After writing the title to this blog post, I had a strong feeling of obviousness wash over me. OK, so be it. I plead guilty to stating the obvious.
What people like to watch on TV says a lot about them. So does the music they like to listen to. So do the books and magazines they like to read.
Still, I find it fascinating how our personality gets projected into those sorts of activities. It's almost as if we don't need to meditate, engage in psychotherapy, or stare into the darkness of a coffee house expresso to know our self.
Maybe I just need the notebook in which I write down shows my wife and I might enjoy on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, Apple TV+ and whatever other streaming services we have that I can't remember.
Plus my memory of which shows captivated me so much, I could barely wait to see the next episode. Which include, roughly in the order of my passion for them:
(1) Tehran. I'm watching this Israeli show on Apple TV+, which requires closed captioning. A spy thriller, the plotting and character development is much beyond 24 or Homeland, in my utterly personal opinion. I'll be sad when I finish Tehran, I love it so much.
(2) Yellowstone. The scheming, killings, and yes, morality (by their standard) of the Dutton family as they try to save their giant Montana ranch from greedy developers kept me glued to the screen from the first episode. Family dysfunction, mixed with family love, was never so interesting.
(3) Succession. Well, except for Succession. The Roy family members are more polished than the blunt cowboy style of Yellowstone, but they're equally vicious in their privileged rich fashion. None of the Roy's can trust each other, yet they all do their best to pretend that they can. Great entertainment.
(4) Lupin. Nothing like a good heist story to get my juices flowing, especially when it is set in Paris and features a memorable character who seeks to avenge his father by taking on the persona of a fictional thief with a social conscience.
(5) Anatomy of a Scandal. Did a Member of Parliament rape his assistant with whom he was having an affair, or was it just a plain old affair, as his wife hopes? Can he be trusted? Seems like a nice guy when he's home with the kids; not so much when he's acting like a jerk. Engrossing drama.
So is there any common denominator to these shows that might reveal some deep dark secret about myself? Sadly, not really, since it isn't a secret that I like spy novels, being especially enamored of Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series.
I enjoy the TV shows listed above because they feature people who are a complex mixture of good and bad, positive and negative, moral and immoral. Just like everybody, really, simply taken to an extreme. I love it when I both admire a character and detest a character.
Doesn't really matter if they're a saint or a sinner at any particular moment, so long as they're interesting.