Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deep inside of a parallel universe

I'm not much good at watching TV. Sure, I had phases where I was absorbed by My Little Pony (though, alas, not until after my grandfather retired from his job at Hasbro) and Care Bears; and later I was enthralled by the charms of Rugrats and Doug (left-handed, just like me!). But after that middle-school spree, I was pretty much done with television. Movies, too. I often like them when I see them but I am particular; my sister is endlessly vexed by my refusal to sit down in front of a movie when I won't have time to see the whole thing, or, worse, when I have missed even the slightest blink of opening credits.

I don't think my attention span, or my learning style, or my something, is compatible with movies. It's compatible with books, of course. I am (in case you did not notice) all about text. One thing I can really get into is foreign movies and TV shows. They've got words right there, on the bottom of the screen! It is much easier for me to follow that way. I have made it through movies in various languages, to say nothing of the somewhat-extensive amount of anime I absorbed back at the start of college. And, hey, foreign TV is a great language-learning tool. I can now say "little brother," "what's wrong," "thank you," and "alchemist," thereby rendering me totally conversant in Japanese! Though nowadays, that education has faded from my hoirzon. I can occasionally get into watching sports--tennis, baseball--but only sometimes.

Other than that, I am not much for that peculiar box. (And what a small peculiar box I grew up with--a classmate visiting a few years ago asked me if it was a toy. Nope.) R-- told me he is often embarrassed to ask people to catsit because there is no TV; I doubt I would've noticed if he didn't mention it.

The reason I am musing disjointedly about all this is that once again I walked to the subway past lampposts festooned with movie-shoot notifications. Apparently a show called Boardwalk Empire is going to be filming on my street this week. I always knew I lived in New Jersey. That and upstate and in various other suburbs, according to the welter of shoots that have sprung up nearby since I moved in. What with that and working where I do (and they are always filming L&O here), I feel like I live in one universe parallel to countless other, fictional worlds. There is something fascinating about these worlds, even if I never make it to most of their onscreen portrayals. When I lived with my parents, one day the crew of Revolutionary Road transformed the nearby park into a vision of the past--period costumes, period cars, realism only slightly marred by the surrounding tables full of bagels and croissants and orange juice. And those bright set lights are so mysterious on walks home from the train. What do they see? Clearly they've glimpsed some sort of potential beneath my neighborhood that I have not imagined.

How about you dudes? Do you like TV? A lot? Can you summon at least a modicum of understanding for oddball me? What are they filming in your backyard?

PS: Taking a break from writing this, I loaded up googlereader and look what I found. Clearly I am right on the pulse of breaking neighborhood news!


  1. I think I can guess what Japanese TV show you were alluding to up there.

  2. Hah, I was thinking of the time you came up to me and said something in Japanese and I replied with the name of the show.

  3. I feel like the old Onion headline, 'Area man constantly mentioning he doesn't own a TV,' but honestly, since I've spent most of my life without one, I just don't think about it much or miss it. And I can't concentrate in the same room as a TV...I actually will trail off mid-sentence and stare slack-jawed at it. Bad for my dignity.
    That said, I watch 30 Rock on Hulu.

  4. Clearly this is how we got matched up freshman year. At least if you are who I think you are, Little Miss Commenter.

  5. Oh, yes, I should have clarified. I am indeed Little Miss.
    (And I like your blog so much!)

    Also, I guess they're filming lots of stuff up here in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene land--that show 'Bored to Death'? And something small on my street the other day involving children playing catch with a football. It looked...student-y. Or maybe parent-y. Small-scale production if a student, insanely high-scale production if a parent.

  6. Oh, I *did* see a few episodes of that and it was fun (I watched them from the internet though, does that count?). I am curious what kind of movie would have football children.

  7. I can't understand because I love TV! Now excuse me while I go watch an episode of White Collar