Last night I admitted to being a Once Upon a Time fan. What makes this admission brave is that I admitted it to someone who was involved in a rousing discussion on the excellence of a particular cult favorite cable show. I almost bit my tongue, but then thought “whatever.” I like what I like and I’m not embarrassed. While I was pleasantly surprised that this person was fine with my confession, it has been a more common experience that people who consider themselves “artistic” exhibit snobbery regarding main stream entertainment.
Let me put this out there: I watch General Hospital daily, I blog about the Bachelorette, I love Survivor, Once Upon a Time, and Suburgatory. I don’t have cable. With a digital antenna and Tivo, I haven’t felt the need. I can find everything I want to watch on broadcast TV or the internet. I like romantic comedies, and sometimes really cheesy adventure films. It doesn’t have to win an Oscar or an Emmy for it to be my new favorite experience, in fact most of my favorites don’t.
I dislike when people put down my shows for lack of “artistic” quality, or the fact that they’re too simple or have been done before! Entertainment…hmmm…I see the word entertain in there. Yes, television and movies can change society and the world. Yes, television and the movies sometimes have the responsibility to educate. But for the vast majority of people, television and movies are entertainment that allows escape from the doldrums of daily life.
I want to watch people fall in love, be saved, die, get hurt, forgive each other, and seek revenge. In my daily life I don’t tend to see much of that. I want to watch it somewhere safe where I can experience things but not on such a level I can’t sleep after watching it. And if “artistic” endeavors give you that experience then all the more power to them and you, but don’t think that what I felt when I cried at the Huntsman’s death on Once Upon a Time was any less important or different from when you cried at The English Patient. Don’t think that my experience of Allie and Noah’s love in The Notebook or Jack and Rose in Titanic is any less of an emotion than yours when you watched Casablanca.
Good entertainment elicits a feeling of communion with what you’re watching. Just because I easily commune with shows that don’t push the envelope doesn’t make me any less a connoisseur than you. In fact, I think it gives me an edge because I have infinitely more chances of finding something good to watch!