Friday, August 29, 2008
Soap Opera vs. Nature Show: Human Stories vs HUMAN Stories
Has anyone out there ever put two spiders in a jar, hoping to see them fight to the death. I sure know I have. Now, I like TV just as much as the next man, but when you turn on the tube you're essentially paying people to do the same thing, an in my future, I'd sure love to see those things. TV shows are like nature shows focused on the animal we find most fascinating: ourselves. Basically, what is the key to the story of any TV show: battles or relationships. Isn't that basically what nature shows are after. I loved to watch nature shows when I was from around 8 to 10. Maybe its because watching animals fight and mate is a less sophisticated version of humanity. Eventually, we move on to watching people do it, and that's how our media works. The more actual day to day life is in a show, the less popular it becomes, with a few exceptions. Maybe the same children who dreamed of wrestling with crocodiles are watching TV staring with great anticipation into what their adult lives could be. And maybe a decade or so later they'll be sitting in front of the tube looking back at what they think their life could have been, or desperately scrambling to salvage it before the onset of aging. Of course what most of them don't realize is that TV is an incredibly condensed version of the interesting parts of life, which is why I sometimes enjoy episodes of a a show where almost nothing happens. Its refreshing. Of course, on a nature show, probably 75% of the time they're shooting is just walking through the jungle looking. But we don't have to look anywhere but the screen. Lucky us!