Since the start of the pandemic, I’ll admit I’ve got a little sucked in to reality TV. Before I might occasionally watch a show, but not religiously and I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t and don’t watch all of them, even now.
I think it’s the escapism for me. The break from reality. Watching ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ and I’m not a great cook, is just nice. There’s no drama, unless a cake burns, and no arguments. In the world we’re living in right now, with all the worry and illness and death, it’s just nice to enjoy something safe and happy.
On the other side of it I’ve also enjoyed a bit of ‘Love Island’, I think mainly because I like the romance of it, and hope everyone will end up happy ever after. I know that’s unlikely, but it still makes me smile.
Just recently we’ve started watching ‘The Cabins’, and while I can’t say I was too fussed, I said I’d watch it with my daughter and it sucked us in a little. The idea is two people get matched and put in a cabin to see if love blossoms. There’s three couples on the site at once and they don’t see each other at all. It sounds random, but in some ways it’s quite sweet seeing people getting to know each other, a kind of socially distanced ‘Blind Date’. The thing that surprises me is that how much some of them drink. Now I know they’re young, and most probably nervous, but I really don’t know how healthy it is to encourage that sort of behaviour. That possibly sounds a little high and mighty and I don’t mean it to, I just worry that by showing people who seem to need to have a lot to drink just to be able to talk to someone they like, I feel we’re reinforcing the need to drink. One couple seemed to really suit each other but I really felt for both of them when one drank so much he was sick in the bed, leaving the other to tidy up the mess and sort the dog out.
It’s hard viewing to see someone drinking so much for dutch courage that they spoil their night. It was even worse to see the other being so kind and generally picking up all the pieces. I’m not sure which one I felt more sorry for.
I’m not saying that we should remove all alcohol from TV, I just worry that by showing characters, whether fictional or real on it, relying on drinking then we’re showing our youngsters that is what we should do. We’re also reinforcing the behaviour for people who struggle to regulate, because I know full well I would have loved an excuse to make my drinking seem normal.
The other thing that was interesting was seeing one or two of them wake up with hangovers. It really reminded me of how I used to feel, and I tell you what, it really made me think how grateful I am not to feel like that anymore. Ever.
It’s funny how things change isn’t it? It’s nice to look back and realise how far I’ve come. It’s refreshing to see the odd person on the shows admit that they don’t drink either. It reminds me that I’m not the only one in the world who doesn’t drink. It also reminds me that it doesn’t have to be a choice because we have no other. Some people are just wise enough to not need to start drinking in the first place. In some ways I’m envious, in other ways I think I had to walk the path I did to get to where I am now.
I can’t say seeing people drinking to excess is enjoyable, but at the same time, it’s easier than it used to be and if it serves as a reminder of how I was then I don’t suppose that’s a bad thing.
Thank you as always for reading.