Seeing Ourselves

Ignite Life
May 4, 2014

Next week sees the return of the TV show Offspring here in Australia. When the last season ended there was an outpouring of emotion, it was talked about everywhere. Facebook went nuts with posts about the show, my cousin who lives in Slovenia highlighted this with a post ‘who the hell is Patrick’ because it was mentioned so much.

Ignite Life this week is about reflect upon those moments on TV that have some sort of reaction for us.

I am curious about why fictional characters can have such an effect on our life.

I wonder if it’s that we see something on that screen that resonates with us. We watch week after week getting to know each character in drama series and we feel like we know who they are. So when something happens like a death to one of the main characters, it’s like we place ourselves in the scene and are affected by it. Is it that we fear losing our partner? Is it that we yearn for the love between Nina and Patrick and are devastated at the idea that they never get to live this out? Have we grown up without a father and feel for the newborn baby girl? Is it that we are helpless to change the outcome of this situation? Is it that we feel like we have lost a friend? Do we hope that we never have to go through anything like this? Does it give us an opportunity to bawl our eyes out about something else that is going on in our life? It can be different for each of us.

Debra Oswald the head writer of Offspring hits the nail on the head when she said “it (drama) gives us a chance to remember intense experiences in our own lives, emotionally rehearse ordeals we might one day have to go through and share a moment of compassion for a group of people, even if they’re fictional.”

Television is a little bit like the art in the therapy space. It is like we are looking into a mirror and see something that represents our life – whether it be celebration or heartache. This can be quite cathartic as rather than having to work out the emotion associated with an issue in our lives – which can be particularly difficult to talk about – it gives us something to project our emotion onto. It reflects the highs and lows of life and connects with us personally. Whether it be a soap opera, a drama series or a commercial it can affect us and gives us an opportunity to reflect upon our life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all take the emotion that we feel when we are impacted by a tv show and use it to process some of our concerns or celebrate what is possible for our own life.

I can’t wait to hear about the TV moments that have impacted you throughout this week

Have a great one.