This summer, while my sistah bloggahs are being the Buddha and bringing bitchy back, respectively, I will be solely responsible for keeping a thumb on the pulse of pop culture. Those who know me will be shocked to learn that I have recently allowed my People subscription to lapse, but come on… a paper magazine? My free time is devoted to Me and You and Ellie, blog to the stars.
But without my weekly Peeps, the mission to stay abreast of real current events like who has gone meth to mommy and what a person close to George Clooney has to say about why he dumped his fear-factor motorcycle-crash girlfriend would require a new set of stealthy skills and a time commitment that I am not sure I want to undertake. I’d rather watch t.v.
I am a tv fan. Not as bad as that kid from willy wonka, but a fan for sure. I have a lot of shows that I watch regularly. With the dawn of the DVR (cue angel chorus), it is possible to watch every show you’ve ever heard of, whenever you feel like it. And get this – my DVR not only allows me to pause, rewind, fast forwardX3, and save it forever; it also shows me the ID of a person calling me, ON THE TV.
So I watch a lot of shows at night, but there are only a few that I really can not stand to miss. The crux of my tv habit is motivated by the mood of the evening. There are several possibilities for the accommodation of my viewing needs on any given night.
First, there is the thinking category. These are the shows that make me want to engage in discourse around the storyline. Usually, the conversation is between myself and the tv, but I like to think that my couchbuddyhusband also enjoys my witty repartee on occasion before his neck muscles give out on him and he has to apply a pillow. This category would include the late “newsy” shows like Dateline and 48 hours Mystery, as well as dramas like House, CSI and Law and Order (love the DUN dun. And the omnipresence). The thinking category can also include a heavy dose of Whaaaaaat? in the form of shows like Lost. But once you give up and turn the channel, it falls into the stupid fucking category, and we are not getting into that today.
The thinking show’s alterego and sometime nemesis is the smart category. Because the two are not mutually exclusive, a show can be smart but not thinking, or thinking but not smart. Does that make sense? I don’t know, ask my mojito. The smart shows are riveting, be they comedic or dramatic or whathaveyou-ic. Smart shows are subtle, they don’t have obnoxious laugh tracks to alert you to The Funny. The Office and 30-Rock are smart. My favorite recent moment from The Office was when Michael Scott threw up his hands in disgust at a job fair where he’d found the potential young interns wary of his lure and said: “thanks aLOT, Dateline.” Smart.
Another category of my television viewing whimsy is the “wash over me”. This is when I am done thinking; it’s been a long goddamn day. This is the time when it’s hard to click past Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and reruns of Will and Grace, Friends, Seinfeld, or Sex and the City.
The last category for now, although it’s clear to me that a sequel to this post could be imminent because Weeds returns next week, is the “Can’t help but watch”. This feeds my fixation with reality tv. This is embarrassing. I can own up to Survivor, I can justify American Idol just based on the sheer number of other fools watching, but how can I look you in the eye and tell you that I watched the season finale of Workout last night? Or that I know the first names of everyone who works at Charm City Cakes? Who can I talk to about how great it is that Paige Davis is back? Who understands why Andrew Dan Jumbo is on my “freebie” list? How irritating was the whole Power of Veto thing? As I write this, my mojito and I have half an eye on So You Think You Can Dance, which is on again tomorrow in a network throw-down with Last Comic Standing. Does this category include Weird Shows on Lifetime, like “The 85 Pound Tumor” or “Half a Woman”, or is this a separate phenomenon?
I don’t know, but I will tell you this: if it can’t be Antonia, I’m rooting for Stephanie.
(post script: yay!)