As in – I don’t relate to that. No connection.
My husband and I watch shows on the television via streaming – we don’t actually have ‘television’ service any more. And it is getting more and more difficult to find anything to numb our brains with in the evening.
We subscribe to any number of streaming services – Hulu Live because my husband likes the local news, because I have an Amazon Prime account, we have access to Prime video, we also subscribe to Netflix (which we have had since back in the day when they mailed you DVDs), Acorn and Britbox. And that’s like saying we have “57 channels and nuthin on” .
Why? Because we are not the demographic entertainment companies are interested in reaching. And because I, personally, have no patience for stupidity or for characters who I consider reprehensible or just plain unlikable or, to put it another way – unrelatable. I don’t want to spend my free time with people I don’t like – be they real life person to person interactions or fictional ones.
Even when I was in the target demographic I had no patience for any shows that featured characters that fell into any of the categories listed above. For example:
Seinfeld – Started in 1989, I was 43, maybe a bit older than the target audience, but I was also single and living in New York City. To me these were the most annoying people ever. I worked with these people, I dated these people and trust me when I say, the characters in Seinfeld were not the least bit fictional.
As I’m writing this and thinking about well known tv shows, I am coming to the conclusion that I was never in the right demographic at the right time. Oh possibly back in the 1950’s I might have been – I was the right age for Howdy Doody!
I want to spend my time with people I care about. Even if those people are often greatly flawed their humanity touches me in some way.
But wait – the real point is – a few posts ago I wrote “The basic pitfalls of being a human don’t seem to change. And the ways to avoid them and deal with their aftermath only change in the particulars.” And that’s where relatability comes in.
I don’t want to watch tv shows or movies dealing with teenage angst – been there, done that. The particular ways have changed, bullying and taunting via apps or the internet vs. bullying and taunting through things like slam books – same feelings, same meanness, just a different delivery system.
20,30,40-something angst – same problems, same feelings as when I was that age, the only difference was in the specifics. Y’all want to talk about ‘Me, too”. Come to Mama honey, the tales I could tell. Or relationships – people don’t change, honest they don’t. Humanity has not evolved – we are still hurting each in the same way now as when we lived in caves. We are still facing the same problems and questions at each stage of life regardless of the century we have lived in.
So I should be relating to all these tv shows/movies, right? No – because – been there, done that, I have no interest in reliving it.
I started out writing a rant about the state of entertainment these days and I circled right back to “ask me if I care’. Back to “been there, done that, nothing changes, you’ll live”. And being inundated by it everywhere I turn.
I’m old. I’m tired. I am no longer licking my wounds, they have scarred over leaving thickened skin. I have a long past and a short future and I simply don’t want to feel your pain, or relive mine. I want nice and fluffy. I want love and kindness and happy endings. I want to laugh with you, not at you.
Love and happiness – as joyful and fragile as a red balloon