Finding comfort in ‘granny TV’ 

Published 11:16 am Thursday, November 16, 2023

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Unspeakable brutality in the Middle East…more in Ukraine…volcanic ruptures in Iceland…senseless violence in America…

Besides heartfelt prayers for peace I can do but one thing:

Watch granny TV.

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And watch it unabashedly without shame for the same emotional comfort of a canine thunder shirt.

Granny TV is a term I might have coined but that remains unconfirmed. It came out of a conversation I was having with an English friend who was having a difficult day in wet, raw, difficult weather. “What you need,” I opined, “is a grilled cheese sandwich, a bowl of tomato soup and a night of granny TV.”

Granny TV is exactly that: productions that include warm-fuzzy episodes, or films that might appeal to the elderly. No violence, but lots of romantic eye candy with dreamy landscapes and always a satisfying ending in which good triumphs. And it’s readily available for all ages.

Funnily enough, I used to chastise another friend for doing this in her mid-forties. At the end of a long day she found great enjoyment in watching reruns of “Murder, She Wrote.”

“Do you knit a shawl as you watch?” I goaded her. “And soak your feet?”

“I just like it,” she shrugged. “It sort of feels old-fashioned and sweet, and you know nothing really awful is going to happen.”

She may now have the last laugh on me as I’ve given up watching the news, (I read it instead, so as to control what images may, or may not, seep into my brain) having opted for granny TV instead. With no apologies. An episode of “The Waltons?” Why not—lots of love and a kind, moral ending. “Midsomer Murders?” You betcha. Endless reruns of “Miss Marple?” No apologies for that; the late, great Joan Hickson played her role magnificently and we all know that murders, as long as they are performed with an English accent, are far more civilized and always result in a nice cup of tea. “Andy Griffith?” Of course. More recently, “Doc Martin” and “Endeavor” will be on my rerun list forever…

Hallmark movies? Personally, too much of an insulin spike for me but I don’t begrudge one bit those who enjoy them. Especially at Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. Paul and I will binge-watch Netflix and devour detective series that are both terrifying and graphic from time to time. We also never miss a Ken Burns documentary and enjoy political commentary. But at the end of a long day, particularly when news headlines leave us reeling, granny TV, not unlike a hot, cheesy casserole, is just what this grand-childless gal craves.

And yes, a nice cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment.

Especially with a shot of bourbon. After all, no one said granny TV must be watched tee-total.