10 November 2005

At Least I Don't Get the Shakes if I Miss an Episode

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.

11 comments:

Panini said...

I love being able to take that escape. I was totally overwhelmed a month ago and spent hours every night watching Felicity. I busted up laughing when you said Alias, "was like a patch for The X-Files." My lament...the season box-sets are so expensive.

Scully said...

Yeah, Panini, the box sets are expensive. Which is why I get mine from the library. Sure, you have to wait a bit sometimes, but it is free and you have an excuse to zone our for hours every night, since there is a due date!

Katie said...

Chad and I most definitely own season one of Lost...what have I become?

aquamarine said...

I was forced out my TV coma, by moving. Between time changes and shows being earlier than usual, I can't remember to record on time! I miss those gilmore girls.

Scully said...

Walking, I only started the Gilmore Girls watching last year. I tried to catch up the the library's DVDs, but it just amazes me the many contrivances used to keep Luke and Lorelai apart. And the whole rift between Lorelai and Rory is pathetic. As is Rory's dropping out of Yale and her lame 'Richie Rich' boyfriend. But if you want to catch up, check out www.televisionwithoutpity.com They do recaps of tv shows. Sometimes profanity slips in, but they do make me giggle.

Cheri said...

I've started to replace TV with books, thanks to Scully's recommendation to read The Historian. I do have to admit that I'm a JOEY addict. I live for Thursdays at 8pm. I tried watching Supernatural but when they ripped off The Ring on their Bloody Mary episode, that was it. Too bad TWoP doesn't recap that, I'd read it. Anyway, I'm becoming a MY NAME IS EARL and THE OFFICE addict as well. EARL is pretty clean considering the other trash on TV these days and I love Jason Lee. OFFICE is a little racy sometimes but is getting funnier. I've got some TV scheduling conflicts too but have decided to choose between programs instead of record them all. If I miss it, I miss it. By the way Scully, I pay 100 bucks a month for Cable that doesn't even work all the time. That's what happens when you've got TV and Internet from the most monopolous (is that a word?) company ever---Blast that Time Warner!!!!

Panini said...

the library...there's an idea...I'll have to get on the waiting list.

aquamarine said...

The last time I watched Gilmore Girls was almost three seasons ago, come to think of it. Been busy since I first started to watch...was appalled as well with the way things have turned out. I hate it when they take something amusing and keep trying to make it interesting....hence luke and the rift.

Scully said...

Cheri, TWoP just announced they are recapping the show. They have the recap for the pilot up now. Check it out. I'm curious, did you stop watching because of the rip-off, or because it was scary? Next week's ep looks good; the boys return to the home where the whole thing started. And even if the eps aren't great, I have to watch for Dean. I am disturbingly loyal to my tv boyfriends.

Cheri said...

I actually checked out TWoP right after writing my comment and read part of the pilot recap. Yes, my worst fear is Bloody Mary but I did actually stop watching because of the rip off. I'll have to tune in next week though. I would like to know what happened to the mom and girlfriend.

Esperanza said...

I admit that probably the reason I can't sit and watch television, is because I can't "sit" and watch television. I inherited a busy body nature from my mother and my father, however, like my mom says about herself, how is it I can run around so much and get "what"? amount of stuff done? So, I wish I could come up with the art of relaxation infront of the t.v. or otherwise, because I will probably die at the age of 40! I can count my t.v. shows I've watched in my life, on one hand probably, (watched religiously that is) but when I do get into them, I get into them, Cosby Show, Dukes of Hazard, The Muppet Show, the Smurfs, one season of Felicity when 22, and now Alias. Sorry little list, but with Alias, I can't not watch it, have taken up watching it while running at the gym, so that my busy body nature can still get some busy body in! I am pathetic in my own little way!