Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TV Wimp

I have never had a very high threshold for many things that are common in TV and movies.  I have an especially low threshold for violence and get scared easily.  It probably has something to do with growing up a pacifist and watching very limited things as a kid.  But, definitely I've always been sensitive to it.  When I used to get invited over the phone to slumber parties when I was a kid, I would ask what they were planning to watch, and if it sounded at all scary, I would say, "Just a minute," cover the phone and then say, "My mom says I can't go."  A little lie, but my mom didn't mind being the scapegoat.  I wasn't eager to admit that I was just too much of a wimp to watch the movies that they all wanted to watch.
One of the funny things is that I would not describe myself as a person who is easily scared in real life, probably not as much as I should have been at times.  When other girls would talk about being afraid to walk alone at night, I was pretty convinced in my mind that I would super confidently and skillfully whip out some awesome martial arts moves or something if I was ever attacked, in spite of never having taken a lesson.  I have never been tentative about going places by myself and even used to get kind of offended at people suggesting I needed someone to walk me somewhere. When I moved by myself to South Central Los Angeles fresh out of college, I was quite aware of the kind of dangers and challenges that were very real there.  But, one night when I flipped on the TV and Boyz in the Hood or some such movie was playing and the police were calling in a crime scene or something that I realized was set in the movie just a few blocks away from my apartment.  There is something about seeing things on the screen that just stresses me out.  I think that, in spite of living in LA for over a decade, it really does affect things that I still sort of watch TV and movies as something that magically just appear on the screen and am really disengaged from the reality of all the technical and artistic crafting of this fictional work.
I had, for awhile, gotten really into crime shows and spy shows and things like that.  The analytic part of my brain really likes seeing clues come together and figure out what is going on and see it all piece together.  I am quite a details person, so I track with all of the little things happening and being said.  Also why, however, it really irritates me when the writing overreaches or backs itself in a corner and resolves things in a way that ignores some of the previous details.  (Don't get me started on Lost!)
Anyway, after I had kids, my threshold for anything violent or scary dropped to basically zero.  My oldest is almost 6, and I don't think I've followed a drama series on TV since before he was born.  Honestly, even things that are just emotionally intense have been unappealing to me, as I think the introvert in me is emotionally done by the end of the day most days, and if I'm going to watch a show, I just choose something to make me laugh.
I'm not really suggesting that I wish I was more desensitized to violence and things in what I watch.  I'm kind of glad, really, that I don't enjoy much of it.  But, it would be nice, once in awhile, to be able to make it through a well-crafted show that is interesting and gets me thinking without having a heart attack.
We recently started watching Orphan Black.  It sounded interesting, and I figured I would give it another try to watch a drama series, as I really do find them interesting.  It is a really good show, and I find myself totally drawn in and needing to know what happened next.  But, I also find myself clinging to my seat with heart racing, and even a few times (bless my poor husband for watching with me), letting out squeals and shrieks.  I don't know if I'll keep watching the show.  I really want to, but man, does it get me stressed!
Guess after all this time, it just confirms my TV wimp status!