It’s no secret that I love TV. It’s one of my biggest passions and the reason I started this blog. It’s brought so much joy to my life by exposing me to hundreds of stories and viewpoints. Over the last 10 years, my love of TV has grown exponentially as I’ve grown to appreciate more and more of the art form. But lately I’ve been thinking about how this passion of mine developed and I wanted to take a moment to share that story with you all.
For me, it all started with one show.
Back in 2007, when I was a fresh-faced seventh grader, I discovered NBC’s sci-fi drama Heroes, and the rest is history. I couldn’t get enough of the show. I remember renting the first season from Blockbuster (R.I.P) one disc at a time and tearing through one in a weekend. I was hooked by the show’s sprawling story, huge cast, and cool superpowers. I couldn’t wait to see the story progress. I bought each season as soon as it came out on DVD and anxiously awaited the airing of every new episode. While I owe Heroes a great deal, I’d be the first to admit to you that in hindsight the show was pretty mediocre but hey, we’ve all gotta start somewhere.
The other show I owe a tremendous debt to was FOX’s Fringe. That was another show where I poured over theories, easter eggs, and previews to see what was going to happen next. The show took everything I loved about sci-fi and combined it with great characters and a cool overarching narrative. Whereas Heroes was a bit of a moot point by the time it ended, my love for Fringe was there throughout the entire show.
And it only grew from those two shows. Slowly I began to watch more and more, from comedies like 30 Rock to crime dramas like Lie to Me, I couldn’t get enough TV.
As I watched more and more, I began to seek out opinions on those shows too. I read any reviews I could find on what I was watching. That lead me to discover critics like Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg. Their writings were always in-depth and opened me up to new perspectives on all sorts of shows. In fact, those two are a huge part of what inspired me to start The Warren Room. Eventually, I even started paying attention to ratings and learning as much as I could about how TV is measured. As with any passion, my love for TV started small and grew over time.
TV’s ability to tell long-form stories is to me, its greatest strength. When you spend years of your life with a set of characters, you grow to care about and identify with them. TV allows us to invite our favorite characters into our homes every week (or for a few hours in today’s binge culture) and go on a journey with them. Sometimes that journey is short and other times it can last for years. Part of what made a show like LOST so powerful was because you followed the same group of characters for six years as they struggled to survive. By the time the show ended, I felt like I’d been through something with these characters and was relieved that they got their happy ending.
But this all means more to me than just having some good shows to watch. There was a time in my life when TV was one of the only good things I had to look forward to.
Back in 2010, I switched schools mid-way through the school and had never felt more alone in my entire life. I was a pretty shy kid who had a tough time meeting new people so going from a school of 500 to one of 5000 was incredibly difficult. Most days were pretty hard and I really only looked forward to going home each day. But when I knew I had a new episode of Fringe or something else to look forward to, I could forget about how hard everything was*. If even for an hour I could immerse myself in these stories and meet with my favorite characters each week. It didn’t magically fix my problems but it did provide a respite.
*While TV was and is an important part of my life, it was my faith and my family that really pulled me through that hard time.
Now, TV is still just a big a part of my life as it has always been. If anything, my affection for the medium has grown even stronger. My opinions have developed the more shows I watch, the more reviews I read, and the more reviews that I wrote myself. I love being able to dive into the worlds and stories created by amazing storytellers like Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest). I love spending hours looking at the world through a different and often challenging lens. The fact that I get to take what I watch and write about it is a tremendous privilege. I am so thankful that I get to share my passion for TV with you all through this blog. So, thank you for reading!
TV is wonderful medium and we live in a time where there is more of it than ever. I love that shows with such specific viewpoints like Master of None or weird concepts like Bojack Horseman can exist in today’s TV climate. More types of stories from more types of people are being told and it’s a thrill to witness. There is truly something for everyone on TV.