The TV that will save your relationship. Or kill it.6comments
In theory, I know that sitting with my guy watching TV does not count as quality time…even if we’re watching something of quality. Even if, for example, the program we’re watching supplies both of us with convulsive laughter and a catch phrase that we will use between us for all time. For example, this Jack D line from “30 Rock:”
“I believe that when you have a problem, you talk it over with your priest, or your tailor, or the mute elevator porter at your men’s club, and you take that problem and crush it with your mind vice.”
Yes, thanks to the fine writers at 30 Rock and hilarious assholery of Alec Baldwin, the term ‘mind vice’ will probably always be part of our relationship. And yes, we’ve bonded over our shared unbridled affection for shows like Battlestar Gallactica, The Wire, and This Old House, and we both agree that the world would be better with more Ron Swanson in it.
But as much as we can enjoy TV together, I still think sitting on the couch watching TV is not exactly the best way to keep a relationship fresh. I will admit that, after a long day at work, I’ve been totally guilty of default TV watching with my guy. The good news is that, for the most part, we like the same shows. Actually that is both good news and bad news; good news because we seldom argue about what to watch… bad news because it means we’re more likely to watch something rather than turn off the TV. That being said, our tastes are not entirely the same. I’ve never gotten into Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bill Maher sort of grosses me out. My guy does not share my love of all things Masterpiece Theater, and though we both like Top Chef, I can’t stand any of the reality TV tropes and like to fast-forward the show down to about 15 minutes, which drives my guy bonkers.
So though very TV compatible as a couple, there are some times when we both want to watch something, but not necessarily the same thing. Enter the new TV Samsung is developing, which was profiled at the recent CES convention: the Dual View/Duel Sound HD TV. Basically the idea is that this TV will allow you to have two different shows playing overlapped on the same TV at the same time. To the naked eye, it will, of course, look like a total mess, but with a special pair of glasses (and headphones) your dude can be watching the big game while you catch up on Downton Abbey. Genius, right? Or is it?
Gone would the fights (between couples or children) over who wants to watch what. With this new technology a couple could cozy up on the couch together, and both watch what each person actually wants to watch without having to compromise or pretend. But is that actually a good thing? Sitting and watching a TV show is already a default activity for a lot of Americans, which isn’t a great thing for our relationships, because watching TV isn’t so much spending time together as spending time in parallel. With the dual screen option, though you may be sitting beside each other, you’re separated by glasses and headphones and not only is your attention not on your partner, you’re no longer having anything resembling a shared experience. For myself, I think I’d rather suck it up and watch something that isn’t my first choice (or, god forbid, not watch anything) than watch TV wearing glasses and headphones in isolation. But then again, I don’t have two kids throwing screaming fits over who gets to pick the programming.
I’m curious… what do you think about this new technology? Is the dual picture/dual sound TV the stuff dreams are made of or does it sound like more of a nightmare? Would it be a relationship aid or relationship hindrance?