Express & Star

Dan Morris: 'Here’s to the couch potatoes'

They call it the ‘idiot box’, and have done for decades. Yet, it has been the educator of the masses, brought kings, popes and presidents to heel, and proven arguably the greatest platform for creativity that has ever existed.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Ah, television. You have been a faithful friend to this writer in his darkest and particularly laziest of hours; a faithful safe harbour to which to retreat from the grind of real life and the pressures of the actual world.

I am not alone in having often felt this way about our old pal, the small screen, and am very much among those who, at the end of a hard day, often loves nothing more than to crash on the couch and worship at the altar of trash telly.

And despite words of pious judgment from those who consider this an exercise in ‘saturating the brain with junk food’, I refuse to feel guilty about this.

If your day’s graft involves your mind getting a thorough workout, you’ve earned a bit of calming junk food at said day’s end.

And even if it doesn’t, you still have, because guess what – it’s nobody else’s business.

I’m not saying it’s great to have no other hobbies than watching the box, but in my experience those annoying folk who like to bash people over the head for indulging in a telly fix rather than a power walk and a kale smoothie are usually virtue signalling and putting others down simply to raise themselves up.

And I suspect that when no one is watching – and Instagram has been given sufficient proof of their 30,000 steps achieved while campaigning for lettuce rights – they’re closing the curtains for a bit of The Real Housewives of Cheshire.

She may be known as the idiot box, but enjoying a steady affair with mistress TV does not make one an idiot.

Usually it just makes a person honest, and prepared to admit that somewhere in their life they need genuine relaxation that doesn’t revolve around self-improvement.

Sometimes it’s perfectly ok (and, in my opinion, perfectly human) to want to spend a bit of time doing something that isn’t constructive, impressive or even helpful.

Some things we should just do because they let us breathe out and smile... and be a bit of a couch potato. A very wise man once told me that doing ‘nothing’ is a true skill, and that being able to do it well can be incredibly helpful to one’s well-being.

It took me a long time to learn how to relax properly, and truth be told there are still plenty of days when I struggle to do this.

In most facets of life I am a very busy person, and I’m proud of this.

But in order to stay productive, focussed and switched-on, it’s very important for me to be able to switch off.

And so – though no doctor or medical professional has ever legitimised this for me – I am a firm believer that a good old box set binge is very good for my health, and my telly time is these days never pushed to the side or sacrificed for pursuits that could be argued to be more noble.

It feels fitting that, in this star-spangled supplement that proudly showcases a rather fine, wonderful and comprehensive TV guide, I am flying the flag for the idiot box to be given a bit of love.

However you get your true relaxation fix, good for you – you deserve it.

And if any of you are missing this and wondering how to make your’s happen, there is always room on the sofa at Morris Manor for a bit of education in being joyously lazy.

Just don’t forget the popcorn, or, preferably, fried chicken.

Here’s to the couch potatoes. The best kept secret in the world is that it’s us who are running it. Lie down and be proud, folks!

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.