Okay, guys, I know I wrote recently about how I don’t “get” romantic love. But there is another type of love that I do get. I’m always the type of person to find pieces of pop culture and fall madly in love with them. Songs I’ll listen to until I can’t hear them ever again, movies I’ll watch until I know every line, hours spent on Tumblr looking at cast pictures and reading what other people have to say about my favorite TV shows. I’m obsessive, and mostly unapologetic about it.
Case in point: I went through a pretty intense “Star Wars” phase (we’re talking posters, action figures, books, an actual lightsaber, a fan club membership… everything). I was ostracized and ridiculed for it (particularly by one “friend” who is actually just a miserable human being) but I always tried to be honest about my obsession. It was the purest kind of love. It made me have swoopy stomach feelings thinking about it, I daydreamed about being a Jedi in class, I drew lightsabers in my notes like girls might write “Mrs. Justin Timberlake” in their notes. I have a framed photo of me standing next to a Darth Vader and R2-D2 made of Legos (it kind of looks like a prom photo, no lie).
Eventually my “Star Wars” fervor cooled down and I became interested in much cooler things. Indie music, classic literature, foreign films, and all that pretentious shit. I was still a pop culture obsessed dork, but I had diversified.
Except for when it comes to television. I am in love with television. I think it is the perfect artistic medium. I think we’re in a Golden Age of television. I think that television is a great way to bring about social justice and understanding. When I picture my perfect job, I picture a job in television. Let me expound on this.
1.) Why is television the perfect artistic medium?
Well, mystery interrogator, television is perfect because of its format. It combines words and visuals (and music and tons of other little bits) in perfect harmony, much like film. But, the structure of a season of television, filled with six to 22 episodes, hopefully followed by one or two more seasons, is perfect. It allows time for tension to build at the end of every episode and every season. Rarely (if ever) can you use a cliffhanger in a book or a single film and maintain that delicious tension that lasts a whole week or longer. I’d say most artists hope that they can stick in the minds of those who consume their work, but those who make TV are almost guaranteed that their viewers will think about their work even after it’s over.
Also, it allows a creator to write and develop wonderful characters and breathe so much life into them. Think about this: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are two of the most recognizable faces in the western world, and yet they can flit from film role to film role and never really have to worry about being “type-cast” because they played one singular iconic role. Now look at Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. You might think, “Who?” Exactly. You might know them better as Kramer and George Costanza from “Seinfeld.” The people they are have become eclipsed by those iconic characters they played, which is sad for their careers, but really speaks to the power of television characters. If you love character (and I do), then TV is the place for you.
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