Ways of Watching (television)

Speaking as someone born in the 1960s in England, we had a black & white television and a choice of just three channels BBC1, BBC2 and ITV (Thames during the week and LWT at the weekend). Now the world is my oyster. More channels than I know what to do with and what’s more the ability to become my own scheduler, series recording with a click of the button. That’s Match of the Day sorted.

Memories of childhood TV viewing in no particular order – being bored but mesmerised by relentless watching of cricket with Jim Laker and John Arlott saying practically nothing, watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus for the first time and not understanding it, and being amazed how green the grass was when the man from DER brought our first colour television over and switched it on and horse racing came up.

Nowadays, I am less amazed and tend to take the amazing flexibility of modern TV for granted. Indeed, I don’t really watch it in the normal way (if there is a normal way these days). My watching seems to come in two distinct forms. I either ‘watch’ TV as wallpaper or I binge watch drama series. Unfortunately I have an addictive personality and when each episode leaves me on tenterhooks I have to watch the next, and, unlike the old days I don’t have to wait for a week, I have a whole series or two to devour until the very early hours of the morning.

Right! I’m off now to go to sleep with an audiobook or maybe a podcast on in the background.

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