Me, Myself and my DVR

By Candice Navi

From my early days as a toddler “helping” Blue the Dog and Steve solve mysteries to my more recent days watching the finale of “Mad Men,” television has always been a part of my life.

I have learned how to smuggle hours of shows into my household and onto my DVR on a daily basis. I pride myself on my intricate television schedule, especially during the fall, when all 14 of my television shows coincide. That’s 12 hours and 30 minutes of television per week. As you can imagine, the writers’ strike of 2007 was a tough four months.

It’s not television’s fault.

We students all have our ways of relieving stress. Most of the student body plays sports or works efficiently and go to bed early. I fit neither of these normal options. So what’s an easily distracted teen to do? That’s where television comes in.

“Television will freeze your brain!” my father warns.

After years of dutifully following the over-dramatic plotlines of other people’s lives, I have finally found the value in television.

It is my escape. It is my reward. It’s the place where I know everyone’s name and they’re glad that I came. It is my time during my test and homework-filled day where I can stop thinking about my life and lose myself in tantalizing plots and cut-throat reality competitions.

The characters on these shows have become familiar parts of my life that, honestly, I couldn’t imagine a week without.

I find myself bursting with excitement at the thought of Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute’s shenanigans on “The Office,” trying to guess what songs will be performed on “Glee,” and biting my nails as designers vie for a chance to show at Fashion Week on “Project Runway.”

I genuinely believe that television can be used as a teaching tool, and not just when a Laker game is interrupted by some breaking news. “The Simpsons” taught me about Hamlet long before my senior year, Stephen Colbert’s over-the-top antics are a semi-genuine attempt to educate America’s coveted 18 to 49 demographic, and who knows where I would be were it not for the Count on “Sesame Street.”

The lesson I’m trying to impart is that television will not “brainwash” you. Like any other hobby, you must find time in your daily life for what you love.

It should never replace your studies or actual social interactions, but rather supplement and enhance them.