Monday, May 19, 2008

reality tv

life on tv is so interesting.  even mundane life is fascinating.  if it wasn't, it wouldn't be on tv (granted, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary on that point, but now is not the time).  
tim is a big fan of scrubs, and since he watches it a lot, i tend to see it, too.  the show does an excellent job of looking at the challenges each of us face, be it difficulties of work, the quest for love and the ensuing paradoxical relationships, loneliness, or just finding our place in our own lives.  the caveat is that, despite dealing with essentially real problems, because the people in the hospital have both writers and an audience, their struggles seem so much more interesting, exciting, and noble.  seeing zac braff get chewed out by dr. cox is very funny; watching him and his best friend celebrate their minor successes is cool; and his narrations over the pains of loneliness seem so profound, while our own lives look bland by comparison.  their trials look fun. ours, not so much.
so easy it is to get caught up in it, wishing that our lives were exciting like that.   but not even exciting because we're hunting down terrorists by ourselves, or becoming the next media pop sensation; tv can polish even everyday life just enough to make us wonder why our lives don't glisten like that.  it's easy to get caught by the sparkle.
if fabrications can be this interesting, then what about the original? our joys are true; our loneliness is sincere; our stories continue on.  if it's ok for our tv friend to fall short, to feel lost, then so much the more for us and our friends.
what i do love about scrubs, and what i think gives it its strength and reason to keep watching it is not the comedy (although it has given me more moments of genuine out-loud laughter than any show in a long time) but their honest admission that all of us are, so very often, just barely making it through each day.  and that the only reason we haven't collapsed in on ourselves is because of the people around us.  no matter how together some of us may seem, there probably isn't as much as strength as is displayed, and the stability that we do have comes from the people standing on either side of us, in front of us and behind us.  that's really cool.
but now it's time to turn off the tv.

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