Prior to getting married, I wasn’t one to watch much television. My parents never had any sort of cable, and monitored television viewing pretty closely in my youth. Throughout high school and college, the largest time commitment that I usually ever came up with was a movie here and there. Sometime after getting married, I remember JR and I watching an episode of Matlock most nights on the Hallmark channel, but I still never really got into television shows.
Enter motherhood. Having a newborn to feed gave me more time than ever before to sit and watch television shows. We also got DVR service around this time, partially because of my aforementioned sitting around nursing a baby most of the time. We watched Gillmore Girls in rapid succession during this time, and were also hooked on Scrubs. I became a Chuck fan at some point in time as well. When I was pregnant for Joshua, I became a fan of Mad Men (I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction – and even, I, as a non-stylish person enjoy it for that reason – also, the bits of marketing in the show mean something to me after taking marketing courses), and introduced JR to Friends. Also, one of our current favorites: How I Met Your Mother.
The genre of television that I probably never would have found, left to my own devices, is SciFi. Somehow, I made it to adulthood having never really watched Star Wars. Since Star Wars seemed to have been pretty universally loved OR hated, I was pretty sure that I just fell into the latter group, and that Science Fiction just wasn’t for me. I have JR to thank for my introduction to SciFi. First, he got me hooked on Warehouse 13, which is another of my favorite television series running currently. Also, it’s SyFy’s most popular series ever, so it may be worth checking out. It incorporates a lot of steampunk; which JR and I enjoy. At first, I thought that Warehouse 13 was a unique SciFi series, and that I wouldn’t like others, but I was wrong. Fact: I have not seen a SciFi series that I do not like, though I admit that my exposure to such shows is relatively low.
Star Trek: The Next Generation? Good.
Stargate SG-1? Good.
I’ve put some thought into it, and I believe that SciFi is particularly good, in part, because they aren’t limited by the normal parameters. For most television series to be really good, they must do something differently from the others out there. How I Met Your Mother does remind me a lot of Friends, but I enjoy the aspect of it being the ‘love story in reverse,’ of already knowing the end of the story and learning little pieces of the puzzle, one at a time. Unlike most of the sitcoms and dramas that I was familiar with, SciFi doesn’t have any real limits to what it can do to achieve this. Secret government warehouse agents that gather artificats with some historical and/or literary link, that would wreak havoc on the world if such agents weren’t risking their lives to stop them? In that world, of course H.G. Well’s time machine and Lewis Carroll’s looking glass exist, and Harriet Tubman’s thimble possesses a special power. I’m not saying that I do not enjoy seeing the everyday stories faced in sitcoms and dramas, just that I enjoy the previously-unexplored world of SciFi a lot. I do not dream/remember my dreams very often, but, as JR pointed out: reading and watching SciFi makes for some very interesting dreams. It encourages our minds to consider previously-unexplored possibilities. Afterall, isn’t that what most of the great minds of the past, those people that we celebrate today for their innovations, did? Motherhood has likely stunted my brain, at least for the time being, beyond interesting discourse of such things, but I’d like to think that the fact that I think about such things will help me encourage my children to greater creativity.