quality time

Once there was a time, before VCRs or OnDemand,when families had to plan their quality television time around network schedules.


This meant rushing home for St.Elsewhere or Hill Street Blues, or Cheers; enduring advertisements, or developing excellent timing for snack breaks that took no longer than ‘a word from our sponsors’.

There were no remotes, which meant getting up to turn the dials for volume or channel changes.

Also, no answering the telephone (land lines with cords, tethered to phone outlets), often in a different room, no answering machines, no cell phones, no voice mails, no texting, and no ‘streaming’ to catch lost episodes. You had to wait for reruns.

120px-Family_watching_television_1958 Evert F. Baumgardner

Writing Prompt: Write the experience of watching television through the lens of this family. What are they watching? What happens when the phone rings? Who won’t stop talking when the ads are over and the show is back on? Experiment with dialogue as a tool for evoking tension and disagreement.