I learned a very interesting fact about myself this week and that is the importance that television has on my life. I have a TV on all of the time, even at work (thank you for a job that allows for that) and have certain programs that I faithfully watch. Of course, there are lots of them that I view for a certain period of time and then lose interest in the same old storylines but there are a few that I would never miss. That is why this week I was so excited to know that “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was returning on Sunday evenings and I was devastated to learn that “All My Children” has been cancelled. This was the point where I stopped and realized that TV has such a special, personal influence on me that I had to acknowledge. I have had a special place in my heart for the 8:00 p.m. Sunday night time slot on TV since I was a child. The family would gather around to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney” and I would get goosebumps just seeing Tinkerbell flying by with her magic wand in the opening segment.
It may be that many people think that TV is a “bad” thing for all of us but I have found that television has always expanded my own world. It brings forward issues that are not a part of my world and has helped me to take a better look at all sides of any issue.I was so enamored with each program that was presented and I guess that is why I am so excited about “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” as that program also raises such wonderful emotions in me at the magic that seems to happen for each family who has such tremendous needs that can only be helped by what this program can provide for them. I don’t think that I have watched a single episode where the story of the family being helped hasn’t brought me to tears. And I know that there are many more special stories to be told and many more incredible families that need this kind of unbelievable help that will allow for this show to continue for many, many seasons to come.
On the flipside of my thoughts about my favorite TV shows was the announcement that “All My Children” is being cancelled. I have watched this show faithfully for the last 40 years. It has been my haven through the domestic abuse years, the cancer and all of the other tough times along the way. I continue to record the show every day and I watch it when I arrive home as a way of winding down and separating my personal time from the work time. And I am so disturbed by this announcement that I have, for the first time ever, joined in by signing a petition to keep the show on the air.
Although I tried watching other soaps, I was never drawn in to any of them. With “All My Children”, there are always many storylines evolving over a realistic span of time. There are many issues and relationships that are addressed and the performers are really perfect for their roles. The show is believable. It is unique. And it is the release that I look forward to at the end of the day. This is truly a 40-year habit that I don’t want to break.
It may be that many people think that TV is a “bad” thing for all of us but I have found that television has always expanded my own world. It brings forward issues that are not a part of my world and has helped me to take a better look at all sides of any issue. It provides pure entertainment when I need the break and it showcases the talent of so many individuals. So if you choose to perpetuate the belief that television is just for those who don’t have the taste for the superior things in life like art, the ballet, the theatre and the opera, good for you. You have a right to make your own choices. But if you are like me, you will be thankful for television and the shows that are special to you because this medium has provided me with a look at many worlds that I would not have otherwise known.
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.