I laugh at writers who declare, 'Oh, I never watch television,' especially when they act like they're so above the medium. When I responded to one that yes, indeed, I watch television every single day and I love it, she said, 'Oh, you're such an information hound.'
Dogged in my pursuit of facts, trivia, and cool things to know? Absolutely. I'm an information junkie. I listen to BBC World News, watch CNN, read papers online, and soak up pop culture. You simply can't be a writer and stick your head in a hole, determined to write your opus without that annoying outside world nibbling at your brain.
Stuff happens, really cool stuff, funny stuff, sad stuff, life stuff: hundreds of thousands of tiny ideas marching past, just waiting to be grabbed. The media feeds off itself, so if you see two articles on the same subject in the newspapers, you'll likely see a televised news piece on it within a couple of weeks. Then it becomes a trend, and more articles are written. I swear, CNN staffers must have Digg in their bookmarks, because those stories pop up on TV regularly.
Admittedly, I don't watch everything. Never seen 'Survivor,' 'American Idol,' or 'Dancing with the Stars.' But I usually know what's happening on those shows, because CNN reports it. I do love my sitcoms, plus my sci-fi, and all the lowdown on History/Discovery/A&E/Science/E! (oops, how did that last one get in there?) But it's all about being connected.
Give me my 'Daily Show,' 'Colbert Report,' my late-night menu of Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson, plus some Nick at Nite thrown in for good measure. Fork over 'Mythbusters,' 'Dirty Jobs,' 'Heroes,' 'Chuck,' 'Eureka,' and isn't it time for 'Deadliest Catch' again? I know which trendy actress has a CDL, who has a man-sized safe in his office, and what the Britney-joke-of-the-day is. Because it's fun, and it's part of the culture in this moment. It also gets me work, because I can see trends starting up.
That said, the lack of fresh television is in the news, and I support the striking writers completely: I'll watch the reruns, speed up the Netflix rotation, and root for those guys to get their deal, because part of their complaint is the lack of respect for what they do. That's a complaint all writers have, from the local reporter to the Hollywood script writer. The other complaint is one we should all understand: getting paid what we're worth. So while the guild writers do what they have to, I'll be chilling out, waiting with giggly glee, and wagging my big hound tail to see their work back on the screen.