No! No. Glad you asked that. I would like to state at the outset that while this blog is called The TV Professor, I am not a professor in any way shape or form. It’s just a catchy--
--OK, then. Are you a TV?
Er, uh… isn’t that self-evident? But, um, also, no.
So what is The TV Professor?
The TV Professor is a blog that is going to examine what we can learn from watching TV.
Oh, like it’s going to talk about documentaries, the news and what’s on PBS?
No. That would have been a smart idea, but, uh… This is something a little less, um, classy. We’re going to talk about what we can learn from, say, watching a 40-year-old sitcom on a Tuesday evening.
And, hey, that is the most frequently asked question that I get. Generally, when I describe what this blog is about, family and friends, after staring at me for a few seconds, they will say, “What?”
Look, the best way I can describe this blog is that if TV is a guilty pleasure of yours, here is your chance to feel a little less guilty.
I started off thinking about this blog as a history blog, and it is definitely a history blog, but it’s also simply a popular culture or television blog. I’m really not sure where I came up with this idea, but it probably was a Tuesday evening, and it may have occurred while watching an episode of M*A*S*H.
I guess it was a couple years ago, I was watching an episode, and Colonel Potter uttered a phrase that I had never heard and assumed was just something that the scriptwriters made up.
But suddenly I decided to do some Googling of the phrase, and the next thing I know, I’m reading up on the origins of the phrase and learning about something that happened in the 1800s. (Eventually, my Googling became this blog post.) A few nights later, Colonel Potter made a wisecrack that referred to the 1920s and 1930s, and I started Googling that as well. (Which eventually turned into this blog post.)
Anyway, those little TV watching incidents morphed into this blog, which started off as what we can learn about history from TV shows and then, as I started working on the first blog posts, it led into my wanting to write about all these other little life lessons that we can learn from TV.
And if none of this makes sense, but you’re intrigued, that's okay. Please peruse the blog and read some of the posts. Hopefully you’ll soon understand what The TV Professor is all about.
So you aren’t a professor. But there’s history on this blog. Are you a historian?
No. I have written some history books, which you can learn more about on my “about” page, but I am not a professor, not a TV and not a historian.
Are you a TV critic?
Also, no. I’m a freelance journalist and an author who loves history and enjoys watching TV, maybe a little too much.
So does The TV Professor focus on classic television?
In the beginning, probably it will. That said, I’m not somebody who is trapped in the past. I watch a fair amount of current TV shows, sometimes on my own and often with my 17-year-old daughter (meanwhile, my 19-year-old is more of a gamer than TV watcher). We’ve watched a lot of Marvel TV shows on DisneyPlus this year (i.e., WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki) and lately, we’ve been binge watching (for the umpteenth time) Lost and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
That said, there are so many shows, and there is no way I will ever watch them all, or like them all. So I’m sure a lot of people who check out this blog will say, “Wow, this guy’s taste in TV shows is seriously lame,” whereas some of you may think, “Wow, we’re TV kindred spirits.”
Will The TV Professor discuss what sort of history and life lessons we can learn from the movies?
Probably not, or if I do, very sparingly. If I get too broad, this just becomes a blog with absolutely no focus, which already may be the case, and so I’ll plan on sticking with TV series. That said, one of the first blog posts I wrote was about a Popeye episode that I saw on Turner Classic Movies, and it first aired in the 1930s, in a movie theater, and so I already sort of broke my rule early on.
And then, of course, we watch television shows on our phones, and movies on our phones, and so you can start to wonder if a TV show that you never watch on a TV should really be called a TV show?
Still, for now, I’m going to try to stick with history and personal finance and life lessons that we can learn from conventional TV shows.
This is, as I hope everybody’s figured out, a blog about gaining a deeper understanding what many of us watch every day, but at the end of the day, this blog is written for everybody’s entertainment. In other words, if you decide to get your money tips and life lessons purely from this blog, I’m deeply concerned for you.
But, hey, if you do end up learning something from the blog, will I think that’s pretty cool? Yes, I will.