I really wanted to say “I’m a TV Wh.ore” but I was afraid I might lose a few of my 8 readers.
Seriously, though, I love tv. I always have. When I was a kid I thought I was going to grow up and be an actress like the ones I saw on tv. Apparently, my parents had my picture taken at Sears when I was 4, Sears put it out as a sample, and some talent scout saw it and wanted me to audition for commercials (but not until we paid through the nose for whatever pictures and classes they had in store for me – I think it was some sort of scam). When I found out later, at like, 10, that my parents had turned him down, I was furious. Didn’t they know that could have been my big break?
Later, after years in theater and a pathetic audition at UCLA School of Drama, I realized acting was never going to be my cash cow. And it became what it should have been all along – a hobby I thoroughly enjoy. But all those years of studiously watching show after show on tv has stuck with me, and now I’m one of “those” people – you know, the ones who have a “show” on at least every night.
My line up goes something like this (thank God for T.ivo, otherwise my penchant for falling asleep around 10pm would mean I’d never get to see half of these):
The Bachelor — I have to admit, I hated the mere idea of this show for years. But it’s like a train wreck, you have to watch, especially once you’ve watched the first time. Seriously, watching women fall all over themselves for a guy they’ve barely met? It’s like going to the bar without having to smell like smoke and old alcohol at the end of the night.
Biggest Loser — This is what we call in my house, a “flip show.” That’s the show you use to flip to during the commercials of the show you really want to watch.
House — Seriously, do I have to say anything more? Half the time I’m laughing so damned hard I have to rewind to play the dialogue I missed. Has to be one of the most intelligent shows on television. Truthfully, that’s the same reason I’m actually surprised it’s lasted this long.
Law & Order, SVU — Are you kidding me? Mariska Hargitay is hot, and, well, that’s pretty much it. Actually, though, for being a spinoff, it’s really taken on a life of its own – in my opinion surpassing the original in both writing and acting.
Private Practice — Another spinoff. This one is not nearly as good as the original in my opinion. However, the cast is a brilliant list of actors who manage to spark some life into a script that is not nearly as witty and intelligent as Grey’s. Honestly I think it’s trying to hard to be the anti-Grey – more moody, less funny, more character development – when there really was no reason to depart so far from what was obviously working. But fun to watch, and doesn’t require too much thinking. And it’s pretty much the only thing going for Wednesday right now.
Grey’s Anatomy — I’m a more recent convert to this show. I thought I had enough “hospital shows” but this one is brilliant. Funny, sweet but not overly so, and who can resist Sandra Oh’s caustic self-involvement? The character development is so brilliantly woven into the storyline they never hit you over the head with the “a-ha” moment, and it’s one of those rare shows that you can’t believe is over when the credits roll.
ER — I know I’m going to take heat for this one. But the truth is, I’ve stuck with this show from day one. Even through the lean years when the storylines were not going well and I wanted to throw Dr. Carter through County’s top floor for all of his whining. And I’m now being rewarded for my loyalty. The new and improved ER, The New Class (10 points for the original source of the reference – without go.ogling it), is better than ever. The casting choices, the writing, and the amazing filming technique (they often use one continuous shot – it helps add to the chaotic feeling you get watching it) make it, after all this time, still one of my all time favorites.
Friday Night Lights — Normally I’m not a big fan of book-turned-movie-turned-tv-show. I read the book, saw the movie, and when I saw the promos for the tv show, my first thought was that this was going to be a total dud. But for some reason I watched anyway. Kyle Chandler is fantastic as the coach, and the casting of the kids — relative unknowns who actually look like regular high school kids — is incredible. The storylines are real life. A teenage boy left in charge of his grandmother who’s battling Alzheimer’s, a teenage daughter struggling with becoming a big sister for the first time, a young boy dealing with the serious implications of a horrible paralyzing football accident — they are stories you can easily get caught up in. It’s not a teenage show, it’s an adult show with characters who happen to be teenagers.
Las Vegas — Ahhh, major guilty pleasure. This one is pure fun, plain and simple. Sexy women, sexy men, gambling, drama and intrigue, it’s escapist without trying not to be escapist.
Saturday is catch up day. Watch whatever we’ve T.ivo’d* during the week that we haven’t gotten to, including some of the random shows we never really know when they are on because we never watch them at that time. These include mid-season shows that time-slot hop, daytime television, and also often includes shows on cable channels like TLC, CMT, and HBO and Showtime. Depending on what time of year it is, this can include (but is not limited to) The L Word, Big Love, Dirt, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Ellen, Little People; Big World, awards shows, and anything where Reba McEntire or Melissa Etheridge may have performed. I know – random.
The Amazing Race — Watching duos (couples, brother/sister, friends, etc..) compete against other duos in random tasks all over the world to win money all the while dealing with their “issues” on national television. Are you even asking why this is fun? It’s Days of Our Lives meets Fear Factor.
So that’s it. That’s my tv week. The beauty of this is, that with recording these shows, the time it takes to watch them is seriously cut down. An hour show only has about 42 minutes of actual television, the rest is commercials. And lest you think we neglect our children to watch our shows, we manage to do this AFTER the children have either gone down for the night (around 8pm) or during naps on the weekends. The only thing the kids watch is Se.same St.reet, and Wh.eel of Fo.rtune (that’s a story for another day).
What do you watch?
*We don’t actually own a T.ivo, but it’s the most commonly used phrase for digitally recording television. We do, in fact, have a DVR box from our cable company.