9/18/2008

Addiction

I have always been a lover of television. When I was growing up, my Mom would occasionally draw up treatises which would outline our daily television viewing. We were limited to 30 minutes of TV per day, possibly an hour if it was PBS. These restrictions didn't last very long - I was usually back on the 21 Jump Street and Roseanne within days. Nonetheless, it was never an environment in which the television was blaring, largely ignored, in the background. We might have pushed the limits to a couple of hours a day sometimes, but anything more than that and my Mom would see brain matter dripping out of our ears and force us outside, or convince us to read instead.

I think it's because of this that I am like a desperate crackhead when it comes to TV. I watch far too much of it, and I admit, most of it is rubbish. Rock of Love? Um, I may be hiding behind my hands, but yes please! America's Next Top Model? That would be fierce. Right now I'm watching a silly programme where a shrill-voiced, hobbity, geriatric ex-politician (UK folks, is Ann Widdecombe a former politician, or current? Too lazy to google) hangs out with a bunch of drunken slags to confirm that yes, England is full of intoxicated assholes after all! Who knew?

My defense of my television viewing always has been that I manage to balance my intense love of TV with other pursuits as well. Yes, I read books. I am a good mother, and I manage to contribute to the running of our household. I exercise three or four times a week. I may even watch a brainy television programme or two sometimes! It drives me mad that a correlation is drawn between TV watching, laziness, and lack of intellectual stimulation. Yes, it is a problem if all one does is sit around, ass melded to sofa, immobile except for the occasional venture into the kitchen for crisps, soda, and ice cream. If I want to sit here and watch Bret Michael's freakish bloated face take up the entirety of my 42" screen, so be it. Leave me in peace.

There is a point to all of this. As UK television execs are only just starting to hear whispers about this (not so) newfangled notion of downloading American programmes right after they air in the US, we are still months behind on some US shows. The shows we get with virtually no delay are Lost, 24, Prison Break, Heroes, Entourage, and soon, Desperate Housewives. Project Runway, one of my dear, dear loves, always takes ages to get here and as bloggers don't believe in spoilers (bear us non-US residents in mind please!) I knew Christian won the last season about 6 months before I saw him win it. Law & Order, as well as SVU, are at least two seasons behind I think, which is a shame because after seeing Mariska Hargitay's new hair when I was in the States, I want to view her all day, all the time.

There are some new shows I want to check out, and as they have already aired in the US I'm curious if you think I should spend my ever so precious times viewing them.

-Fringe: I like Lost, so I'm interested in this. I have no long-lost Pacey love, so that won't convince me to tune in.

-Lipstick Jungle: I seem to remember some meh reviews of this last year, but I need a silly, glossy programme to watch every once in awhile. I tried Gossip Girl and couldn't bear more than a few episodes, and the new 90210 hasn't even been picked up here yet much to my supreme annoyance.

-Life: I know nothing about this show, just that it starts here in November and is on NBC

-Breaking Bad: Again, I know nothing, but see it's on AMC. Now with Mad Men (which I totally need to buy if The Dude would lay off me a second about my desire to buy TV shows on DVD all the time), is AMC the new HBO?

-Burn Notice: If I remember correctly, Alexa watches this, which is really enough of a go-ahead for me.

Oh my god, the desperation of my addiction just radiates from this post, doesn't it? I suppose now is not the time to mention that The Dude was talking about cutting corners tonight and suggested that we go with another cable company. The cable company he wants to go to does not have the channel which airs most of my American shows, and when he told me this I nearly cried. No, seriously. A tear gently nudged its way out of the corner of my eye, and in that moment I kind of hated myself. Admittedly, I cry singing "You Are My Sunshine" to P each and every single time, so I'm not working with much here.

While we're talking of media, I had an idea today - reader request time on Music Monday! I won't do it until Monday, 29 September, so you have over a week to get your requests to me (barrenalbion at g mail dot com). Just a song or two you think other people should hear in order to be functional in today's society. No pressure. I hope I get at least 8 requests, or else I shall just make shit up to save myself the embarrassment of no bugger feeling inspired enough to make suggestions. If you do email me with a request, be sure to include your blog address if you have one so I can track back to you. Feel free to include a little blurb as to why you have chosen that song(s) to recommend to the masses.

Now I must go see what total and utter bollocks I can watch now. Ooo! The Dude is watching UFC. Maybe I'll even go pick up a book. I might even read it!

16 comments:

Alexa said...

I am absolutely no help with most of the shows you mentioned, but I do have a few comments:

Breaking Bad: The few episodes I saw were excellent, but it was too hardcore for me to really get into. There was a certain image from a certain gory scene that was burned into my brain and still haunts me.

Mad Men: I didn't catch if you are watching this--I thought maybe you were? If not, DO. I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Burn Notice: Oh, Michael Westen. Yes, I do watch this, and I adore it. Fiona is basically what my 7-year-old self wanted to be when I grew up, and Bruce Campbell is hilarious.

I watch far too much television myself, and often have it on during the day while I am working, a habit I will have to break now that Simone is alert enough to notice. And I would sob bitterly if I had no access to Law & Order, ANTM, & the trashy, trashy goodness of the new 90210, so I'll not fault YOU for crying. (Of course I also think "You Are My Sunshine" is a really fucking sad song).

Aunt Becky said...

I second Alexa on Burn Notice. I want to hump my television (definitely picture me with my pregnant ass trying to hump a wall mounted TV. It's worth the gross out factor).

See, here's where I embarrass MYself: I wish I had more damn TV shows I was addicted to. I'm annoyingly picky.

Tash said...

I haven't watched tv in so long, I don't know what to do with myself. In fact, I've got a True Blood on the tivo I should probably be watching right this instant lest I fall too far behind. The only recent-ish shows I've liked are
-- PR, but I've missed this season for some reason.
-- Did you get "Damages"? Damn, I loved that.
-- Amazing Race. I've watched from show one, season one. Love this program. starts up next weekend.

That's it. And sports. I'm actually thinking of buying Six Feet Under and going through the whole mess again from my new vantage point. I used to watch a lot, and now I'm really kinda meh on it all. I think it's this cranky old age thing.

Will try and think of some additions for music monday.

electriclady said...

I like Fringe so far--don't love, but like. Be warned, it requires EXTREME suspension of disbelief, and not just in that Lost/X-Files kind of way with supernatural stuff--like, the science-y stuff is kind of ridiculous.

I will try to continue to be your friend even though you didn't like Gossip Girl.

Gwen said...

I am a tv addict, too. And the crappier, the better. For this I feel no shame even though I've had people make comments like, "But you're so smart! I can't believe you like that stuff!"

About the shows you brought up. We don't have cable (makes it easier to keep the kiddlins away from the evils of Hannah Montana and those awful Jonas Brothers, and yes, I am a total hypocrite, I know.) I'm watching the last season of Mad Men on DVD right now and I love it. It totally exposes the lie of this once great America that we've all lost somewhere and need a good politician to return us to.

And I have a latent Pacey love, so right now, that's keeping Fringe afloat for me.

calliope said...

I have been dating my tv for about 6 years now.

Fringe is really good. But I do have to cover my eyes for some of the gross stuff. It is VERY x-files like but a soundtrack that is totally from Lost

Hated Lipstick Jungle- but I'll watch it. Mary Tyler Moore is guesting this season so it is sort of a must see for me

Life- LOVE. I wish more people watched it. I have a serious crush on the hunky red headed lead (he is British if that makes it better)

Breaking Bad- hated it. Wanted to like it, but found the main guy so unsympathetic. I always need to be rooting for someone and I just couldn't.

Burn Notice- LOVE. The Fiona character is amazing.

Also will endorse: The Closer, New Amsterdam, Mad Men (LOVE!), & Pushing Daisies

Bittermama said...

I'm going to have to break with the crowd to warn you that I was HORRIBLY disappointed by Fringe. I was really hoping that it would pull through in an otherwise crappy new fall line-up. But it was bad. Bad, bad baaaaaad. The writing was just so bad. The acting was okay, but the writing. Ugh.

kate said...

Mad Men = the shiznit. Must, must watch it.

Of the ones you mentioned, the only one I know anything at all about is Lipstick Jungle, and only that it has Brooke Shields and is about powerful women executives. I don't know. It's never interested me enough to drag me in.

I am totally willing to admit my TV addictedness. Weirdly, I wasn't ever a huge TV watcher growing up- maybe PBS, or the occasional sitcom, but I don't remember feeling the jones like I do now when I miss a favorite show.

And once you finally get Project Runway, I'd love to know your impressions of some of the designers...

PiquantMolly said...

I saw the first episode of Fringe, and it seemed OK. My only must-watch shows are ANTM and PR. Oh, and Antiques Roadshow, if I happen to remember.

elizasmom said...

Ohhh, I typed a big giant musically-inclined comment last night and apparently forgot to hit publish. I'm S-M-R-T that way.

Anyway, to recap that one, I vote for Nick Cave. I think the world would be a better place if more people spent more of their time listening to his music. When you first hear him, the inclination is to categorize him as some sort of ur-Marilyn Manson, but he is so much more. He is gothic, life-affirming, funny, morbid, gloomy, uplifting, tender, brutal, sentimenal, elegant — often all within the space of the same song. I adore him and the one time I saw him live stands out as being among the best live shows I've ever seen.

Beginners should start with Bring it on and Where the Wild Roses Grow. I would like to state for the record that Eliza is not named after the unfortunate girl in the latter.

Then, move on to 15 Feet of Pure White Snow, The Weeping Song (which makes me snicker every time, especially the video version).

For pure romanticism nothing beats Into My Arms, and for the creepy flip side of that sentiment, try Do You Love Me

Finish it off with The Mercy Seat and The Carny, and then you should probably take a nap.

I also cannot resist saying here that through my work, I not only met, but had dinner with, Jeff Donovan of Burn Notice once, and have seen him act onstage — he's a familiar figure where I work and people really like him. I've been following his career ever since and am so happy to see him get the recognition he deserves, although it is a little weird, actually to read of people lusting after, in a celebrity sense, someone with whom you have hung out. (Not that he isn't handsome, or that the lusters are weird; it's just weird for ME.)

Em said...

Mad Men is ace. I am hanging out for season 2 in December. It's on Movie Extra on Foxtel in Oz.

Breaking Bad is awesome. We are up to ep 4.

And I LOVE The Riches. Season 2 is also on Foxtel at the moment.

Kristi said...

I have a tv addition as well, mine is for really bad reality tv, so I think my addiction trumps yours. I wanted to watch Fringe too (because I DO have leftover Pacey love) but I'm not sure I can fit it into my intensive viewing schedule this fall.

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

American Idol. I'm counting the days. The first few weeks are ALWAYS the best. There is nothing on television or any where in the universe that provides as much entertainment.

DrSpouse said...

Have only just got into Burn Notice, but loving it (Too bad Mr Spouse).

I have a VPN from my UK work and can watch BBC not-available-overseas programmes. May I recommend getting someone in the US to hook you up with a VPN so you can watch on t'internet?

I think some things (Desperate Housewives for example) are also available on the web overseas.

millie said...

Burn Notice! Yes yes yes yes YES! It is soooooooo good. So snarky and wonderful. Bruce Campbell rocks the house. I'm in love with both Fiona and Michael Weston. I even eat yogurt now. You MUST watch it.

Also Mad Men is awesome. Totally awesome.

DrSpouse said...

Oh yes - Mad Men - this is available in the UK and the first series is now over, though I'm guessing it might be repeated.

(I'm cheating and counting this as an IComLeavWe comment though I comment on here loads anyway you are still allowed to comment on non-participating blogs and I'm lazy)