Television has been important in my life.
I bet a lot of us Millennials could say that, but a bit more so on my part than most people. I was a sickly kid, I didn’t know it was due to a genetic liver disease until I was a teenager. I just thought I had the bad luck of being diseased. But as a kid it wasn’t really all that bad since I got to watch TV. While I had friends, I didn’t really socialize outside of school a lot except for my best friend, Pat. Even then, I was an introvert. But it was also hard to pry me away from He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, Voltron, M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe, and other action cartoons. These were my Aesop’s Fables, with many of their “end of episode lessons”.
Actually, Aesop’s Fables were too since Nickelodeon had an animated show that featured them.
Now, I wasn’t a couch potato. I loved going outside. But when I did, I always imagined myself in those shows. Over time all the series became one giant super show in my mind. This was when I think a part me realized I love writing these stories with these characters I loved.
But it wasn’t just action cartoons that I loved. Mr. Wizard, Beakman’s World, and Bill Nye the Science Guy taught me everything I needed to know about science between the ages of 4-10. That made it that I never had to read anything in school until I was a sophomore in high school.
As I hit those teen years, music was becoming more important to me. But even then, I found out about a lot of the bands through TV, way back in the days where the “M” in MTV meant Music. It was also a really hard time for me, because this was when we found out that I was so sick due to Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency.
The doctors couldn’t help me much because there is no cure. I was born with the worst possible outcome that I shouldn’t have even been alive at that point. Let’s say that it was not an easy revelation to deal with. I grew really depressed about it over time. And then one faithful night, MTV was replaying KISS Unplugged and I don’t know what it was but was like an instant therapy session.
I would also be remiss if I did not mention Dawson’s Creek. Premiering my freshman year of high school, it was one of those very eerie “art imitates life” moments. You see, I am Dawson; a geeky novelist Dawson, but Dawson nonetheless. By best friend was Pacey. There were even times when episodes mimicked our lives at that very moment. This is why, to this day, I always tell people if you want to know me, just watch that show.
I could keep going, talking about the 4 year TV silence during college or how TV made my liver transplant both torturous and easier. But I won’t. I’ll start running out of columns to write.
I love TV, it has been good to me. Despite people still having that “idiot box” view of the medium, it is as an important method of story telling as a novel. Bad books and TV have the same problems, just as great TV and books get the same things right. In the end, I don’t think the medium matters. It always comes down to the story that people connect with. That is where I’ll be coming from with my column and I hope you all enjoy what I have planned. - W.D. Prescott
Here’s a SNEAK PEEK at the logo for W.D.’s new column:
W.D. Prescott’s SCREEN BURN premieres Wednesday with his review of the new NBC Television Show AWAKE.