I don’t like to watch TV.
It is because I think I am better than everyone else who watches dumb TV shows.
I think I’ve had TV withdrawal before…
— Michael Paine (@StrangerArray) January 16, 2015
But seriously, I don’t like to watch TV because I get bored easily watching TV and here are 8 Other Reasons Why I Don’t Usually Watch TV.
But why do you care?
For Day 105 of Claudia Altucher’s book Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century: I get to come up with 10 ideas of historical moments that could be turned into TV shows.
You would think that someone who has studied as much History as I have would have no trouble with coming up with ideas for this one. It seemed as if about half my undergrad classes where in some type of History or another. Trouble is that the more History you study the more you forget.
In fact, most all things you “learn” in class is forgotten quickly after. I’ve heard within 45 minutes.
No surprises there…
When developing these ideas I noticed a sort of “theme” emerging.
War, fighting, and conflict make for great story lines. There are opposition forces. Winners and losers. Strategy. Overcoming obstacles. Growth. Change. Victory and triumph! And great visuals…
And like any good TV series, any love line could be inserted…
A) Ebola Outbreak: Don’t Touch Your Friends
“The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa.” Sadly this wasn’t a major concern for many people until it was. When in early October a 44-year-old Spanish nurse, Teresa Romero, became the first person outside of Africa to contract the virus from this outbreak.
Then in September Eric Duncan flew from his native Liberia and landed on our doorstep here in Dallas, Texas. Talk about red alert and spreading concern! Even though there was not a high chance for contracting the disease, the whole area grew tense and suspicious of any “flu-like” symptoms.
Then the “Ebola Nurse” who doesn’t want to be know by that name…
And a doctor.
You see there are many story lines and angles to turn this into gripping television.
Sadly this is what it took for the rest of the world to take Ebola seriously…
B) Battle of Puelba: The Cinco de Mayo Story
Because we are not too far removed we might as well cover this topic.
Every year when the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) rolls around, there are a flurry of “news” stories asking and describing why it is even celebrated or considered a holiday. I think a mini-series program could once and for all explain it and then the show/series could be brought up and referred to for any future generations.
Or shown in Spanish classrooms across America.
It could even become a tradition to watch it broadcast in the home every year like with Christmas movie specials…
C) The Texas Revolution – In the style of Liberty’s Kids
Being partial to all the interesting events in Texas History, the Texas Revolution is one that could make TV gold. Especially if done in the style of Liberty’s Kids, as PBS did for the American Revolution.
Getting Aaron Carter to do the intro would just make me faint with excitement…
Again this show could be played all across schools in Texas.
D) The Battle of New Orleans
This battle was “fought between December 24, 1814, through January 8, 1815, and was the final major battle of the War of 1812.” Interestingly enough it was fought after the Treaty of Ghent, “the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain”, was signed.
Too bad they didn’t have SMS.
This fact alone makes it interesting to me.
Start the show off with the Treaty of Ghent being signed declaring peace.
Then pan out and fly across the Atlantic to the U.S. and zoom into New Orleans where the battle is just about to begin…
Sprinkle in any romance as necessary.
E) Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and the Battle of Breitenfeld, 1631
Gustavus has the reputation of “one of the greatest military commanders of all time”. That alone makes him worthy of a television series. Getting into the mind of such an influential figure has got to make for a thriller. And the Battle of Breitenfeld is said to be “his most notable military victory”.
With all the success of shows like Game of Thrones, it shouldn’t be too hard of a sell.
He is already “celebrated in Sweden, Estonia and Finland each year on 6 November, the day the king died at Lützen”. Meaning the show has a potential market already in place.
F) On Carl von Clausewitz
For this noted author of On War, I see a fictionalized retelling of Carl von Clausewitz’s story. He wrote the book over a long period of time and the show could have the significant events that led him to his formulations of military theories.
Open with Carl chillin’ in uniform with his bros.
Then the battle takes place.
Finish with Clausewitz wrapping up the episode penning a chapter of “Vom Kriege”.
Bam! TV ratings will explode. Or people will fall asleep…
Maybe just military history nerds will like this show. Tough sell.
G) Battle of the Bulge
Not that kinda of “bulge”…
Stick with me here.
This is about the major German offensive campaign against the Allied forces in WWII. “The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard”. I think Band of Brothers did a great job on WWII as a whole piece, and touch on this battle in episode 6, but the break down of this one battle might make for some interesting viewing.
The lead up to Hitler’s decision to attack. The significance of hitting hard the American forces. How the surprise was kept secret. The heavy toll to the German forces after the fact.
Plus the fact that it was “the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II” makes it worth a closer look via a TV series.
H) “Mr. Gorbachev – tear down this wall.” – Ronald Reagan, Berlin, 1987
These famous words were spoken in my lifetime. I just wasn’t old enough to care or understand at the time…
Looking at this amazing moment in history, it did not happen randomly that one day Reagan just decided to drop by Berlin and make such a bold statement. There is much more to the story.
A series showing the lead up to this moment. The portrayal of life on both sides of the wall. The swelling emotion as the wall came down. And the ensuing transformation of East Germany afterwards. All elements for a great show.
I) 1901 Texas Oil Boom
Starting in Spindletop on January 10, 1901, the course of Texas History took another dramatic turn!
This find berthed the formation of multiple oil companies and changed the face of the industry.
Tensions leading up to the find must have been through the roof. There had to be desperation. Dry hole after dry hole and disappointment. “Spindletop was the largest gusher the world had seen”, making this a story worth retelling.
I am sure there must have been all sorts of drama involved and the turn of the century is a great time to put on TV because you can sprinkle in stuff about the soon to be President Theodore Roosevelt, which will have your viewers tie into the next series.
J) Panama Canal – A Pipe Dream
We rejoin Theodore Roosevelt for all the drama surrounding the U.S. decision to be involved in the construction of the Panama Canal. Edmund Morris does a great job retelling the tale in Theodore Rex and could be referenced as research for the show to be successful.
The high political theater of the question of “Is it even necessary?” and what about a“Nicaragua canal” instead?
French failure on the project left many concerns. Malaria killed thousands of workers. And local politics played a part in the picture as well.
There is so much here for a TV series to explore.
K)Teapot Dome Scandal
Oil is always controversial. And who has control and power over it is always worth looking into.
“Before the Watergate scandal, Teapot Dome was regarded as the “greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics“”. Again any “greatest” in history event is must watch television.
I don’t want to just paste the history of the whole event, so just check it out here.
If that doesn’t make for an exciting show, then you must not have a pulse. Or maybe you like anything other than history…
Also read this if you want to know “How to Make History”.
As for me, I’m gonna go see what’s on TV…
P.S. Want to know who influenced me the most?
I will give you a hint, one was James Altucher.
When reading Conspire To Inspire, you will find out why I chose to feature him along with eight other prominent people.
The story will tell how I discovered them, and why you should care.
Don’t believe me? Find out for yourself by joining me to Conspire to Inspire.
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Need an idea of what theme to write ideas about?
Go to http://ideas-a-day.com/ for thousands of themes for ideas!
Want to know more about Sarah?
Go to sarahpaine.com for more great perspectives to rethink life!
Check out my friend Becca’s blog FLEUR DE FOI.