My interest in television and movies and even books has changed over the last five or six years. I tend to want to be entertained but I don’t want to have my emotional system activated beyond a certain level. I’ve never really liked to go to movies that I knew would have me so deeply affected I might not be able to pull out of whatever doldrums I’d fallen into for a few days.
I still remember with clarity the night Ruthie and Susan and I saw "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and sniffled around in front of McCormick’s Department Store waiting for one of our mother’s to fetch us. We were so sad for poor Jennifer Jones and there just wasn’t any better looking guy then than William Holden. How would she survive without him? Such angst! Raised on post WWII movies we almost always knew the good handsome soldier would die so I seldom went to very many of those.
So really I guess I’ve always steered clear of movies I knew were sad like "Sophie’s Choice" and "Saving Private Ryan". My husband always repeats in my ear 'It’s a movie, just a movie.' But if a movie isn’t stimulating your limbic system in some way, why go? I’d just rather see great scenery, a sweet love story, an interesting mystery, etc. I don’t want to see incisions into the body cavity, vomitus, bathroom scenes, any form of torture involving body parts and people screaming. I want to escape for sure but not into blood and gore.
New TV shows I’m careful with. I don’t want to have to get to know a whole bunch of new people so I tend to watch what I’m already watching which is not a lot. I never watched "Breaking Bad" or "Downton Abbey" until it was too late to get involved. The train was too far out of the station for me to hop on. I’ve gotten involved with a PBS series I like and did enjoy "The Newsroom" and "House" which departed last year. In a way I was relieved. I had gotten invested in what happened to those characters but was getting tired of all their issues.
So I’m really careful about whom I choose to let into my home and into my brain. This TV season I think Robin Williams will make the cut for "The New Guys" this season.
While I read some serious books from time to time, I tend to like mysteries, courtroom dramas and police procedurals. I have a handful of authors of that genre that I read regularly. I spend so much of my time in my office dealing with real life, real people and real emotion that fictional stuff works just fine for me.