Monday, 12 July 2010

'Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs' - My how my tastes have changed!

Very recently I have gotten into, and become rather obsessed with another sitcom. The sitcom of which I speak in case you hadn't already guessed from the title of this blog (which most likely means you don't watch said sitcom) is Frasier.

Yes the year is 2010 and I have begun to view a television programme that is no longer in production, having run from 1993 (the year that I turned 4 years old) to 2004. This got me to thinking last week about how my tastes have changed in the last decade since growing up. I think back to when The Simpsons was my favourite show on the box. I used to laugh from beginning to end of every episode and always looked forward to Sunday evenings when the new episodes would air on Sky One. As the years have past though, The Simpsons has given way in my viewing schedule to a number of other shows that I now deem to be more essential viewing than the comedic yellow family. The show has been running for over 20 years now, so maybe it's a simple case of it having run its course and growing stale. On the off chance that I catch one of the newer episodes, I often find myself feeling that the writers have run out of ideas for Homer and his dis-functional family, or even worse, feel that they may even be trying to rip-off certain other successful animated sitcoms such as Family Guy (which I also seem to have grown a little tired of) or South Park. On the flip side, maybe The Simpsons hasn't become as stale as it seems inside of my head. It could be a simple case of me having overexposed myself to it throughout my life, causing myself to grow bored. It's only recently that I've resumed watching the occasional episode of Friends after having not watched it for a couple of years due to it being shoved down our throats once in a while.

Scrubs is another example of what I am talking about. Back in 2005, which is alarmingly 5 full years ago now, after finishing my GCSE exams, I started following the adventures of JD, Turk, and rest of the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital. It was something new to me despite being on the air for half a decade already at that point, it was fresh and different, and I therefore found it extremely entertaining and soon became obsessed with it to the point that I own all of the boxsets available. I even watched all of the episodes again with the audio commentary on. Yet, as the years have passed, and I have learnt much of the memorable dialogue spawned from Scrubs, the show has faded into the background to the extent that I haven't watched any of the DVDs in over a year now, and quite often opt to watch something else if it's on TV. I do still like Scrubs, I love it in fact, but right now I feel I need to distance myself from it as I did with Friends so that I may enjoy it again in the future. When the newest series is released on DVD, I will once again join, and enjoy the company of the Scrubs cast.

So currently Frasier is sitting in my DVD player. That's right, I went out and bought the boxset, all 11 series spanning 44 discs. That's how into it I have gotten. What got me really thinking though, is that if I'm enjoying it this much at moment, then how come I was never a fan of it before. At first I felt that the reason was most likely due to the sophisticated and intellectual level of the script. Maybe I simply didn't get that kind of humour a few years back, after all I have changed an awful lot the last few years what with becoming a 'man' and all. I now believe though that the scripting of the show and the level of intellect is at most only a part of the reason, the main reason is simply the due to the sheer amount of media available to us in this day and age.

Back when my parents would have been my age, near enough everybody could have spoken to each other about the television shows that they watched the previous night, as there would have been a good chance that they would have watched the same thing. I said when my parents were my age, but in fact, this was also common in the early years of my life. There were less than a handful of television channels, and no internet in anyone's household. Today though, we have all sorts of media and multimedia vying for our attention that it is almost hard to keep up. We have blockbuster Hollywood films released at the cinema and on DVD and now Blu-Ray every week. We have thousands of television channels to pick and choose from, and now the internet and recordable hard drives so that we can watch what we want, when we want. This isn't even taking into account all of the great books and videogames to read and play.

My main reason for only truly discovering the comedy gold that is Frasier recently is that I had never properly watched it before. I mean, I'd seen the odd episode, but never paid it much attention and wouldn't watch another one anytime soon after. To get into a good television show you must watch several episodes to fully understand the plot and to get to know the characters, much like to get into a good book you must read past the first few chapters. It was because of all of the other shows, websites, games and books in the world that I simply never gave Frasier any time until now. And I'm glad that I eventually did, or else I would have been missing out on a well-written and performed sitcom. I'm only now left to wonder: What else am I missing out on?

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