Some people believe we all have a double; someone in the world the equivalent of our identical twin. I've never much believed that, but just in case, I've always traveled through large crowds of people with my eyes and mind at least half open. But the discovery of my double came courtesy of my ears.
While I cleaned the kitchen after dinner last night, I heard Elliott say "daddy - daddy". At first I went on with my work figuring it was part of the game he and Katie were playing in the living room. Then I heard Katie chuckling. She was laughing at Elliott pointing at a picture of Kelsey Grammar (Frazier) on the television and calling him daddy. It was a bit frightening.
I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been Norm or Cliff. Worst yet, it could have been Carla. It got me to thinking about the old Cheers show. I think it's the last television show I looked forward to watching each week. The kind of show you plan your evening around, where you strategically plan to be uninterrupted for the duration of that show - every week. As soon as it's over, you begin to look forward to the next episode.
I re-lived some of that earlier this year when Katie and I watched the first two seasons of Lost on DVD. We would watch an episode each night. Over a weekend we would watch multiple segments. I had begun to look forward to this season, all caught up and ready to embrace that weekly show to show anticipation of the past. Then came the sad realization. I haven't watched a weekly show that started after 8PM in a decade. Thank God for the computer and the ability to watch episodes on line the day after they air. We just finished watching the recently completed Lost season in about a week.
Television has lost its luster. I imagine some of it is age and the inability to be conscious during "prime time". There is also the erosion of television programming. If you are a fan of reality TV, you probably believe you are watching television's finest hour. I am not. I believe I was lucky to see that hour in my youth. It was the hour of Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie. It was the 70's when family entertainment still meant something. Today family entertainment means providing enough variety so the family can sit in 4 different rooms watching 4 different shows. It was a time when parental guidance suggested meant there might be a reference to sex in this show and worked to discourage kids from watching. Today the warning is offered as a promise of sex in the show and works as an advertisement to attract young viewers.
I'm sure there is still plenty of good television out there somewhere. But if it happens after 8 or conflicts with Law and Order re-runs, I'll never get to see it.