A pink taxi

A pink taxi

June 28, 2011

TV Habits

TV has never been a constant in my life. I was a 70s child and I don't remember TV in my early childhood.

In the 80s, there only was Channel 33 in Dubai and its programming began at 5 or 6pm. During the rest of the day,  it was assumed people had better things to do than watch TV!

At age 10, I discovered Saturday morning cartoons in the USA. My siblings indulged, I barely watched. My first real show was Eight is Enough, a weekly program about a large family. On our way to school, we used to speculate about what would happen in the next episode. My parents watched Dallas with intense interest, but they rated it as unsuitable for kids, and that was there relaxed time away from the kids in front of the box.  (Remember TVs were boxes without remote controls back in the day!)

I was familiar with the sticoms The Love Boat, Give me a Break, Happy Days and Different Strokes. ButI picked up information about these shows from school, rather than because I myself watched them regularly.  I was a bookworm and preferred reading.

When I was in college, I did become addicted to the populalr show Beverly Hills 90210 and soon after that came Melrose Place. Aaron Spelling produced something that was addictive in the nineties.

But media entertainment has come a long way since the Nineties. There are so many different tv shows to choose from, cable channels, and reality tv (which I hate!). In this new century of easy gratification, you can buy a box of dvds of any TV program you fancy, oldies or the latest. I admit I have watched Lost, 24, True Blood (I wrote a post!) and my favorite Gossip Girl.

Just yesterday, on Emirates airlines, I watched at least 8 sessions of Gossip Girl in a row, in an O.D. craze, while my kids played video games and proved they could finally self-entertain themselves now. "Mind numbing" is what a friend thought when I informed her of my splurge in Upper East Side Manhatanite college kids life style. The accessories, the evening wear, the hairstyles, the glitz! But then what would she think of a certaina relative of mine who watched 24 in twenty four hours straight. That suspensful series is supposed to happen in real time, each ticking minute represents a real minute!

My children don't have the TV as a constant in their lives either. We have a screen to watch DVDs once in a while, (we traded our box in Geneva just last year), and we don't even have cable in Dubai. In Geneva, during the Summer vacation, they make up for lost time however, and watch all the French programs: the silly competitive ones, like Fort Boyard, which consists of teams running daring physical competitions, in search of treasures, or reality shows like Top Chef.

One show that we watch together as a family is the infamous, "Journal de 20 Heures", the 8pm evening news. We also indulge in "spectator sporting" for tennis grand slams and soccer, during the World Cup or Euro Cup.  As of recently, the TV is frequently on MTV, delivering musical vibes throughout the apartment. Just a sign that my eldest son is nearing teenagehood.....


  1. You know, before I had my three girls I was similiarly against TV as it over stimulates and stops kids from playing and exploring. After one of them locked a nanny in the bathroom, which I attribute to a keen boredom in the 110 degree heat and 80% humidity of Dubai I have Barney, Teletubies, Baby Einstein, Fimbles, Bimbles, and whatever else I can get my hands on playing on that TV whenever and however they want it. Ideal? No. Realistic? Absolutely. All Hail TV!

  2. As a torture that I enjoy during my long summers in France is watching the all-French TV cable programs with no English speaking channels.Arte is my favorite(the PBS equivalent),then Canal + news with its political satires.
    My second torture is getting summer subscription to Le Monde,my daughter's only source of political insight.
    Being an anglophone,who never studied French,I acquired some through my over quarter of a century of French summers.Of course I came closer to the language, having sent my children to the French lycee.Despite all,I still get 50% of the TV and may be 25% of Le Monde.But these are the challenges of life.My mother used to say,every language is equivalent to a passport.