For some people, it's the first thing they turn on in the morning. For some, it stays on all day. For some, all night.
For some it's the soaps or serials that Simply Cannot Be Missed. It's just not the same watching a rerun the following morning. It would be like eating cold pizza. Oh, the rerun might be watched too, but that fresh first showing, oftentimes with extra cheese, can't be missed.
Sometimes the TV is a babysitter who can turn hyperactive children turn into placid zombies who can go without blinking for extraordinarily long periods of time while their parents reassure themselves that this lesser evil is for the greater good.
Sometimes it's company. Voices .. actors, musicians, news reporters .. men, women, children, animals .. the good, the bad, the ugly .. it doesn't matter what, as long as it cuts into the silence of loneliness.
Sometimes it's crowd control, because it's easier to watch a screen than it is to go out and be part of something else, whether that's a sporting event or a riot.
Sometimes it's journeys - into the past, onto an African savannah, behind the scenes or where the action is.
But whatever it is, it does something for us, takes us away or distracts us or just fills the time between one day and the next.
I'm not addicted to it, no, not me. I could easily live without it, but I like having it around. I like my serials and comedies and movies, and voices coming from the other room. I like the vampires and the impossible stunts and the surprisingly good-looking forensic scientists. I like everything except the ads (but that's another story.)
But what I like most is that inbetween all the channels and cacaphony, I sometimes find little poetic pearls of wisdom that I consider good enough to scrawl on my designated scrawling wall. (Yes I really do have one, and highly recommend the concept). And I thought I'd share them with you:
"Your job is to be yourself. And my job is to love you, no matter what."
- the father of Kurt (who is gay), on an episode of "Glee"
"We're all scared. If you're not scared, you're not paying attention."
- Dr. Bailey, on "Grey's Anatomy"
"One day you wake up and you find that you don't mind carrying it around with you."
- Detective Kate Bennett, on "Castle"
(she was talking about coming to terms with her grief and trauma over her mother's murder)
"Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going."
- Agent Rossi, on "Criminal Minds"
TV may be the "opium of the masses", but sometimes it has a healing touch.