There’s a “things that fascinate Dante” list post brewing, but right now I just want to talk about one: the credits.
We watch a lot of Simpsons in our household. Our local Fox outlet obligingly shows it at 6:00 and 6:30, and despite the fact that it’s a cartoon full of brightly colored people doing action-y things and making loud sounds, Dante isn’t terribly interested in it. That is, until the end credits. When those credits come on, no matter what he’s doing, he swings his head around to see the TV. He watches the yellow letters on their black background more than dutifully. He is riveted. He keeps up that focused attention through the production company logos, and maybe 15-30 seconds into whatever’s on next, and then he loses interest again.
I had theorized that maybe what was attracting him was the repetition — he doesn’t recognize the Simpsons themselves, but when he hears the music and sees the yellow-on-black, it’s enough to trigger his memory. However, we soon noticed that he’s interested in all kinds of credits. Laura watches MASH episodes on tape, and he cranes to see those credits too. When she turns on the Weather Channel, he looks up to catch the local forecast, white letters on a blue background. I guess there’s a repetitive element to those too, now that I think about it — there’s a repetitive element to many parts of our lives these days.
Still, I like to believe that he’s thinking: “That TV has words on it!”