Inspirational TV!


By: Erin Rose Hennessy

I think it surprises some people to learn that such an avid reader loves television shows so much. I think it’s the story. Both books and television tell a story for us to follow. A story with characters to love, evils to hate, triumphs to overcome. With this in mind, I guess it’s not such a surprise that I, a person who loves stories, loves television shows.

Not every television show, mind you. I think there are some shows out there that are complete wastes of my time (I’m looking at you, reality TV), but I do enjoy a fair amount of television, especially dramas and comedies. I just started watching a Netflix show called Orange is the New Black. Ok, real truth? I thought I would hate it. Just the summary of the show – about women who were in prison. These women had obviously done terrible, terrible things because they were, you know, in prison.

I guess you can’t judge a movie by its tagline, just like you can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m only about eight episodes in, but I like it so far. That’s a good sign – those who know me will know I will only give a show one, maybe two, episodes to reel me in. If they don’t, I’m off to greener pastures!

Growing up, there were three television shows that greatly influenced my life: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Gilmore Girls. These shows were about strong, capable teenage girls and women, who sometimes had superpowers, and they tackled all sorts of problems – school/work, demons, relationships, love. What I also loved about it was the strong support system each of these characters had supporting them through everything. These shows were an obsession of mine at one point or another, as I wrote fan fiction about Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell, dressed up as Buffy one Halloween, and grew up alongside Rory Gilmore. We were the exact same age, so I was going through the same things she was at the same time – getting ready for college, going out into the world. It somehow made it less scary knowing that it was difficult for everyone.

Now, I would say the shows that most influence my life currently are the ones with adoptive/foster children. I would love to adopt someday, maybe even out of the foster system, so I really enjoy watching the families on The Fosters, Parenthood, and even Supergirl through their struggles and triumphs with the system. The Foster (yes, that’s their last name) family is a mix of adoptive, biological, and foster kids and it is so inspiring to watch the love that blossoms out of all the difficulties and drama they endure.

And how about you? What television shows, movies, and books have most influenced your life?

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