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February 21, 2005 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

I think Television is super

I think Television is super, and this year I’m going to attempt to enlighten you, the humble Salient reader, as to the wonders of this entertainment medium. But why is Television so super you ask? Well boys and girls, read on.

First of all one of the most important and feared words you will use to describe most of your time at Victoria – ‘procrastination’. We all know it’s bad to leave essays until the night before they’re due, readings till the train ride in before your tute, and study till the frantic 30 minutes before an exam, but we still do it, and always promise never to do it again afterwards. TV is one of the best ways to procrastinate. Hell, I’d rather watch Golf than do anything that even remotely resembles work. There are many ways to procrastinate, but none have the allure of the bright glow of a TV screen. What I have found is daytime TV is a very good way to make your time melt away. A nice array of American sitcoms on 2 and 3, the lunchtime news on 1, and of course the ever attractive Gilmore Girls at 1.30 on TV2 usually keep me occupied for an entire day, and ensure I get next to nothing done.

An escape from reality? Yes please! When life sucks there’s nothing better than sitting back and staring mindlessly at a box for hours on end. Your troubles momentarily melt away as you become enveloped in the latest saga gripping some glossily imperfect American family. Like it or not it’s usually the trashy, poorly scripted shows that are the easiest to watch. This is due to the fact that they are so far from your own reality… Unless of course you have had a relationship with your brother, and are constantly in life or death situations.

There is a notion in society that TV is a source of violence and poor role models for our ‘youth’… I concur. With all the PC bullshit we have to conform to in today’s world sometimes it’s nice to sit back and watch a decapitation or two. One of the most entertaining things to read in the TV Guide each week is the complaints section. You will be amazed to find out how many parents blame TV for their child’s bad behaviour, when most parents owe TV for hundreds of hours of free babysitting.

TV provides endless conversation starters. Instead of ‘how ‘bout that weather?’ you can strike up an intense conversation about how good Scrubs was last night. This type of conversation starter works with most people, and indeed may lead to a very fruitful relationship.

Being that we’re all at Vic for pretty much the same reason (to ‘learn’), I’m sure you will all be pleased to know that TV can actually help you in your study. The History channel provides me with endless hours of interesting docos about well, history. If you don’t have subscription TV at your disposal, TV 1 has some really good Sunday morning docos, and even watching 20/20 will make you feel like you’ve learnt something.

The beauty of TV is that there is something for everyone. Comedy, drama, suspense, sport, infotainment, news and politics are all represented in some way or another. The quality of ‘free to air’ television is slowly increasing, even though homegrown TV seems to be getting worse with every new reality show Touchdown churns out. Shows like Black Books, Arrested Development, Criminal Intent and 6 Feet Under are proving that television can be a viable alternative to a night at the movies. In saying that, there is a lot of shitty TV out there, TV even I wouldn’t watch. I am hoping that I can guide you towards the best shows out there so your TV watching experience is ‘one of great satisfaction’. If any of you have any questions, rants or abuse for me feel free to email: .

TV2, Wednesday, 7.30pm

Part of TV2’s strong Wednesday night lineup, Joey had a lot of pressure on it to perform. The ‘coming soon’ promos ran for weeks before the show aired and created a huge air of anticipation. The new series, with one member of the original cast of Friends, Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc), is a situation comedy through and through. Being a sitcom, Joey follows a simple, tried and true formula: Over-used canned laughter, easy to follow jokes, beautiful people and an unlikely series of events. However, Friends Joey ain’t. While watching the first episode I could not help but think Chandler would pop through the door with a perfectly timed witty jest, but this was not the case. For me Joey lacked any real originality. Sitcoms have been done and done again in the States, leaving little room for awe-inspiring moments of comedy.

Helped by brilliant casting Joey does manage to move past the myriad other sitcoms out there into a slightly higher standard. Drea de Matteo proves herself in a role polar opposite to the character she played on The Sopranos. The ever-hilarious Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s Mom in American Pie) shows her true talent as an experienced comedy actor, especially with lines like “I’d put on a meat skirt and wrestle a lion for you”. LeBlanc, as always, plays the character of Joey with ease bringing the character of the dim-witted ladies man to life once again. Joey is worth watching for the cast, but you will be let down by the predictable and clichéd style of humour. Overall this is an average sitcom with average jokes carried by an above average cast. It receives a solid ‘meh’ from me.


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