September 2007 – Vol. IV, Issue 9
On a Personal Note: Rediscovering TV
I have to admit, I’m hooked a couple of TV shows. It’s been a while – we’ve had only rabbit ears hooked to our TV since we moved into our home 4 1/2 years ago, and we get snow and static on most of our local channels. However, we do get a couple of PBS stations (thank goodness for children’s educational programming, we love Between the Lions in our house) and a couple of other network stations. For the most part, we haven’t really watched much TV and haven’t really missed it! But the one thing I regretted was that ABC does not come in at all, so in spite of my desire to watch Dancing with the Stars in the past (yeah, I took ballroom dancing classes in college and loved it–unfortunately I married a non-dancer), I had to miss it.
Well, this season, ABC has posted full episodes of select shows on its website, abc.go.com. On demand, I can watch Dancing with the Stars with a few commercial interruptions (but fewer than live). I can’t vote, but I can enjoy the fun the next day. I wish they’d use more classic ballroom music and less pop, rock and rap, but there are some great performers among the stars and professionals. For those of you who are also watching, I’m really liking Helio Castroneves and Sabrina Bryan for their sharp performances and dancing talent. You’ve got to admire Mark Cuban for his work ethic–his dedication to the show and to doing his best is amazing–and Marie Osmond is such an engaging performer and so fun to watch. You can’t discount Jane Seymour, who is gorgeous and graceful at age 56. I’m looking forward to seeing who makes it to the top!
The other TV show I’m enjoying (if that’s even the right word!) is Ken Burns The War, a seven-part documentary about World War II. It’s currently playing on most PBS stations, and I’ve watched all but the last two episodes so far. I have increased my knowledge of the war itself, but most of all, I have increased my appreciation for the fine men and women who sacrificed in so many ways for the war effort. The horrors of war are made very real in this documentary, and that has been hard to watch. Personally, as a former missionary who lived in Japan and loved the people, I have had to deal with new feelings about the Japanese military and the brutality and cruelty they showed to not only Allied POWs but also Allied civilians and their own citizens. Ken Burns remains a masterful storyteller as he threads the personal experiences of real people through the narration. One of the things Ken Burns and PBS have done is to launch the Veterans History Project to collect and archive the wealth of personal experiences and capture the stories of World War II. For more about The War and the Veterans History Project, see http://pbs.org/thewar.