I’m twenty-three years old and for the first time in my life I have a TV in my bedroom. As a film major I find this fact a little silly, even coming from me. But then I think back at my television history, and it seems about right.
Growing up having a TV in our bedroom was never an option. I shared a bedroom with my sister so there wasn’t really anywhere for us to put it. We also had a very strict “No TV During The Weekdays” rule in my house, so we never imagined it would be possible. It didn’t really matter to us though, we were happy to watch the TV in the living room, or in our parent’s room when we were sick. Watching TV on the weekends was okay by me. All my favorite shows were on the weekend, and I was too busy during the week to be bothered to watch cartoons on the weekdays. That is, until fifth grade. Up until then, my absolute favorite tv show at the time, Lizzie McGuire, played new episodes on Friday nights. But the show was become popular, and Disney decided it would do better in a Thursday night slot, so they moved it. I was devastated, but I thought I might be able to convince my mom to bend her rule, for just this one thing. So I drew up a proposal, the kind of proposal I would make again for my mom when I was trying to convince her why I needed a MySpace account. The proposal promised that I only wanted to watch TV for this one half hour period on a weekday and that I would get all my homework done before it aired at 7:30. She did not agree and I was so upset. This was in a time before we had TiVo, and before Lizzie McGuire episodes were available on DVD let alone on YouTube. They rarely showed reruns of new episodes, so I would now have to hope that when I tuned in for Lizzie McGuire on the weekends, they would show an episode I hadn’t seen.
Flash forward three years to eight grade, my new favorite show is The O.C. another show that only aired on Thursday nights. However, this is a time where DVD box sets of the seasons were readily available. I also, finally, had a way to record the episodes both on TiVo as well as with VHS tapes. I didn’t mess around. Sometimes, if my younger sisters both went to bed before 9, my mom would bend her rule and let me sneak down for an episode of The OC. I felt so cool being able to watch the episode as it aired. I would be left out of our version of water cooler conversations about what happened in last night’s episode NO MORE! On the night of the season three finale, my mom and I got in some sort of argument. I forget the details, but I think I had to wake up early the next morning for something and my mom didn’t want me staying up until 10 watching TV. But it was the SEASON FINALE, I couldn’t be out of the loop for this most important episode. So I snuck down and watched it, with the lights off, volume down, and my hand on the remote, and was it worth it. If you’re unfamiliar with the genius that is The OC, it was the infamous episode where Marissa dies. (I didn’t warn for spoilers because that is the most widely known fact about that show. Also if you haven’t watched it by now and didn’t already know that fact, The OC probably isn’t in your radar) Needless to say, I’m glad I snuck down and watched that episode.
Now, I’ve moved out of my parents’ house, but my younger siblings, ages five and nine, still live there (obviously, they can’t really make it on their own yet). With all the advances in technology since I was a kid, it’s hard for my parents to control how much TV they watch. Although they are allowed watch TV on the weekdays, unlike me, it is limited to an hour. They rarely ever watch anything live, all their shows area available on apps and Netflix and Hulu. They hardly even record things now, it’s all just there.
Now I don’t have cable on my TV (you know, because the internet), but I do have a DVD player. Having this TV in my room is one of my favorite additions. No longer do I have to watch movies on an 11 inch computer screen with limited volume. Now I can blast episodes of The OC in high definition at any time, the way I always wanted to.