Thursday, September 09, 2010

It Hasn't Rotted My Brain (Yet)

When I was about seven years old, I was watching an episode of I Love Lucy when my dad told me I had to turn off the television because we were going to dinner, or I had to go to bed, or whatever. I happily agreed and told him, "That's okay. I'll just watch the rest later." After a few questions, my dad had to sit me down and explain to me that the television keeps going even after we turn it off, so Lucy would not, in fact, be there waiting for me when I turned the thing on again. I was, needless to say, both devastated and confused.

Today, I'm just pissed.  My tiny seven-year old brain invented TiVo, damn it!

My love affair with television goes way, way back. My granddad likes to tell me that I was the only one of his grandkids who, as a baby, would just sit with him in his chair and watch television. Of course, this is the same man who tells me my parents found me under a rock and felt enough pity to take me home with them, so maybe I should take his stories with a grain of salt.

1980. Possible proof that the old man hasn't been lying to me all my life.

2003. I clearly no longer fit with him in his chair, but there is a couch just outside the frame of the picture, and I've been known to watch some television from there.

The man has nineteen grandkids, and he could only find one willing to sit and enjoy some fine programming with him. I was just born to love television, apparently.

Three years ago, I gave you my all-time top ten list (be advised that several of the links in that post are broken; one of the perils of including YouTube clips), and though I don't love the writing style of that piece, I think I pretty much stand by those shows today. The only thing that sort of feels like an odd man out is The Amazing Race, but it's such a quality show that I don't think I can  remove it from the list. I will say that as much as I loved the first four seasons of The West Wing, it wouldn't take much to convince me to replace it with something else. But at the moment I can't think of a replacement, so it will stay.

The fall 2010 television season is upon us, which I know because Entertainment Weekly's fall preview issue comes out tomorrow. This issue used to be my bible. I first subscribed to EW in 1997, but let my subscription lapse last year. Sorry to be yet another consumer accepting the death of the print media, but I mostly just got annoyed with the changes the magazine went through over the years. But I digress. I will most likely be buying this single issue because it really is the best resource for planning one's television schedule. I used to build spreadsheets based on the information provided by this issue. I was intense about my television. In college and for several years after, I had two VCRs dedicated to my primetime programming. When I got DVRs, I had two televisions working, each with two separate signals. And sometimes that still wasn't enough.

That said, you wouldn't be wrong if you guessed that I'm less excited about the new season than I have been in years past. Maybe I'm growing up (though I've always resented the implication that one has to be immature and/or ignorant to enjoy good television), or maybe I've just got other things on my mind (not having a job, suddenly having a baby to support, getting used to a new city, etc.). Or maybe it's just a matter of there not being all that much out there that seems interesting to me, especially when it comes to the new shows. I say this most years, and then I get the EW issue, and I read more about some new show, and I realize that I'm dying to watch it and I can't live without it. And then, of course, that show inevitably gets canceled. 

So I guess what I'm saying is, television creates a perpetual cycle of heartbreak. But I'm a Red Sox fan. We know how to handle it.

I'm not even going to bother with a spreadsheet this year. It doesn't seem necessary, so I'll just use a standard list. And I'll share it with you now, as long as you understand that it is absolutely subject to change at any moment. I'm a woman; it's my prerogative.

The Amazing Race. The one show that never lets me down, except for that time it did. Family edition, anyone? (Premieres September 26)

Dexter. Seriously, what the hell is going to happen in season five? I ask, but I haven't even watched a single promo for it yet, so don't mention anything in the comments section; I want to be genuinely surprised. (Premieres September 26)

Chuck. That's it. Mondays are sort of useless. (Premieres September 20)

Glee. Please, please, do not have a sophomore slump. (Premieres September 21)

The Biggest Loser. My super, extreme guilty pleasure. I hate the two-hour format, since it talks down to the audience and also means that half the show ends up being a commercial for Extra gum or Jennie-O turkey or Ziploc, or whatever the hell else they can shove in there. (Premieres September 21)

Modern Family. Ditto on my Glee plea. (Premieres September 22)

Cougar Town. I gave this show a chance halfway through the season, and I laughed a lot, so I'm sticking with it. (Premieres September 22)

Undercovers. It's a new show from J.J. Abrams, which means I'm contractually obligated -- through my fanhood -- to at least give it a shot. (Premieres September 22)

Community (Premieres September 23)

30 Rock (Premieres September 23)

The Office (Premieres September 23)

Outsourced. On the fence about this one, since it's pushed my beloved Parks and Rec to mid-season replacement land, but I'll try it. (Premieres September 23)

(There's a chance I will at least attempt to watch Grey's Anatomy, but that show has been driving me crazy for at least three seasons, so I'm not really rushing to program the season pass on my DVR)


Ha. Nothing good comes on television on Friday nights.


Cops. Just kidding. Who watches that show?

Wow. That's it? Twelve shows? Ten hours of television a week? I am seriously slacking.

Obviously I'm going to have some time on my hands, so I'm considering writing recaps of a few shows. Would anyone actually be interested in reading those? I can promise hilarity.


Orel said...

I guess you and I will be doing the same thing on Tuesdays at 8....

WilsonSawyer said...

so you will not be watching Parenthood? I love it

Erin said...

I don't know how I forgot Parenthood. I'll definitely be watching that. It premiered last night, in fact, so it's just waiting on my DVR.