The Friday Five Channel -- 10/18/02

Friday Five

1. How many TVs do you have in your home?

At least four. One in the living room, one in our bedroom, one in our daughter's room, and one in our son's room (until recently he had two in his room). In addition to those color sets, somewhere around the house is an old black and white portable, probably stashed in one of the upstairs closets.

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?

The Sopranos. That's the program I just can't miss. I might watch other programs on HBO (Six Feet Under, for example, or maybe some stand-up comedy) if somebody else is watching but The Sopranos is the only one I make a point of watching.

I usually see ten minutes or so of a local morning news program (channel 10, Providence)... I bring up coffee, juice and cereal for Nancy (between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m.) and turn on the television. I usually bring a coffee for myself (I would usually have already been up for half an hour or forty-five minutes and have already had breakfast) and we watch for a few minutes together, catch the weather and traffic reports and a little bit of news.

The Sopranos and the morning news are the only television programs I watch regularly. Everything else is just a once-in-a-while thing. For example, sometimes on nights or weekends Nancy will have HGTV on while she is doing something else and once in a while (i.e., once or twice a month) I might watch for half an hour or an hour while doing some kind of paperwork. (HGTV is a cable channel that features gardening and home remodeling programs). Also, my son likes to watch programs on a cable channel devoted to automobiles (especially sportscar rallies and grand prix racing) so last Sunday morning we watched a half hour program about Ford Thunderbirds followed by one about rebuilding a pickup truck... yeah, a guy kind of thing.

I probably average two or three hours a week of television. Tonight Nancy and I watched the last half hour of the Charlie's Angels movie on the main HBO channel, about the same amount of another movie on a different HBO channel, and an episode of Sex in the City. Friday night, have a glass of wine, unwind from a very busy week. So I guess all together that makes this an above average week for me.

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?

I don't think television viewing in and of itself is a bad thing, but I think watching too much television is not good for anyone of any age. When Adam was a little kid (two, three, four years old) we would watch television together -- or at least have the television on while we did things, built with Legos or wooden blocks or drew pictures, etc. -- Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street in the morning, maybe Mr. Rogers and The Electric Company in late afternoon. In fact, Adam "saw" the very first Sesame Street... he was just a baby when they broadcast their first episode so he really didn't pay much attention but he was in the room. Jennifer and Sean were also Sesame Street fans when they were little kids and when they were elementary school age we would all watch the five day per week reruns of programs like Family Ties or Saved by the Bell, etc., probably an hour or so each day plus Saturday morning cartoons (which Adam had also enjoyed). Today Jennifer rarely watches television, for her it's mostly for playing video games or connecting to DVD player for movies. Sean can be a channel surfer in the living room, apparently watching two or three programs at once, very fond of programs on specialized cable channels (Discover channel, History channel, MTV, Comedy Central, that automobile channel)... in his room he has the television on while also doing things on his computer (downloading stuff while conducting chats with half a dozen friends at once).

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?

The Sopranos.

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like? Why would I want that? Hmmm, does that mean I would be a millionaire?

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