It’s sad to see how far I’ve fallen as a TV junkie. I’m a guy who at one point wrote an essay for school about how I was addicted to television. At my junkie peak I would watch syndicated shows from 5-8pm then primetime shows from 8-10pm then MORE syndicated shows from 10-11pm. Thursday night was my favorite night of TV. Now? If it wasn’t for the Gilmore Girls I could go an entire week without seeing any primetime television.
Now I hadn’t really noticed how bad it’s gotten until the other day when I was reading Stephen King’s column at the back of Entertainment Weekly. I like King and his pop culture awareness because it matches mine. There’s a few obscure reference but for the most part his tastes run fairly mainstream to mainstream/cultish. Anyway, the entire EW issue was about how we are living in a Golden Age of television and King listed his eight favorite shows and I hadn’t watched any of the regularly. It’s not like I don’t have the desire. All of the shows sounded good and most of them I’d seen an episode or two of and knew I liked it (ie: Lost, 24, The Shield) so I started wondering how this happened.
I think I narrowed it down to two major occurences. The first was the end of Friends (and coincidentally the end of Thursday night Must See TV) and going two years without cable. The end of Friends convinced me there was nothing good on so I stopped looking. I stuck with Everybody Loves Raymond until it ended but that was about it. But I think it was going without cable for so long that really killed my addiction because I missed out on the beginnings of these new shows and couldn’t catch up. Sure, many of them are on network TV but with rabbit ears even they come in crappy.
I wasn’t going completely TV show-less though, I was watching most TV shows on DVD. Shows like Sex and the City, the Sopranos, Family Guy, Six Feet Under, The Wire and so on became my favorite shows and I started working my way through the back seasons, but never really continued watching the shows on their regularly scheduled times. It’s probably no coincidence that my first year TV free was my most product year writing-wise. I was trying to think about what I do now at nights instead of watching TV and mostly I’m on the computer writing or browsing the Internet.
So now the question is: do I want to go back to being a TV junkie? There are plenty of shows out there I could really get on board with. I’ve liked what I saw of Desperate Housewives and Lost, I used to watch Law and Order religiously and enjoyed the episodes of CSI I saw. Veronica Mars looks very cool and the only two decent sitcoms on now are Scrubs which I love (but can never find on NBC) and How I Met Your Mother, my favorite new show. Another reason that occurs to me for my diminshed habit is moving back home. We have four people in the house and three televisions and none of our tastes match, so as the new guy I get short shrift on the TV end.
Then again, I could just continue browsing the Internet and reading about these new shows instead.