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August 22 2008

Seth Green is a rare TV star who actually watches TV. AP story mentions Seth Green as one of the few television actors who actually watches TV regularly.

I've always found it strange when actors mention (e.g. in DVD commentaries) that they don't watch the shows they've actually starred in. Guess when you're so close to it anyway, there's no point in watching?

I have always assumed that those folks are being a bit disingenuous.
TamaraC - you mean they all secretly watch their own stuff on repeat while rubbing jello all over themselves? Or something like that. Sorry, I'm giddy it's the weekend.
Not that exactly, zeitgeist. :)

I think a lot of working actors probably don't have time to watch a lot of TV since their on-set hours tend to be pretty extreme, but actors are also not working A LOT (read: most of the time). Those that say they don't watch TV (any TV not just their shows) strike me as being less than truthful. Or big fat liars. Take your pick.
:) Gotcha. I'm going with 'less than truthful' to avoid the appearance of an ad hominem attack on actors (and you should too).
Your pick is probably for the best and I was being just a bit silly myself with the other option.
It is not the weekend.
It is weekendish.
I am at work. Ergo it is not the weekend!

I used the word "ergo" so I win.
I am in my dressing gown so it is the weekend.

Also Seth Green seems to watch more telly than me these days.
I'm at work too, but it feels very weekendy since most folk are not here.
Simon man, you've let the side down. Surely this is not ? Ahem. I'll get me coat.

I like to think TV actors are, in Xander's words, shallow like us. That said, although they have a lot of trailer time, I bet it's not at regular hours so maybe they're more into DVD marathons (trailers don't have TiVo surely) ? And it's also easier for certain types of actor to admit to - Ricky Gervais' persona is somewhat built around being a fairly ordinary guy so it's in keeping to do ordinary things. David Boreanaz's vibe is quite blokey so it's fine for him to say he watches a lot of sports. And Seth Green's just smart and secure enough in himself to be totally honest (but even then, he talks about it almost as a professional obligation, the same way a plumber might keep abreast of the latest tools and developments etc.).
I need to get into a job where watching TV is a "professional obligation."
Honestly, if I was an actor, I couldn't watch my own shows because of myself appearing in them. i could only watch them for audio commentaries or premiere parties, but never for entertainment at home.

Still, I believe most actors and actresses watch TV. I actually think the article is a bit on the bullshit side. They might not watch as much as other people, but I do think that they watch TV if they are not working.

I actually remember a lot of actors and actresses talking about shows they watch. America Ferrera once said in an interview at the UGLY BETTY DVD release party that she is psyched to have her own show appear on DVD, so that she could put it next to her other favorite shows on the shelves. Dana Delaney recently said in an interview that she watched Dr. Horrible and became a huge Joss Whedon-fan , Emma Caulfield likes "Battlestar Galactica", Julie Benz said she used to watch "Six Feet Under" before she joined "Dexter", while Ellen Muth also talked about TV shows she liked on her official board (don't recall them though).
Society brands people who are gung-ho about TV as mentally challenged, hopeless nerds or cursed with too much time on their hands.

This is so true. I'm an English major, and so are most of my friends, and while they pride themselves on their fabulous taste in movies and music and books, they almost all, without fail, will say that they don't watch TV, with a kind of sneer in their voice that says they're too good for that sort of thing. I mean, I love them dearly, but it's so elitist. I'm unabashed about my love of television, though I keep my fandom ties under wraps, and I feel like they're all sort of humoring me when I mention it at all--patting me on the head and thinking that it's just one of my eccentricities.

The thing is, I am absolutely positive these people would love, say, Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica if they would only give them a chance (the genre thing enters into this, too--they won't read/watch sci-fi or fantasy, no matter how good it is).

But if the people who make TV don't even take pride in it, why should anyone else appreciate it?
I bet a ton of them are secret soap addicts. If you finish a scene at 11am and don't get called for another 4 hours, that's prime soap territory.

And it's not the weekend!! Not for another 36 hours! :P *goes back to stupid work*
And what're they all cheering each other at the Emmys for if they don't know what the award's for? Huh? Huh?
Do the Emmys have a free bar ? Cos that might explain it ;).
Ha. Nice. ;-)
I've often wondered if people too close to the TV-making process have trouble getting lost in the finished product. The whole sausage metaphor, you know. I imagine actors (and directors, producers, writers, crew persons, etc.) get awfully distracted from the story and the characters by the technical things they know have gone into making the show. They may have a deep appreciation for those technical things if they are done well, but I can't imagine too many professional TV industry people being able to genuinely suspend their disbelief regarding something that so closely resembles their jobs.
Yes, ShimShamSam, that's a good point, but if that were the case, don't you think that it would carry over to movie actors as well? That they wouldn't be able to suspend their disbelief? But they have no problem watching other films, as the beginning of the article points out.
I could see that happening with their own show, but not with other shows. I think Joss probably understands a few things about making television, but that doesn't stop him for being a big fanboy for shows like Veronica Mars or Battlestar Galactica.
I was listening to David Fury on the AtVS "You're Welcome" commentary and he mentions that, unlike himself usually, Joss could generally (and seemingly paradoxically) as he put it, maintain enough "distance" from his own creations to be able to be moved by them.

Just from my limited production work, however, I know there are times when you feel like you never want to see its annoying face again - but that only applies to your own work, and not other follkses plays, films, TV, etc.

Lottsa of the stage actors I knew/know were hopelessly addicted to soaps. I had a soap addiction once for a while - even while I loathed it - but I sought treatment, was cured, and have not relapsed.
I had a soap addiction once for a while...

Do the Cassadines still have a weather control device?
Wait. There's a sausage metaphor? Why wasn't I informed? If I had an assistant, I would bloody well fire them for this!

So, anybody here looking for work? Very short-term. Sausage know-how a plus.

As for TV celebrities watching TV like normal people - yeah right! Next you'll try and tell me they use the bathroom like normal people. Ha!
Ah, I never watched GH - mine was OLTL during the underground City of Eterna era, and just before Nathan came on.

My partner used to torment me endlessly about it, but that's not why I stopped.
Maybe they're just afraid to admit what they actually watch because it's something trashy or conflicts with their professional obligations and "nothing" is a safer answer.

Why don't people on TV watch TV?
Because if they accidentally watched their own show, IN the show, dimensional walls would collapse. It's a whole big thing.
I had a soap addiction once for a while...

I have a soap addiction now. Well, actually, just an addiction to the gay couple on As The World Turns. They have tons of chemistry. Though the writing is crap and at this rate they'll never get to have sex, EVER, but that's beside the point of this thread, ahem.

I think TV actors do watch their own shows, but when asked what they're favorite shows are, I guess they assume the interviewer is talking about other shows. I think I've heard some actors talk about watching their own shows, just can't remember who.
Nathan Fillion freely admits on his myspace page that he watches television. " I enjoy Lost, like all really admirable people do..."

Whoo-hoo, Nathan's myspace friends just past 8 legions.

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2008-08-23 06:12 ]
I can sort of understand that point of view. TV has had some great shows throughout, but I've always thought the modern "golden age" started with Hill Street Blues which was 1982 (if I recall) and continuing with all the great shows that appeared in the late 80's and early 90's. Things really started jumping off in 1997 obviously, with Buffy, but also Oz which helped HBO establish its run of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwoood and such which are amongst the best shows ever.

There's just not a ton of greatness on networks at the moment and that's always going to get the most exposure. Fuller is doing great stuff. There are some great comedies, but for the most part, cable and premium is where the best work is being done. Which means you actually have to look for it. Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter, Brotherhood, Big Love, some of the best shows airing don't even pull 10,000,000 combined. Great writers can't seem to keep their shit on the air on networks or in the case of a dude like David Mills (dude has Emmy's, WGA awards, all kinds of shit) they can't even get a network to produce their shows.

So, you know, I can understand why TV doesn't get a ton of respect. But, given that AMC came out of nowhere to produce the two best (Brotherhood could give them a run for their money) shows on TV, I think that will begin to change.

[ edited by The Sandy Llama on 2008-08-23 10:45 ]
Maybe they're just afraid to admit what they actually watch because it's something trashy or conflicts with their professional obligations and "nothing" is a safer answer.
(my emphasis)

That's a good point. Maybe actors are worried it would seem either like toadying for work or like dissing writers/producers that they might then be looking to for employment at some point in the future ? With Joss it's slightly different because, strictly speaking, he's actually in competition (professionally) with guys like Ron Moore or Rob Thomas (even though in my fantasy head-land they're all great pals and sit around talking about who'd win in Buffy vs Starbuck vs Veronica ;-) so when he says he loves their shows it's just a straight-forward compliment between equals.

Wait. There's a sausage metaphor?

Sausages are actually one of the most useful foods, metaphorically - there's very little they can't do.
James Marsters watches TV. I even remember him talking about how he and Juliet Landau (with JM's then girlfriend) used to watch Buffy together.

Although, these days he's pretty busy (yay), so I'm guessing he doesn't watch as much.
(even though in my fantasy head-land they're all great pals and sit around talking about who'd win in Buffy vs Starbuck vs Veronica ;-)

Love Buffy dearly, but I'm halfway inclined to say Starbuck. I haven't gottten a chance to really watch BSG, but in the little I have seen, Starbuck is way scary. ;)
And then there's this Mark Sheppard interview in which he explains how he'll be with other Vancouver-working actors at a hotel bar and they will go out of their way to tell him not to spoil anything about BSG.

They'd sort of have to be watching television to make sure they aren't getting spoiled.
I used to work for an actor and he had a copy of every little thing he had ever done. He used to make us all sit down and watch his new stuff too, and it was TORTURE. But, he was a strange case.

A lot of actors check out their dailies, just to see if their hitting their mark etc, but they can't get lost in the story like us. I once spoke to an actor who, get this, didn't even read the whole script! That's right, he just flicked through and read his own part, memorized his lines and showed up to work. I was aghast but a bit more understanding after he theorized that his acting would be different if he knew about situations or conversations that his character was unaware of.

Also, found this,
Summer's favorite show as a young 'un, and a couple of other TV types waxing lyrical about their favorite shows.

Not to be totally random, but I was listening to a NPR Science Friday broadcast about Hollywood & Technology, and there was a Dr. Horrible mention at the end. It only got to state a few bare facts (time, budget) before getting cut off, but it was neat to hear.

Between hearing "wigged" on a bus yesterday and NPH's evil laugh on a (very amusing) HIMYM ep they showed on the plane, plus an old friend suddenly getting into Buffy, things have been Whedony.

Yeah, just thought I'd share.

Some thoughts on actors not watching TV: well, I spent some time as a sort-of journalist running a small newspaper; I was interested in what I was reporting & the design & distribution of my newspaper, but I almost never read newspapers. It's slightly a time thing, but also just that a lot of news sections don't interest me, and TV is a pretty broad, time-consuming thing that works perfectly as a Thing to Ignore for someone in the industry.

ETA: Here's the link to the NPR broadcast:
From Gone with the Wind to Toy Story to Internet/film-related experiments, it's a neat broadcast.

[ edited by Jav on 2008-08-23 21:54 ]
I think Saje had something there, you know, about Seth being sufficiently sure of himself to say what he really thinks. Those who are not afraid that people will think they are dumb or uncool, generally seem to be (if not totally bonkers) pretty smart and cool. This is a state almost impossible to achieve as an adolescent, of course-it seems to become more common later in life.

(I was cured of my little personal soap opera problem when they canceled Another World)
Maybe actors are worried it would seem either like toadying for work or like dissing writers/producers that they might then be looking to for employment at some point in the future ?

Yes, although the second seems worse than the first and that would be solved by just not saying what they don't like. And, as mentioned in the article, movie actors don't seem to mind talking about watching movies, and I can't imagine television writers/producers being more sensitive to those comments than their movie collegues.

I think it's a combination of two things (and I'm not saying anything original here ;)): lack of time (most good television series require hours of investment and television actors have sucky working schedules and probably pretty busy social lives/obligations outside of shooting hours) and the "lack of cool" factor for television. I, however, think the first one is much more important than the second one (which is already slowly changing, anyway).

well, I spent some time as a sort-of journalist running a small newspaper; I was interested in what I was reporting & the design & distribution of my newspaper, but I almost never read newspapers.

Well, I'd be your "Seth Green" in that regard ;). I write for magazines, but I also read a lot of magazines. In fact, reading magazines (on science, politics, movies, computer games, sci-fi/fantasy, etcetera) is one of my biggest hobbies, which is probably why I ended up writing for them.

So it's hard for me to imagine doing something like acting for television while not liking television. I'm thinking most of them used to watch television and were maybe even inspired by it (or, arguably, by movies), but maybe not so much now for the reasons stated above.
Well, I'd be your "Seth Green" in that regard ;). I write for magazines, but I also read a lot of magazines.

Hah, that might make you the movie star to my TV star. Come on, newspapers just aren't cool like magazines (I always read TIME, etc., when I see it sitting around). ;)

I wonder if they did a poll on journalists, if more would read their own magazines than their own newspapers. Then again, it's possible no one cares. Actors are apparently all cooler than journalists anyway. :)
Yeah, you almost never see journalists interviewing journalists, after all ;).

Although I'm not sure about newspapers vs. magazines, Jav. I think it all depends on the newspaper and the magazine in question (I think writing for The New York Times beats writing for, let's say, "toenail clippers monthly", for instance). But, other than that... yeah, I like magazines more too.

What were we talking about again? ;)

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