I watch too much TV. I’ve always liked it, but I spent some years in early adulthood without a TV so I know I can do that too. Illness and pain got me really stuck on it. When the pain was the worst, I could only lie on my side in comfort and in that position there’s not much you can do for any length of time but sleep or watch TV.
Then as the chronic fatigue settled in I didn’t have energy for much else. So I watched TV. A lot. Since being ill also meant being alone much of the time, the stories and the voices in the room became my companions. Not in the crazy sense that I imagine Mark Harmon knows my name, but because they’re familiar– and easy.
I tend to like character-driven shows where I relate to something about the characters. Eventually I realized that part of what I like about all these familiar characters is that they’re very easy relationships. When you don’t feel well they never try to make you get up and go some place. There’s a lot of conversing but I don’t actually have to contribute anything and no one is offended at my lack of participation. They don’t argue with me, criticize me, out my flaws, become miffed for unfathomable reasons, or expect anything of me. Wow, how great is that?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been blessed with lots of real life wonderful friends who go fun places with me and carry on great conversations and provide the support and true companionship that TV characters can’t offer. I’m just saying sometimes TV characters are very relaxing sorts of friends to have… For the house bound TV fills some lonely spaces. For all the bad things you can say about it – and believe me, I get that there are many– there are some good things too.