Although, as a child, I spent quite a lot of time in front of a television, as an adult, it’s not my favorite activity. Perhaps it was because the television was a notable piece of furniture that demanded a bit of awe and respect. Only the printed TV Guide could tell you what was going to be appearing on the magic box that week. It was always like you might miss something wonderful if you didn’t browse all of the listings very carefully. But, since Philippe and I are currently sailing through the sky on the way to Paris, screens are a lovely thing indeed. My favorite thing about televisions getting smaller is that you get your own little screen on the plane now. Prior to this, you had to watch a single larger screen that could be too far away to see or one would pop out of the ceiling and be too close, threatening to break your neck while attempting to view it properly. The entertainment selection has increased as well and shows and movies I might have never watched, finally have me trapped as a captive audience.
There are many movies that I wouldn’t bother going to the theater to see and they’re all waiting for me when I board my flight. Many, I wouldn’t even bother watching at home. But, when you’re trapped and spiraling through the air, several thousand feet above land or a vast ocean, nearly every option looks intriguing. I’ve experienced this “plane effect” each time we visit family overseas. And, in truth, I rather love it! Even a movie that’s not amazing can be rather good and unexpected company on a long flight. That said, if whatever show or movie choice is bad, it needs to be tragically and humorously bad, to count as entertainment. Otherwise, I will move on to the next thing. Philippe and I have a headphone splitter with separate volume controls so we can watch it together. Once we forgot to bring it and would have to prep the movie on each of our screens and press play on the count of “1…2…3…GO!” Toilet breaks for either of us meant we had to repeat the ritual to stop and start it again. Once we were slightly off on our count while watching The Conjuring and Philippe kept jumping with fright a couple of seconds before things happened, making that movie the least terrifying one I’ve ever witnessed.
But, I adore good stories in any form they come, so I’m thrilled when we find a gem of a movie on the flight. One we might have immediately rejected were our options not so suddenly limited. In some ways, it reminds me of those good old days with the printed TV Guide listings. When you only have a few options of things to watch, each one earned a bit more importance. Perhaps that’s why there are shows from our youth that we can all confess to watching while even today’s most popular shows can produce confused shrugs from some. We may not have had the Internet back then, but television itself was a form of social media. We all loved Lucy, and didn’t have to explain which Lucy we were talking about. No matter who I met when I was young, we always had something in common. A way to start a conversation and a way of feeling connected. These days, even if you live together you’re no longer reading from the same guide. There are so many personal and individual distractions, content isn’t quite the same reliable bridge it once was. And with so much time spent staring at our own individual phones, it’s lovely to have this time with Philippe. Just two married weary travelers, cuddled close, and once again, sharing the same screen.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!