Why do we get so attached to pretend stories on TV? It’s an age-old question, whether its books or movies or plays, I suppose. It’s the transcendent quality of stories that lifts us out of our daily lives and allows us to vicariously experience things we never would consider doing in realtime. I’ve always been a sucker for a fantastic tale.
But, as with all things, I suppose stories run their course in time, and eventually the day comes when things move on. I’m not looking forward to seeing my favorite stories end (MM and BB), but I understand they can’t be endless yarns. Anyway, I’m trying to analyze why I like my favorite shows. Here’s a weak attempt:
- Mad Men. Without a doubt, it’s the nostalgia. I was a child of the 1960s, and I remember the clothing styles, the hairstyles, the furniture, the newspaper ads, the billboards, the cars…everything rings true to me. It’s transcendent. Add to that a handsome cast, brilliant writing and great music, and I’m hooked.
- Breaking Bad. I guess that, as a teacher, I cannot even fathom doing something like Walt does and actually getting away with it. I watch every week to see how far he is going to go next, and to see Jesse advance in his humanity as Walt degrades his own. Where will all the betrayal and secrets end? We’ll find out this summer, when the final episodes air.
- True Blood. I just love vampire stuff. It all started with my accidentally picking up a copy of Interview with the Vampire back in the early 90s. It’s a guilty pleasure. Vampires are dangerous and intensely romantic. And then there’s that whole live forever as an insanely wealthy eccentric thing…
- The Newsroom. I really hope HBO keeps this. Aaron Sorkin is not everyone’s bag of chips — I don’t even buy all his ideas — but it makes for great storytelling.
- Once Upon a Time. I love fairy tales! And this one has entertaining characters and a wacky, fantastic plot.
- Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. I love fantasy and history.
There’s more, but I’m out of time. But if you have time, tell why you love your fave TV or movie. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a recommendation from you. My DVR ain’t half full.