with them, but I get more recent stuff on hulu.

  3. Thanks, Fred.

    I knew that.
    Only not.

    Spell check no likey,

  4. You've only had this blog for a month, Gillham, and you already have almost 2300 hits.
    And I agree with your mother for the most part, tv is not good for you.

  5. My father insisted on an HD TV for his Christmas present last year. We got a nice 60" behemoth to plop down in front of his bed. Instead of using the HD channels he prefers to watch 1950's sci-fi's and too many Perry Mason episodes. I think he honesty believes HD stands for handme-down quality.

  6. Uh... but then you'd actually have to watch GH!