What Jackie is thankful for
But sometimes it's the everyday things which we take for granted -- things like entertainment and television -- which get overlooked. I've been a reading fanatic and a television fan all of my life. Without those two mind diversions, my life would be very different ... perhaps not a good different.
So when I heard I had a chance to write about what I'm thankful for in (or on) television, I jumped at it.
Here are five things I'm thankful for in television:
1. I think I may be most thankful for the memories. Thinking back to the days of my childhood, one of my strongest television-related memories is sneaking out of bed to watch through the staircase banister rails as my parents watched shows which were past my bedtime -- thus a forbidden world of television.
In my misbehavior, I discovered shows like the original The Fugitive with David Janssen, the early days of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and so many more. In attempt to relive the memories I bought season one of The Fugitive on DVD upon its release. Now if I only had a staircase so I could watch it through the rails ...!
3. I'm definitely thankful for cable television. Definitely. When I was growing up, we lived in a few different states. When I was in the New York City area, there was an array of television stations we could get. Hey, we could get a good seven channels ... seven, count 'em! However, at my grandparents in the wilds of upstate New York near the Vermont border, only a snowy Albany CBS affiliate would come in ... sometimes. When I first moved to New Jersey, I was atop a "mountain" (read that as a New Jersey hill) and could receive Philly, New Jersey, and New York stations without cable. Then in 2001, I moved a couple miles away and the WTC transmitters came down with the towers at the same time. So, I went back to cable and I'm thankful I did. Unlike the cable company I last had used in Connecticut, my cable's never gone out here except when the power itself has gone out during storms.
4. I'm thankful for Mary Tyler Moore's first Christmas on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. You know the one -- "Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid." She was the new kid at the station and volunteered to work so that everyone else could enjoy the holiday. She watched television and swirled to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker. She imagined a killer on the elevator, but couldn't call the police until the killer actually arrived. In the end, all of her co-workers and friends showed up and it was warm fuzzies time.
I wasn't out on my own at that time, but I knew I wanted to be a career woman just like Mary Richards. In my fantasy life, I'd have my own apartment, my career, and a bunch of adult friends who were as thoughtful as her co-workers were. Um ... well, I did get a J I have on my wall just like she had her M. But my apartments over the years and my co-worker relations haven't always been quite MTM-ish. However, I still watch that episode every year and fantasize that it's my life. How thrilled was I when I found the episode available on AOL Television! I'm thankful I won't have to drag out my ancient videotape of the show this year. I also found Lost in Space on Hulu on AOL. I'll have to make Hulu on AOL 4(a) of this thankful list!
5. I'm thankful that television often allows me to escape from the realities of everyday living similar to reading a good book. I can visit faraway places, follow adventures well beyond the realm of my own little world. I can peek in on murder mysteries without getting any blood on the duvet or on my shoes. I can follow space sagas in distant galaxies without gasping from the lack of oxygen. I can visit the Old West without having to be in a duel at dawn. I can watch heroes save the cheerleader, save the world or just watch David Letterman be himself. All in all, it's all an escape for me. It may be called the boob tube, but television has often inspired me on a creative or imaginative level as much as reading. On the whole, television has enriched my life and I'm thankful the medium exists ... aren't you?