The Test Pattern of Our Identity

Sitting here trying to work, and all I can think about is Lost returning to TV tonight (woo , hoo!) Now, I watch my share of television programming, but have found myself uninterested in the recent hit shows. Reality television bores me and I can’t bear to watch these cruel competition series. And frankly, after 50 years, there just are not too many new ideas out there.

But, looking back over my life, there have always been one of two shows that I never missed. I don’t mean shows like Law and Order, which I have eventually caught in re-runs, but shows for which everything else in life stopped. In a world of TIVO and On-Demand viewing, I think people are missing out on the expectation and planning involved.

So, here is my life defined by shows I never missed (at least until they ran their creative course – I can’t watch the death throes of past favorites).

  • Lost
  • West Wing
  • ER
  • N.Y.P.D. Blue
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • L.A. Law
  • Hill Street Blues
  • Dallas
  • M*A*S*H
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • All in the Family
  • Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In
  • Star Trek
  • The Addams Family
  • Outer Limits
  • Twilight Zone

I imagine that there is a psychology/self help book in here somewhere — you know, some kind of typology like Myers Briggs. I would be an RFCJ, a Realistic Fantasist with a sense of Comedic Justice.

Of course, I’m sure others might look at my list and think, “no wonder he is so strange – look at what he watched growing up!” It is bizarre that Unitarian Rod Serling had such an impact on me as a child, since I did not discover Unitarian Universalism until long after his death. And, Gene Roddenberry had far more to do with my theological formation than any minister.

So, what does the list of your life look like?

One thought on “The Test Pattern of Our Identity

  1. My parents would periodically kill our tv so there were big interruptions in what I watched, but I recognize all the shows you listed. I was born in the mid-70s, so I was too young for some of your shows, but big ones for me were:<>Little House on the Prairie<><>Mickey Mouse Club<><>Avonlea<><>The Cosby Show<><>A Different World<><>Jeopardy!<> (every day!)<>The Young Riders<><>Ray Bradbury Theater<><>Star Trek: The Next Generation<><>Homicide: Life on the Street<><>Columbo<><>The X-Files<> (through season 4)<>Millennium<>And to a lesser extent: <>Golden Girls<>, <>Party of 5<>, <>Beverly Hills 90210<>, and <>Roseanne<>. I tried to watch <>Twin Peaks<>, but my parents wouldn’t let me (once they started reading about how it “pushed the envelope” it was a no-no).


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