I just read a New Yorker article about how the Emmys were awful because they were so awkward. That article was wrong.
Bart: TV sucks.
Homer: I know you’re upset right now, so I’ll pretend you didn’t say that.
Look past the fact that this is sexist (or stop here and go write your own blog about how TV is sexist because it’s that too) and think about the meaning behind Seth’s opening monologue from the Emmys.
“I love television. And not just the high-end cinematic stuff we’re honoring tonight, but the low-rent cable series I stream onto a four-inch screen when I’m on the bike at Equinox. She doesn’t play hard to get. She doesn’t demand your full attention. Television has always been the booty-call friend of entertainment. You don’t ever have to ask TV, “You up?” TV’s always up. She’ll happily entertain you while you cook dinner or wrap your Christmas presents. She’s not like that high-maintenance diva, Movies, who wants you to put on pants and drive over to her house and buy forty dollars’ worth of soda. So I’m sticking with TV. Let’s give it up for TV, everyone!”
Now, to put that in positive terms, television is there for you when you need it. Week after week we invite the characters into our homes. We spend years with them. Yes, they abandon us for holidays and the summer but they come into our homes and touch our lives. We get more than 90-minutes, we get more than a trilogy. We get weeks and weeks of getting to know characters, watching them struggle, watching them find love and watching them grow closer to their friends and families.
Sometimes the dang network will take them away too soon, but sometimes the relationship will span years.
I don’t often cry at movies (nope, not even Fault in Our Stars) but I lose all composure when it comes to a series finale–or even a season finale if it’s The Mindy Project. The last episode of Friends ruined the song “Good Riddance” for me and I didn’t even think I was attached to that show. I was not-quite nine years old when Seinfeld finished and I don’t remember the episode but I remember that I felt sad watching it end. I can’t handle these finales…to the point where I still haven’t watched the last episode of 30 Rock because I know it’s going to hurt too much. I heard it’s really good, but I can’t. Maybe if someone holds my hand through the whole thing?
Years. We have known these characters longer than we’ve known some of our real friends. We watched Jim and Pam and Michael and Dwight for eight years. Through the good episodes and the bad we watched on. We watched Rory and Lorelei date all kinds of guys and reference all kinds of pop culture. Even when the writing gets horrible we remain loyal. We’re total suckers for it and we know it, but television gives us so much we can excuse it’s flaws because of all the good it’s given us.
I didn’t get into Lost or Breaking Bad but the rest of the world could not shut up about those shows. They blew people’s minds and changed the way we look at stories and at the world around us. Don’t even get me started about the time I tried to have a birthday the same day as the Lost finale…
The Simpsons were brought into the world the same year I was. I can literally say (and the internet loves when people say things literally) that I grew up on them. I’ve been the same age as Maggie, Lisa, and Bart and I look forward to the day the Simpsons outlive me. We’d gather to watch the new episode as a family every Sunday night and when I was in middle school I’d sit by my friend Hilary on the bus and we’d talk about the episode. No one else’s parents let them watch it but ours knew better. In every episode there were stories, songs, and quotes that won’t be forgotten.
“The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!” – Homer Simpson
So, yes, I love television and I loved the awkward awards show that acknowledged it. Television stars/writers/directors/networks aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves. They give the British actors awards even though they know they won’t show up. Television knows that sometimes it outstays its welcome and sometimes its jokes aren’t funny but it keeps coming back and we keep letting it in. Television is not the booty-call, it’s your best friend. Just admit it already. You love TV even when it’s bad.