My New Year’s resolution is TV-related due to the many hours I’ve spent goggle-eyed in front of the box recently. In fact, over the 43 weeks since the first lockdown, I’ve probably watched upwards of 1,500 hours of television. That’s an incredible 62 days! For two whole months, I have squirmed around on my lumpy sofa getting neckache, while voraciously consuming the likes of Netflix, BBC, Ch4, ITV, Youtube and even Ch5 (I couldn’t resist All Creatures Great and Small). My kids want us to apply to Gogglebox so “We can earn p’s” for our mis-spent leisure time.
But is it mis-spent? As a writer, I’d say not. You learn from other writers’ genius – or lack thereof – and I’m always wondering aloud (to the irritation of my whinging sofa-buddies) whether this or that dubious dramatic decision was made by writer, director or producer. I generally give the writer the benefit of the doubt, by the way – as an act of professional solidarity or perhaps from bitter experience, take your pick.
My problem is I’m too busy analysing the drama to enjoy it. Only the truly amazing stuff (Ozark and The Crown, most of Spiral, the first few episodes of Queens Gambit, and currently The Serpent) absorbs me sufficiently to distract from my professional micro-judgements. Now I think about it, maybe my 62 days of TV-watching should count as work – which would be in addition to the actual work I’m actually doing in a day, and no-one should work that hard!
So my New Year’s Resolution is to jettison my work identity out-of-hours, so I can lose myself in other people’s fantastic drama. Plus I’m buying a new sofa. Liz John