As I've found myself going out a lot less this year, I have to admit to watching a ton more TV. Most of it bad, most of it just a way to zone out and not think about anything. One of my favorite shows I've discovered is No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. It does fall into the realm of mindless TV. It is mostly just him traveling to places near and far, drinking (alot), eating (weird stuff) and exploring the underground of a particular city. The hook is that he kind of the anti-travel-show travel-show.
He has written several books including the lauded Kitchen Confidential.
There is an interesting interview with him in The Onion.
In this interview he talks about writing fiction and he says,
"Things I can't say in non-fiction, I can say in fiction. But there's that damn plot thing. I really resent plot. I like creating characters and environments. That's really fun for me. But having to create a story arc is something I have always resented."
And here is where I get to my point, a few weeks ago, listening to MPR, I heard an interview with Nora Ephron where she says dissmisively that she can't watch a lot of TV because she like "stories," that she likes "plots." It had a lot to do with the way she said it, but it just seemed like the most arrogant thing to say. As if she were above anything that was just mindless fun, and that the people who might enjoy an hour of watching somebody get drunk and be a smartass are base and incapable of creating art.