Elizabeth Davies: Without J.J. Abrams, TV is not worth watching
My name is Elizabeth, and I’m addicted to J.J. Abrams.
In case you aren’t similarly afflicted, Abrams is the man behind television shows such as “Lost” and “Alias,” plus movies including “Mission: Impossible 3.” If his name is in the credits, there’s a good chance I’m going to be sucked in.
All things Abrams have been on hiatus this summer, making a typically bleak summer viewing schedule all the more depressing. The television outlook has been so grim, in fact, that I haven’t watched anything other than whatever happens to be on the gym television while I’m on the treadmill.
Just last spring, I refused to take on any new television shows because my viewing schedule was full. I watched three shows each week without fail, and I truly felt that my I.Q. score would go down if I added even one more hour of television to the lineup.
But now? Our television watching habits have declined to such a point that I can go weeks without changing the channel. It’s permanently on PBS, home of Elmo and Curious George.
Some say that less television is a good thing. According to The Nielsen Co., the average American watches 35 hours of television per week. That’s practically a full-time job. Imagine what we could accomplish if we poured even half of those hours into something productive.
My 1-year-old is a prime example: She refuses to be baby-sat by Elmo. Instead, she rips around the house like an 18-pound Tasmanian devil, leaving a path of destruction in her wake. I might see that as counter-productive, but to a toddler, that is Mission: Accomplished.
Strangely, though, I look back at my summer without television and wonder what exactly I did with all that time. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t gotten anything done.
It seems that I’m more productive when I have a television show to watch. Consider the following evidence:
The Christmas stocking I began sewing for my daughter last year is still sitting unfinished and waiting for the fall television season to kick off.
Since I only iron while watching television, my pile of wrinkled clothes threatened to take over the closet until my mother took pity and set up the ironing board.
I seldom munch while watching television. But I do tend to snack while I’m in the kitchen — a place where I’ve spent a few extra hours peeling, prepping and slicing the vegetables from our weekly summertime farm share.
Given the rate of my growing overdue library fines, I have not spent more time with a book this summer.
Thankfully, the fall television schedule debuts in less than a month — and it includes a new J.J. Abrams series. Good thing, because I can’t keep putting off organizing the family photo album.
So thank you, Mr. Abrams. It’s comforting to know I’ll be able to put my time to good use again.
Contact Elizabeth Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org.