My love, the moving pictures

I loved movies I watched as a kid way more than I’ll ever love a movie now, as an adult. But I love TV shows now way more as an adult.

This is just a function of changing circumstances. When I was a kid, we had the movies we liked on VHS and DVD, and we could only afford some, so it wasn’t a huge library. Especially when we switched to DVD. Those first few years we had DVDs, I think we mostly watched the same five or six movies on endless repeat.

I absorbed movies because they were always playing in the living room while I hung out, doing other things. Or because I was lying on the carpet in front of the TV, actively watching a box that could have killed me if the Hand of God managed to shove it off the plywood tv stand.

Also, going to the theater was a major family ritual. It wasn’t (and still isn’t now) weird for us to watch movies we loved repeatedly in the theater.

I just don’t do that anymore. The pandemic put me off theaters. I only watch a movie with my full attention if it manages to earn it while I’m crocheting and drawing. At least, that’s how it’s going right now. You can get a *lot* of movie by primarily listening to it. I’m always most interested in writing and structure, and you hear a lot of that.

So I don’t love movies the way I used to, but it’s way easier to love TV now because it’s more accessible. The main TV show that was “My Show” was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I managed to watch every single episode once, except the one with Cordelia and football Frankenstein, which I know existed because I also read books about the production of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Being able to see a TV show in its entirety was a feat back then. We absolutely did not own all the early seasons on DVD, so I had to catch up on reruns while watching every new episode as it aired.

I recently went back to watch Buffy. I didn’t get into it at all, and I didn’t remember much of anything after the first couple seasons. This was My Show, something I put *so* much effort into watching, and I didn’t click at all.

On the other hand, the streaming era means I’ve watched the TV show Community seven times in its entirety, Elementary four times, Voyager and DS9 twice apiece…

It probably seems insane to watch that much TV in such a volume (it is), but it means getting a years-long overview of a television show, which is absolutely fascinating, and often the things that shape it *aren’t* in the writing. You can google to learn all about the horrible, toxic work environment that Community came out of, including details unlikely to be in a book about it, and you can grasp the whole thing (story and production) in a way that I never could have dreamed as a kid.

I wonder how my relationship with visual media is going to change as I grow. There are whole formats I still don’t even touch, which means that the world is accruing more classics for me–somewhere in an entirely new realm, like soap operas, or YouTube, or *something*–and my life is going to change in some way that might bump me against them. I get excited thinking about what I don’t predict. Even if I’m completely over Buffy the Vampire Slayer now.

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