Television is curious. I’m not sure I like it very much.
Our assignment for Human Classes was to watch several hours of it each night and make notes on what we found. There are certainly many shows, a wide variety for all kinds of tastes, but the purpose of them is devoid of conclusion. Why bother watching several attractive women trying to get one man to buy spackle? Are the lives of the human characters on Week of Our Lives heading for a conclusion of some kind, or is it intended to be an eternal, unsatisfying cycle?
This Echolocation program is especially curious. The episodes I watched were a series in which power generation was the main topic. There was a research scientist living alone in a derelict submarine, with an industrial solar system installation in progress above the water on a series of buoys. They would provide him with all the power he needed, but the process of wiring the power down to the submarine was a complex one. Industrial solar power and human ingenuity that helps the planet is of great interest to me, so I watched eagerly, only for the story to be interrupted by a B-plot that seemed to take up even more of the episode, in which a husband and wife living in a special glass capsule under the sea were arguing. A lot.
Apparently she’d said hello to one octopus floating outside their capsule every morning, but when their anniversary came around, he surprised her by making gourmet takoyaki out of that very octopus. At this point, I felt rather torn. The part of me that has developed human sensibilities was fully engaged in this marital drama, in which the wife was screeching about him turning his only friend into delicious seafood orbs. But then, my rational, robotic brain wanted to learn more about the commercial solar array. Sydney was a four-day rowing journey away from this fellow, so if something went wrong then it would be a long journey to retrieve new solar energy parts.
At this point I became frustrated and started to watch Lizard’s Lair instead, where someone debuted their ‘robot companion’ who could play board games and hold conversations, but actually went nuts and upended the Lizards’ table.
Well, that’s just offensive.