Love on the Spectrum: Relationships and dating is hard enough even when you don’t also have to balance the challenges of being on the spectrum. For people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, finding a partner is often a daunting experience, as revealed in this series which also seeks to teach everyone something new about love and intimacy.
This resonates with me, and how I view TV, a relaxing narcotic, or a stimulating educational service, my 2 general viewing styles.
Plus an the occasional adventure and one lifelong addiction, Dr Who
Don’t knock my love for trash TV, it helps me cope with hard times Natalie Reilly TV has long been accused of dulling brains, but simple stories with easy endings can be a soothing balm for the harried soul
Those who believe we are inhabiting a cultural moment of Peak TV or “ambitious television” might view the US version of The Office as nothing more than a half-baked, dimmed-down, dull version of the UK original. But the US sitcom that ran for nine seasons occupies such a deep place of affection in the cultural landscape that an informal survey of American university students found they were using it as a narcotic.
Academic David Parsons, host of The Nostalgia Trap podcast, says his students have confessed to finding comfort in the familiarity of the set, the plot and the characters – and using reruns on Netflix to help them fall asleep.
Fellow academic Justin Rogers Cooper told Parsons that the benign blandness of the show not only helped quell the chatter in his head, but drifting off to it, as he has done for years, provided a rich and refreshing sleep.
Makes sense. You’re hardly going to have nightmares about Pam and Jim’s romance. It’s what you might call low stakes TV. And it’s not limited to The Office.
On Monday, TV writer Bess Kalb asked her 200,000 followers on Twitter to nominate the TV show that got them through “an unbelievably sad time”.
Several hundred people credited the US version of The Office with helping them through hard times – very hard times, such as death and dying. Other responses included Parks and Recreation, Law & Order SVU and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
I watched the Gilmore Girls, starting the week after I resigned from my DOJ job at the start of the Trump Administration. It got me through that period of time where people around me kept saying "it's not going to be that bad."
I lost my dad to suicide, and started rewatching Ugly Betty as a distraction. I hadn't realized before how much Ignacio Suarez reminds me of my dad, but it felt almost like I could still visit him during the time I needed to process.
A friend of mine told me she became addicted to Keeping Up with the Kardashians in the first foggy weeks after her baby was born. She said she used to sit and watch hours of the reality series while breastfeeding, her permanent hypnagogic state soothed by the insipid company and the low blue light of a screen.
I empathised because I’ve burned through three seasons of Grace and Frankie in a week while my sick toddler slept fitfully beside me. The family sitcom, ostensibly about two old rich white women living together in a mansion on the beach, was sweet without being hilarious, and placed no demands on my already burdened frontal lobe. I fell in love almost immediately, and was soon demanding friends tune in. I was baffled when they told me it sucked, before remembering that I’d watched most of it between 1am and 5am, wrapped in an old bath towel while my child vomited on me intermittently.
Before Grace and Frankie, there was Brothers and Sisters, starring Sally Field, Rob Lowe and Rachel Griffiths. Running from 2006 to 2011, it was a frightfully cheesy dramedy about a rich white family and their petty squabbles, which played out in palatial estates over litres of white wine. I used to watch it every Sunday night, to help blunt my anxieties over the week ahead working in a job I despised.
This might also explain the unstoppable popularity of The Big Bang Theory, every Dick Wolfe franchise, and Two and a Half Men. When stress levels are at their highest, our brain doesn’t have room for character-driven dialogue, subtext and plot twists: we crave easy endings, low suspense and broadly drawn archetypes.
TV has long been accused of dulling brains, but when the “golden age” descended in the late 90s, ambitious programming, such as The Sopranos and The Wire, turned critics, and viewers, into self-identifying literary snobs. Now the only excuse to watch anything else was because you were treating yourself, doing a drive-through into low quality, junk TV.
We called them “guilty pleasures” but the rise of “TV-as-narcotic” suggests we may have misdiagnosed ourselves. Perhaps “trash” TV has little to do with guilt or pleasure, but is rather a space to feel safe or soothed in a culture that now, more than ever, profits from our rampant discontent.
• Natalie Reilly is a freelance pop culture writer
This fantastic new series starts on the weekend, more info posted in ART thread, in that category down below
'The Second Moment Of Creation'
SBS, 7:30pm, Sat, 1 Dec 2018, 65 minutes
Simon Schama looks at the formative role art and the creative imagination have played in the forging of humanity itself. The film opens with Simon's passionate endorsement of the creative spirit in humanity and the way in which art can help to forge the civilised life.
David Olusoga, Mary Beard, Simon Schama
Series, 2018, United Kingdom, English, Documentary, Arts & Culture, Historical, Society & Culture
'How Do We Look?'
SBS, 7:30pm, Sun, 2 Dec 2018, 70 minutes
Professor Mary Beard explores images of the human body in ancient art, from Mexico and Greece to Egypt and China. Mary seeks answers to fundamental questions at the heart of ideas about civilisations. Why have human beings always made art about themselves? What were these images for? And in what ways do some ancient conventions of representing the body still affect us now?
David Olusoga, Mary Beard, Simon Schama
Very happy that they are bringing it back but they really need to be critical when choosing the judging panel if they want any chance of success. Hopefully no more boring types. I will further add to this that hopefully no comedians should be hosting/judging the show.
When are they going to make an Australian version of "Hunted" though? In my opinion, it is the best reality show of all time. It is doing very well in the UK and did well in the USA. Plenty of international versions of the show as well.
It didn't do great in the US to be honest but is certainly my favourite UK reality shows of recent years, and it's one of those series than can had a bit of a dud season and bounce back even stronger.
The trouble is would Australia be too big of a playground to host the game - the concept works in the UK because it's confined to a relatively small densley populated island. It might be a bit too easy in Australia to go missing for weeks.