People who tell you TV is a waste of time have no damn business being in your life. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but the point is: despite popular opinion (which is wrong), TV can provide true and meaningful value to your career. (People who say otherwise need to Netflix and chill out.) Sure, TV is often a fruitful source for Internet memes and Real Housewives drivel, but it can also enhance your life in unexpected ways. Not only can it make you feel all the things (love, hate, lust, sadness, happiness, you get the point…), but it can also help guide you in important life decisions, like deciding what the eff you want to do with your precious time on this earth! Here’s a quick look at how your favorite TV show might lead to a fulfilling and worthwhile career.
TV AS REFLECTION OF SELF:
In the not-so-distant past, TV reflected a patriarchal world where white men monopolized 150% of positions of power. That math may need work, but you get the point. Television shows portrayed fictional white men as all-powerful, and therefore non-fictional white men in the real world continued to be all-powerful. Representation is essential– when you don’t see yourself reflected onscreen, it’s hard to think, “Hey, maybe I could be a vigilante serial killer with an expertise in blood spatter!” Today, TV is transforming. More and more women and people of color are appearing on our laptops and DVRs, cast in central, aspirational roles as opposed to tired, supporting-character stereotypes. Seeing Julia Louis-Dreyfus play an idiotic VP on Veep is truly a giant-ass step forward for mankind and any person trying to fight the seeming-gender limitations of a career. (As a side note, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the s**t, and totally worthy of a spot in your ever-growing viewing queue.)
Moreover, your taste in TV may be indicative of your career leanings. Are you a political drama fiend who finds yourself watching reruns of House of Cards, Scandal and Law & Order? Maybe a job in politics or administrative justice is right for you! Or do you find yourself devouring shows like Cake Boss, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Iron Chef? Perhaps a position at an in-house bakery is your professional calling. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.”
Wow, thanks for the career advice, Pablo!
TV IS WRITTEN BY PEOPLE, AND SINCE I’M A PERSON, MAYBE I CAN WRITE TV FOR A CAREER:
Have you ever watched a show that made you gush? A show so magical, you’d consider introducing it to your parents over an awkward dinner in your poorly furnished apartment? For any of those inclined toward creative careers, seeing great writing come to life via the characters on your screen may just inspire you to hit the page yourself. All you need is a computer and the iron will of Tina Fey! With TV content at its best and writers now in the public eye from Amy Poehler to Larry David to Shonda Rhimes, these delicious nerds prove that writing for the small screen is a viable option for any coffee-drinking, computer-hunkering, self-loathing individual. You’ll also need to hone those writing chops, but now that TV’s transformed from wallflower to queen bee, we can all add TV writer to our list of career aspirations.