When I was eleven, our television blew up. Being budget-conscious, and aware of what a time-waster television was, my parents decided not to buy a new one. So our house was television-free for the next few years until my father broke down and bought a state-of-the-art entertainment center. Still, no cable allowed. The world of television was only explored when baby-sitting late at night or spending the odd evening in a hotel room. It wasn’t until university that I became reacquainted with television.
During my freshman year, Thursdays were the worst days of the week. I don’t know whether it was the class schedule, the fact it wasn’t Friday yet, or some karmic cycle but by dinner on Thursdays I was a grumpy, grouchy mess. And then I found NBC. This was during the halcyon mid-90’s when Thursdays on NBC meant Seinfeld, Friends, and ER. It meant laughter and George Clooney. And I was happy. Thursday evenings became a haven in which I could escape from whatever ugliness had happened that day or week. It was great two-hour respite from life.
The following years at university introduced me to other shows, the most important being The X-Files. Now that was a show you could escape into. It had good writing, suspense, humor, a female lead you could respect, and male lead that made you melt. There were other shows I dabbled in, but The X-Files became an obsession, as you can probably tell by the name of this blog. The depths of that obsession are far too embarrassing to admit. Unfortunately some of it has been captured on video. However, this obsession was about more than just the show. At the time I was deeply unhappy with where I was in life and it provided an enjoyable escape. Also, I was six seasons behind, so I could spend as many hours living in that fictional world as I wanted.
The final season of The X-Files promised to be a disappointment and I thought my obsessive television habit would come to an end. That is, until I caught the premiere of a new show on Sundays on ABC, Alias. I joked that it was like a patch for The X-Files. It had a similar feel of good story-telling, engaging leads, and addictive plots. I was hooked, addicted. I gave up my fight against television and became a full-fledged addict. Five years later, I’m juggling a television load of nine shows. Yes, nine: Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, House, Lost, Veronica Mars, Alias, Smallville, and Numb3rs. If it weren’t for an overloaded Tuesday schedule, I would be tuning into The Office as well. And this list doesn’t even include the other two or three sitcoms that I watched last year, but are being held over as mid-season replacements by their respective networks. I’m drowning in a sea of videotapes. I really should invest in a DVR, but I’m in such denial about my addiction, I can’t be someone who pays almost $100 a month for cable. I just can’t. But I also can’t give up any of my shows. Which I suppose is the definition of addiction.