Boob Tube: Cottage Edition
I currently have no access to regular cable or to my usual menu of television streaming websites since I am at a cottage in nowhere (I know, poor me).
My television watching has been limited to a few I Love Lucy DVDs my friend brought along. It’s been revelatory, so I’m going to tell you about it.
First, there is the simplicity of the situation. There is nothing else going on. There is no Internet. I am not watching on my computer where I open IMDB in a new window every time an actor looks familiar, always the first step in my distracted forays away from what I was originally watching.
It was tough at first to give in to just watching. Not that the show isn’t very entertaining, I’m just so used to diluting my entertainment with more entertainment. I hate the way that makes me sound, but it’s the truth.
Then there is the quality of I Love Lucy. It recalls a generation of entertainment that I can’t actually even remember, probably because I wasn’t a person yet. The comedy is so simple that it feels ironic.
Apparently being alive in the 50s was much like being at a cottage. Offering up my full attention and committing to the necessary suspension of disbelief is the only way to bring the humour of I Love Lucy to life.
Today, audiences love to be uncooperative. We love to find every minor continuity failure or suspicious premise and be the first to rant about it on twitter, and so we don’t really buy-in in the way television in the 50s must have required.
Without the technology to do most of the heavy lifting, so much fell to the talent of the actors. Lucille Ball is brilliant. I feel my elders screaming a collective “DUHHH” at me as I say that. To be fair though, she died the year I was born so I can hardly be expected to be super familiar with her work.
Overall, the combination of the cottage and the antique television has left me longing to have been alive in a simpler time. A time when we could all have been effortlessly entertained by Lucille Ball’s facial expressions alone, without distracting ourselves with anything and everything else.
I LOVE Lucy, you guys.