Thursday, March 20, 2008

TV Time

Up to and through college I never really watched much TV. Growing up my family watched Jeopardy! together literally every night at dinner, and I of course had my cartoons and TGIFriday and whatever else here and there. But whenever I've seen those statistics about how the average American some absurdly high number of hours of TV per day, I have simply been unable to comprehend how people can sit in front of the TV for that much time. And you read all these stats about violence on TV and children's exposure to it, and I just always thought it was a big myth. Like, who is that dude out there who is watching 10 hours of TV a day to average out the fact that I'm watching 1, maybe?

With one exception. Approximately a bajillion of my friends in college were obsessed with 24. I began to think there must be something behind the fact that otherwise calm and reasonable people were possessive of the TV between 9 and 10 on Monday nights and would literally schedule their studying and social events around this show. Oh, and my mother and brother were also obsessed. So, the summer between my junior and senior year, in the span of about 3 weeks, I watched 3 seasons of 24. I am not even joking. I was a pathetic waste of space for that portion of my life, and I am 100% ok admitting that. There was also an ongoing "contest" about who had watched the most episodes in one day. I blew through the record with my 15 episodes in one day of slothful glory.

Then I met a girl whose family tradition is to watch a season straight through, literally 24 hours of 24. And I was sad that my dedication paled in comparison.

However, with this exception, I rarely watched TV in college. Ok, OK, I watched trashy VH1 shows with Meesh when we were bored/avoiding studying. Movies are another story, but TV was not so much my thing.

Since I have moved to New York, had a real job, a real commute, and a real life that, oh right, makes me tired at the end of the day, it's somewhat incomprehensible how when I come home I really only want to veg in front of the TV. It may or may not have helped that my first roommate Lindsay had an HDTV, and of course following suit (once you go HD, you don't go back), now I do. Given that I didn't have "my" shows when I moved here, I adopted hers. She was a 24 fan, so she clearly had good taste. Thus began my adventures into the realm of The Office and Grey's Anatomy. This fulfilled my quota of action, comedy, and drama. True diversity. I was satisfied with my 2.5 hours of TV per week.

But then people at work all had their shows and they raved about them, and I became intrigued. I found out from my female coworkers (slash, every woman in the city) that it was an atrocity that I had not seen every (or more than I could count on one hand) episode of Sex and the City. What kind of New York professional female was I??? So, I borrowed the DVDs from my fabulous friend Gretchen and watched literally every episode of SATC. But over the course of 5 months, not 3 weeks. I have learned moderation. Kind of.

With this, I was introduced to the wonders of Cable television and started to consider that other shows on HBO or Showtime might also be equally fabulous. And, in fact, there were two shows in particular that people talked about incessantly. Not quite as much as LOST, but still. Entourage and Weeds. So what did I do? You go it, I watched them from start to finish, all on DVD. Because I can't handle watching a TV show where I don't know the entire background and life story of every character. If I'm gonna do something, it's all the way or not at all. Weeds is maybe the funniest show ever in life. Mary Louise Parker is my favorite actress now, and in fact, I recently went and saw and Off Broadway play called Dead Man Cell Phone, simply because I knew she was in it. And who can resist the charms of Adrian Grenier on Entourage? Come on now, it's just fabulous. However, I don't have either HBO or Showtime, so, I have to find alternate means of staying caught up, such as friends. Or free shows online. Anywhere to get my fix.

Most recently, my girlfriends have been gushing about Brothers and Sisters, which has been dubbed "the show with every hot straight male ever." Rob Lowe. MMmm. Courtney bought it for Lauren as a holiday gift and everyone gushed. I, however, had heard nothing of this show. So, in February I rocked out with my Netflix and watched the first season. Hooked. Completely and utterly. And now, thanks to ABC Full Episode player, I am caught up with Season 2. It is now in my DVR queue, for whenever shows come back to life.

Though I generally don't watch reality TV, my roommate Kathy got me hooked on Project Runway in the most recent season. And we dutifully watched each and every week as Christian and his Fierceness destroyed the competition.

As for other shows that I am entirely intrigued by and want to check out, but am currently resisting the temptation to start (because of my tendency mentioned above to need to start from the beginning)... we have LOST (seriously, could more people be obsessed with this show??), Arrested Development, and Heroes. If I had a week straight of nothing to do, I would pick up West Wing or the Sopranos, both of which I have never seen. At all. And if I wanted to get more cultural references, I would watch South Park. Oh wait, no I wouldn't. A few shows that I wish would come back with new episodes are Fresh Prince, Blossom, Full House, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Classic teen favorites of mine. Gotta love the mid-90s TV selections.

Two years ago I never would've thought I could write an entire blog entry about TV. But alas, I have. So yeah, that's really it. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

1 comment:

preethi said...

Hahaha, I SO know how you feel. My TV-watching used to be completely zilcho, as was Dan's (except his was zilcho minus a thousand) and now we are both totally addicted to The Office and perpetually watch episodes on DVD. And, of course, 24...Jack Bauer, how I adore thee. And I totally can't wait for Tony to come back, if only so I can gaze at him.