I was an odd child. I didn’t play outside that much (I was sick a lot, spent a lot of time bedridden and was just a pretty unhealthy infant), so growing up, my life revolved around two things: books and TV. Simultaneously (as in, I used to read while the TV was on). There were days I could watch TV for 12 hours in a row. Since at that time I was consuming a couple of (adult, non abridged version) books a week, my parents thought that the two activities would sort of even each other out and I would not be scarred for life. My favorite thing ever, at the time, was an Argentinian wrestling show: Titanes en el Ring. It was lucha libre Mexican style, with masked wrestlers, a complete show with commentary, additional side stage characters, etc. When I was 5, it was also the first time I firmly told my parents I wanted (no, demanded!) to be taken to a live show. And my life long love affair with lucha libre began.
By the time I was seven or so, I had already discovered Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Get Smart, The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and a whole list of Hammer produced gory films (yes, little parental control as to how appropriate the blood and murder were for my tender mind; it probably explains a lot). I never stopped watching (and loving) TV. It’s been the one constant thing in my moves around the world, it’s the subject I can bring up almost anywhere I am (from Latin American cities to Middle Eastern towns or European squats) and I always find something in common, a past to share, a ground I stand with a multitude of other people with similar memories.
However, it was with Twin Peaks that I first discovered that TV could be art. To this day, it remains my favorite show of all time. A position that Battlestar Galactica disputed in a very close call. Both of them are the best examples I can think of to define entertainment, thrilling story telling and great visuals.
Nowadays, my favorites are Doctor Who, Torchwood, Spooks (shut up, Richard Armitage deserves a fan blog of his own; although I suspect by the way it is progressing that this might be his last season on the show) and an oldie I always go back to when I am bored: Wire in the Blood.
I suspect I never really outgrew the child capable of watching TV for twelve hours in a row. I also suspect that I am living proof that TV doesn’t necessarily turn one into a zombie.
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