Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

If it’s reality, then why’s it on TV?

I am one of those people who enjoys not having a TV. In fact, I would happily give up my TV right now. Don’t touch my internet, don’t touch my books or trashy magazines, but my TV? I won’t miss it.

I’ve only felt differently once in my life; shortly after arriving in Morocco, it occurred to me that, without something besides my ten or so English-language books to amuse me at night, I was going to be awfully bored. I couldn’t easily meander around the streets at night as I’m wont to do here, and Meknes doesn’t exactly have a booming cultural scene.

And so I caved and, four months in, got myself a TV, numerique, and satellite dish.

And oh, it was heaven, at first. I could check out CNN before work to see what the world was up to, the BBC and Al-Jazeera were at my fingertips, and CBS’ nightly news broadcast was shown live. I could catch up on Scrubs and old episodes of Friends, and enjoy around-the-clock movies in my native language.

After two years though, the constant barrage of Dr. Phil’s nonsense began to drive me crazy. Even Rachael Ray’s screaming-sausage-like persona began to irk me. I had to kick the habit (and so began our quest for great DVDs, a story for another day).

So in September when we arrived in the U.S. and hooked up our TV, I was delighted to learn that the previous tenants hadn’t turned off their (very) basic cable. This way, I wouldn’t have to spring for any TV, but Hamza wouldn’t be denied his basic right to watch sitcoms (and of course, I too could enjoy the occasional episode of Family Guy or Two and a Half Men.

But of course, good things only last for so long and last month, when we decided we finally needed to pay for internet (read: our neighbor’s wireless suddenly went on lockdown), we found that getting cable along with it was most cost-effective.

And so, my friends, this is how I found myself watching staring with a horrified look on my face at VH1’s Rock of Love.

1 Comment

  1. Ugh! My sister and brother-in-law watch Rock of Love all the time. I don’t understand why. And they get so into it too! Pure mind numbing crap is all it is.

    I think I could fair pretty well without a TV as well. I hardly ever watch mine except for the occasional movie.

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