Using television for trouble-free entertainment, people’s relationship with the box is more of an arranged marriage than a love match

Although «I don’t have time» is on everybody’s lips, everyone, old and young, spends large amounts of time in front of the television. In 2003, viewers watched an average of four hours of TV daily. After August’s high viewing figures during the Olympic Games, people stayed glued to the screen. Halfway through the 2004-2005 TV season, the relationship between viewers and the screen resembles more of an arranged marriage than a love match. Most people acknowledge that they watch TV half-heartedly, just to kill time, because they lack the resilience, time and money to do something more worthwhile. Limited alternatives, rather than the attraction of the glass screen, is the reason for so much television viewing. Television remains the most popular and accessible means of recreation, so people’s dependence on it increases as do dissatisfaction, boredom and passive acceptance. Saturday night television viewing threatens to become the best day of the week. Televised parties, which until last year were restricted to the exceptionally popular «Koita ti ekanes» (Look What You’ve Done), have multiplied. Semina Digeni was transferred to Alpha channel and her place on NET was taken by Spyros Papadopoulos with «Stin ygeia sas» (To your health), while a similar program, on Sunday this time, appeared later on Alter, with Akis Pavlopoulos as presenter. The success of these programs, especially the first two, goes to show that misery wants television, not company. But Greece is a small country whose famous people are few in number, and thus a number of humorous incidents happen, such as a parade of the same actors on the same night, or on two successive nights, on different programs. Glasses are clinked, zeibekika and tsiftetelia dances are danced and jokes are cracked; it’s all smiles, kisses and hugs. At least these programs are not an insult to people’s intelligence, unlike reality shows. They offer an illusion of company, without asking people to turn on the lights and bare their hearts, or to go to any trouble and expense.