What do you watch on TV? What influences does that have on your life?

When I was young, I was a “latchkey” kid.   That meant when I came home from school I was on my own to do whatever I wanted.   Responsible for getting homework, snack, whatever chores I had to do….and free to decide when to do it all.  What was the first thing I did?  Watch TV.   For many years, I watched Dark Shadows.  It came on at 4 pm so I’d fix a snack and head to the living room couch to watch. This show was a cult gothic style soap opera about Vampires, werewolves, ghosts etc. (for those of you too young to know what this show was).   It was on from 1966 to 1971 and I probably watched all of the episodes.   What made me like it?  First, let me clarify that I don’t like scary things.  AT ALL!  I cannot even consider watching a Stephen King movie and the few movies I’ve watched over the years that were in that category left terrible impressions on me (If I even think of certain ones, I get nightmares).  Why did I watch, and really like, Dark Shadows?

My remembrance is that I was enthralled with the characters.   My first “celeb” crush was on the guy who played the Werewolf- Quentin Collins.  I was “in love” with Quentin.  He was dark, handsome, and mysterious.   Prophetically and maybe more importantly, his “theme” Quentin’s Theme was my first “music” crush.   I loved that song and it was the beginning of the love affair with music and “theme” music.   I say prophetically because my field is music and it has been a huge part of my life.

Over the years, music has been an integral part of who I am and when I watch TV, I am very interested in the musical aspects.   Once, years ago, my family went to Disney and the MGM studios.   One of the most interesting things we saw was the demonstration of sound and music in movies and television.   I found myself fascinated with (and not surprised by at all) the effect that music has on the scene.  The impact of a musical score on a scene is beyond belief!   When you see a scene with no music and then they repeat the same scene with the musical score, you really have a sense of this.

When I watch TV now, the music is always something I listen to and find an attachment to (or not)  I’ve found that the music of a movie or TV show will make all the difference if I like it or not.  I’m sure there are lots of other factors (the storyline, the acting, the sets, the costumes) but overall the music makes or breaks it for me.   We were watching a TV show the other day and the “theme” came on and I started bowing an invisible violin to mimic the music.  My husband just laughed as he knew exactly what I was doing.

Think about what you watch….what draws you to a particular show or film?  I think an interesting poll would be to ask people what is on your DVR.   If people listed the top 10 shows on their DVR- what would that tell us about their tastes, their life and their personality?  Here’s a challenge….put on your facebook page for your friends to do this… what interesting results will you get?