Celestine Chua, founder of the web-site, Personal Excellence, started her post, “Top Ten Reasons You Should Stop Watching TV,” with a quote from the great comedian, Groucho Marx:
- Groucho Marx in A Night at the Opera
“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room & read a good book.”
I tried to start off my response to her piece in a similar fashion but when I Googled “television quotes” the only ones that appeared were disparaging. Then when I tried the search term “positive television quotes,” a link came up from a person on Yahoo! Answers who had also been searching for such a quote herself. The lone two answers she received were well-meaning but lackluster attempts to come to her aid, and proved there was a greater need than I even realized for someone to come to television’s defense.
I may never have gotten the hang of sports as a kid (softball consisted of picking dandelions and soccer was “don’t get kicked”) but I’ll give my younger self credit for making a solid amount of good media choices in the nineties. All of those classic Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and John Wayne movies I rewound again and again on VHS were the start of a beautiful friendship with silver screen classics. Multiple viewings of Star Wars have not brought me up to the level of fandom where I have memorized every detail of each scene by heart, but there have been some heroic light saber battles on my living room rug, the series’ empowering credit music playing in the background. And as for Blue’s Clues—name me the episode and I’ll tell you the clues.
It actually wasn’t until the nineties were behind me and the twenty-first century had begun that I was made aware of the more critically acclaimed creative works produced in that decade, particularly in regards to television. Some I hadn’t been old enough to watch. Others weren’t on my radar and unknown by me to exist (a fate that will never transpire again due to weekly TV Guide readings and IMDB). Nonetheless, in order to correct that wrong, I have since watched these nineties programs, letting my VCR rest for a bit in exchange for DVD’s episode selection feature.