Television from a Different Room

Those of us who are not fond of television, but who live with people who are, know what it’s like to hear the TV from an adjacent room. Sometimes you can tune it out, sometimes it takes over your brain and you can’t pay attention to what you’re trying to write. It makes me think about the genius of the people who create these shows. Just like commercials, it seems that the really effective ones are designed to capture attention, even of passers by.

Will & Grace is the best example of a show I cannot even be within hearing distance without it taking over my thoughts. If I’m in the same room, forgetaboutit. It is one of the funniest shows ever, and there is no way to not pay attention to it. Those episodes are future classics from this time period; they will still be known when others have faded from the worlds’ memory.

Criminal Minds is intense, and I cannot understand why stations would play it in the morning. Why would anybody want to deal with that kind of thing first thing? Women screaming and extreme suspenseful soundtrack are not healthy over a first cup of coffee, and it makes me seriously question the people who write and direct these shows. They seem to get inordinate pleasure from psychopaths.

The best thing by far to have on in the next room when you’re trying to write, read or do some other quiet activity is a movie or TV show from the 70’s. The soundtracks are perfect. I actually did a search to find if there was anybody who sold specifically that - soundtracks to 70’s movies and TV shows. (I didn’t find any, but I’m not finished looking.) There is dialogue, but one can easily ignore that. Mood and action are told perfectly with the jazzy tunes of Jerry Fielding, Henry Mancini and their ilk. I rather enjoy when Barry is watching shows like this in the living room while I write in the next room. I could put on a YouTube offering of similar music, and I do. But, there is something about having the sound coming from the TV, the way it is incorporated with the show. It has to be in its element, with actors talking and a person on the sofa in front of the TV watching it. And, naturally, me in the next room.

Alas, Barry has decided to get up and get to work. My overheard Saturday Morning soundtrack is over. It’s time to do laundry, I suppose.

The Girl

I'm finally reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (Listening to the audio book, more precisely.) I've always known I'd like it, but I thought I wasn't ready. Now I am. 

The mystery is intriguing, but what I'm really enjoying so far is the prose about the weather. Northern Sweden in January. I'm listening to it in Central Texas in September, a time when it's barely under 100°, and I feel like I need to get under a blanket. 

That's some good writing.