More than ever before, I think the television is returning to its roots.
I remember my mom telling me stories about how, when the first person in her neighborhood back in Jamaica got a TV, everyone came together each week to watch the “Ed Sullivan Show.” It all seems so far away and hokey, but I’m getting a glimpse of it thanks to Netflix and its emerging binge culture.
Last week my sister and her family came for a visit, and her husband snuck away to catch up on “The Walking Dead.” As my house is devoid of a proverbial man cave, he settled down with his laptop in the living room. But before he knew it, I had settled in right next to him with his eldest son close behind me, forcing him to move the show to a bigger screen.
Now, my house has a total of six televisions: one relegated to the very cold basement (so no one’s going down there); one in the living room (only used for the Super Bowl and other big events); one in the kitchen; and the others in bedrooms. I was never given the “privilege” of my own TV, (which is exactly what my mom says TV watching should be during the school year) so I content myself with my laptop. But it struck me that this was the first time in a long time that we had sat down together.
You have to understand that my sister’s family is the epitome of a tech family. They have two desktops, two laptops and a tablet for each member of their five-person family, each being color coded. God forbid one child should use another’s iPad or even charger — pure mayhem. This has resulted in an absolute inability to share and alleviates the need for it; they even have their own controllers for both the Xbox and Wii.
But it was just amazing that we were all together, my nephew entering his teenage years and becoming too cool for family time, and me, just being busy or seemingly uninterested in the same things as the boys. Maybe I’m reading too much into the tech side of things, and this is just a testament to great writing. But it brought us all together, and the “oohing” and “aahing,” and the “what’s going to happen next?” not withstanding, it made for an awesome family experience.
Anna Gray is a TWICE editorial intern