I was a bookworm as a child. But I was also a telly addict. A total square eyes. Obsessed. Although, let's put that into perspective: in those days, TV was not the 24/7 multi-channel fest it is today. TV during the day-time was mainly children's programmes for schools. No breakfast TV, no day-time soaps. And it shut down at mid-night. To the national anthem, no less.
But the evenings and weekends. Wow. Play School. The Magic Roundabout. Jackanory. Swap Shop. Grandstand. The Two Ronnies. The Generation Game. The list goes on. Good and bad TV. When programmes were showing, I was watching. A total addict.
I don't have a TV any more.
I do, however, have DVDs in abundance. Equally relaxing. Equally addictive. At the moment, I'm addicted to Frasier. Again. Since my accident, I have watched the series three times. The whole series. From start to finish. Eleven seasons in total. Over and over. And over.
It's actually scaring me now. I can recite most of the dialogue. I know what they wear and when. How they move. How they speak. I recently bought some of the scripts of the show to read. I can actually tell you which lines were omitted or changed when the episode was screened. This is bad, isn't it??
But, in my defence, it's one of those TV series that was not only well acted, but was superbly well written. Superb. I laugh out loud watching it now as often as I did when I watched it back home on TV for the first time. More, in fact.
And it's educational. No really. Frasier introduced me to Renata Tebaldi, the opera singer. He improved my understanding of Freud. And taught me about Opus One. Which was particularly useful at my sister's wedding when the host opened a bottle he'd had for over ten years in honour of the newly-weds. I knew what it was. And that I should be impressed. I was. And it was wonderful.
In our school holidays, there used to be a TV programme in the mornings called Why don't you (just switch off your television set and find something much less boring to do instead). I'd say, rather, switch off bad TV. Putting words together to be read or said is an art. Frasier, MASH, The West Wing and others all prove that good writers are out there. Don't settle. You don't accept bad writing in books. Don't accept it on the screen. If it's bad, switch it off. And find something much less boring to do instead...