Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ramblings on Being a TV Addict

I spend a good portion of my life in the world of TV shows.
Thanks to for the gif!
I know that I watch too many – the result of a cable subscription, DVR, Amazon Prime, and a Netflix instant streaming account. Of course, that means I’m always partially living in a fictional world. While doing real-life things like going to class and working, I’m also thinking about the books I’m reading or the shows I’m watching – or both. With books, it’s nice, because if I need to visit those characters or places right away, I can put real-life on hold for another hour and continue reading. TV is different, though. I’m at the mercy of the TV scheduling gods. The ones that have somehow decided to put 5 of my favorite shows on Thursday nights and hardly any over the course of the week. Regardless, I still love them, and there is nothing better than sitting back with some food and a drink on a Thursday night to catch up with my favorite shows. But when these weekly updates of these fictional places and people are taken away from me, I become frustrated.

I’m not the only one. On Facebook, Twitter, the half a dozen other social media sites, I see my feelings echoed among my friends and family:

Thanks to for the gif!

As if we truly have nothing better to do than to spend 1 hour watching 45 minutes of a show and 15 minutes of too-loud, over-colorful commercials.

With Netflix, it’s different, and it’s strange to compare watching a show live-time to watching a show on Netflix, where all the seasons and episodes are at least a year old and are all posted; no chance of interrupted storytelling, just hours and hours of TV bliss. Twenty-two 45 min. episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Sounds like my kind of weekend.

Thanks for the gif!

But then, I think about people who watched it when it was running on TV. Buffy was popular and had a huge fan base. More than likely, the fans ranted and raved over all-too frequent interruptions in programming. But there are only 22 episodes in a year-long season. Out of an entire year, only 22 weeks contained one new 40 min. episode of Buffy. That means that for 30 weeks of our year, we’re not even watching new episodes of our beloved TV shows (though we may be thinking of what could happen next, and watching reruns).

My question is: How do these TV people do it?! For less than half the year, we watch these shows. But personally, I can get really attached to the people and the world contained within them. They are my friends; I think about them constantly. I think about what they would do in certain situations, and laugh at things they would find funny. Some people look down on TV as superficial, trashy, waste-of-time, unintellectual, or whatever. But I think it’s an art-form that takes an incredible amount of skill, creativity, and ingenuity (and yes, luck). The people who make good TV shows (I’m talking about ALL that are involved – cast, crew, writers, etc.) that others fall in love with are, quite frankly, geniuses. To be able to create such realistic and intriguing situations, and to create characters that I feel like are real people – I hope they don’t use their superpowers for evil.

I write this as I wait for my shows to come back so I can enjoy the last few episodes before the boredom of summer TV re-runs hits. Although, I am taking suggestions for shows I can watch on Netflix. ;) All I can say is that I’m glad for fantastic summer shows like Doctor Who (even though waiting for this last half of the season was TORTUOUS) to take me away during summer.