This post will serve a few different purposes. The main purpose of this post is to really take a look at the current strike of the Writers Guild of America and what possible good it could bring to your life. Now I live in an area that is likely to suffer greatly from this strike, should it continue for any great amount of time. You can’t drive anywhere without seeing signs up for filming. In fact, just yesterday we drove by a parking lot that was full of trucks for filming and the previous day we saw signs directing people to another local shoot. Our economy is very much linked with movie and television production. Everyone knows someone that is connected and missing out of work because of this strike.
But I want to propose a way in which you, the viewer, can actually gain from this strike. It’s quite simple, actually. Use this as an opportunity to stop watching TV. Now I’m not saying throw your TV out the window, and I personally have my favorite shows that I tend to catch once in awhile, but the TV industry has made itself into something that passes as a necessity in life.
Just walk down the street some time, around 8-10pm. I would challenge you to find a house that DOESN’T have a TV on. It’s remarkable. Everyone’s lives, from 8-10pm is dictated by what the networks decide to air. And I don’t think there is any one reason for this.
The first reason is that people tend to work themselves so hard during the day, that the only thing they can see themselves doing at night is watching TV. This is also tragically true with many Christians. “I just want to come home at night and relax.” What should be considered a side recreation has become a way of life for many people. Its much easier to sit down and see what’s on, rather than find something else to do.
Another reason why this has become the standard for living is because it is exactly what the networks want you to think, through their advertising. “Must See TV”. “Can’t Miss Television”. “Once in a Lifetime Show”. Through their marketing, they have made it sound like your life won’t be the same unless you watch the show. They want you to get caught up in the lives of the characters. They want you to care about them. They want you to think that these people are really your friends, and you owe it to them to see what happens in their lives.
In fact, I have a friend who found herself falling victim to this mentality. Each Thursday, during my junior-senior year of college, we would get together and watch ER at their apartment. We got engrossed in the story line (something the show has since lost) and my friend found herself praying for one of the characters one day! She quickly realized what she was doing, and stopped. But this falls right into the mentality that the TV execs want us to have.
But I want you to ask yourself a question. Would your life be that much different were you not to find out who got voted off a show? Would your life be that much different were you to not find out who dies on a show? Would your life be different were you to sit down and read for a half hour each night? Would you life be different were you to shut the TV and spend time with your family or neighbors?
Our society has become one that is very individualistic. We no longer tend to do things in groups, but in isolation. If we do have interaction, it is more likely to occur without direct contact (email, text message, internet, or even playing a video game against some guy in Des Moines, Iowa) rather than face to face, or even over the phone. A few months ago, we lost power for over 24 hours and it was great how many people had their doors open and were walking around outside. It was like there was a community again.
So I would encourage you to use this current strike as a time to break the addiction. Start some new habits that are more profitable. I’m not saying to boycott TV. My next comment would contradict that. But take a step back and ask yourself, is it really worth it?
The Future of ‘Lost’
My next thought has to do with Lost. Now, its been awhile since I’ve written about it, since its been awhile since its aired. I thought I would at least mention what’s happening with the show, how is it being affected by the strike, and when it is supposed to start airing.
Before the strike was announced, they had 14 of the 16 scripts written. I believe that they had 8 of the 16 filmed and ready to go. They are not going to start airing until the first week in February. Now, we’re not guaranteed a full 16 episode season. That depends on how long the strike goes. We could only end up with 8 episodes, and the 8th apparently has a bit of a cliffhanger to it, making it a mini-finale. (From what I hear, the 7th episode is also pretty crazy, so it should be a good couple weeks there)
Lost may benefit a little from the strike, since it may be the only real action/drama airing at the time. ’24’ won’t be on, and it will only have reality shows and reruns to compete with.
The fourth season is apparently going to include five new characters. If you remember, there was quite the bloodbath at the end of the last season, so they have some room to bring more characters in. There will be a few answers this season, including who is now coming to the island that Ben didn’t want there, the origin of the four toed statue, and how Ben fell into Rousseau’s trap. Episodes will continue to have flashbacks, but will also have flashforwards. It looks like we won’t know which it is until the end of the episode, if at all. That should be fun. In all, the fourth season is apparently going to be a bit darker and scarier than the past.