If there's anyone I can't stand, it's people who wander up to a conversational group talking about a TV show and intone "Oh, I don't even own a television," then recline upon their own insufferable smugness. Look, just go read Recherche du Temps Perdu as translated into Navajo or something, will you? We get it. You're our intellectual superiors. Let us go back to talking about the B-plot on Friday Night Lights.
I agree with the recent cliche that we're in another golden age of television — particularly with the addition of cable as a dominant player, the last decade has seen a flood of high-quality, sophisticated, literate, well-written, and gripping and/or hilarious shows.
But there's no denying that television, to swipe and modify E.B. White's famous comparison, is like humor or frogs — it does not benefit from being picked apart. In fact, nearly everything on television suffers badly from close analysis. A good show is a windswept romance, not a stable long-term relationship. I'm not saying that you can only enjoy TV if you are dumb — though it certainly helps in many cases. I'm simply saying that examining its premises too closely will spoil your enjoyment. That doesn't mean its a uniquely crass or stupidity-inducing form of entertainment. Have you closely analyzed the lyrics to your favorite song recently? No, it simply means that if you're going to watch TV with a skeptic's eye, you're going to wind up disappointed or, possibly, freaked out by the hidden premises.
One of the best places to observe this phenomenon is the blog Overthinking It. Today, they take on Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars, illuminating a level of dramatic irony that borders on the grotesque. My eight-year-old LOVES this show, but I don't think I can watch it again without shuddering now. Enjoy!
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017