Let me preface this by saying I haven’t been a big TV watcher these past couple of years.
That hasn’t always been the case. My husband and I fell in love over an episode of “Seinfeld.” I can name just about any 80s TV sitcom or cartoon theme song. I went through mourning when “Friends” signed off. I cheered when “Lost” got the go-ahead to perform TV Land suicide and end the series just the way the creators wanted instead of tapering off into oblivion with only us diehards hanging on by our fingernails.
That said, the past couple of years, it’s been harder and harder to find shows that don’t bore me. I don’t like procedurals after I watched several seasons of CSI, got the hang of what exactly was coming, and moved on. I’m also not a huge fan of soapy dramas. There are a few I loved at their beginnings when they were edgier (“Desperate Housewives,” for instance) and you never knew which character would make it to Season 2. I stayed current with comedies up to this year when even “How I Met Your Mother” and “Modern Family” couldn’t hold my interest more than a book club novel or work.
Right now, HBO sings the siren song. I decided if I was going to take a break and let my brain go someplace outside my kitchen office, it was going to have to be somewhere really fun and out of the ordinary. So, after a phone call to the devil himself (Time Warner Cable), I signed a contract in blood that got me RoadRunner, a landline, a brand new cable box with DVR, the Sportsman Channel, HBO and Showtime (for the low-low price of $#*&(@!!!!).
So far, since I signed us up in mid-April, we’ve watched all but two episodes of “Game of Thrones,” and I’ve caught up with “True Blood” (the first two seasons of which I watched on DVD the past three summers), I’ve discovered a wonderfully talented 24-year-old writer/director/actress named Lena Dunham in her astonishingly good “Girls,” and my kids have watched a couple of great kids movies we probably never would have bought or rented (because we also have Netflix).
I think you could call watching TV like it’s your job a tiny obsession, don’t you?
But the great thing about these shows is that, as a writer, I don’t necessarily feel like this is a waste of time. The whole reason I lost interest in television is because I felt a lot of the creativity had gone out of the storytelling on many network TV shows. With a few exceptions, there aren’t many TV characters I find interesting these days. Plus, when there are great things like DVR, On Demand and this really amazing thing called HBO Go (where they have ALL seasons of EVERY SINGLE HBO show – ever!!!), I’ve been able to enjoy series like I’d enjoy a book. Chapter after chapter.
That said, I don’t think we’ll keep HBO past the date when our “introductory” offer expires. There won’t be anything left to watch, and it will have been so long since I worked, we won’t be able to afford it anyway.