Friday night and Sunday afternoon, I attended Paleyfest panels for American Horror Story and Once Upon A Time. There have been countless writeups about both, and many pictures far better than my crappy blackberry ones. (But if you really want to see them - check ye 'ole twitter.)
Learning Evan Peters would be back for Season 2 of AHS and seeing Robert Carlyle in person were highlights of the panels. But the real takeaway is just how great scripted television is. I mean it. There's a thing out there where it's hip to say, "Oh, I don't watch television..." but let me tell you, those people are missing out. Television isn't a passive medium anymore. Each one of these shows spawns a whole, unique community of fans. And if you watch a show, automatically, you belong. There are so many of us who love stories; funny stories, romantic stories, mysterious stories, and of course the angsty stories. And we come together over these televised stories that reach millions and millions of people worldwide.
For me, the element of escapism is huge. There are days when I'd much rather go have a burger at Granny's Diner in Storybrooke than cook the hunk of salmon I bought at Ralphs. There are no taxes to do on television, no uncomfortable phone calls to make, no hours of boredom at work. Everyone says amazingly clever things, we can fall in love over and over, and best of all, we can be a part of adventures and experiences we could never have in reality. You can join Buffy's scooby gang (or... the actual scooby gang). You can ride across the creek with Joey to visit Dawson. You can meet ghosts and vampires and soccer mom's who deal pot. We only get one life in realty. But in television, we get as many as we can make time for. We can time travel. We can universe hop. And we can all do it together.
After an episode of a favorite show airs, there's an amazing digital water cooler around which we can all chat. It's a place to gush about the amazing almost sex scene, or quote the funniest line, or theorize about what the hell is going on with Tate. It's great.
Paleyfest brings together these communities in person, and the internet spreads it outwards, away from the tiny theater in Los Angeles. Watching the oodles and oodles of tweets pour in is amazing to see. Television brings us together. In entertains and enchants. And dozens of unique communities are all just waiting out there in the ether, ready to be discovered.
I love television. And Paleyfest has reminded me how many people out there feel just like I do. Thanks, Paleyfest. I can't wait for more.