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SO MUCH TO SEE, SO LITTLE TIME
7 April 2010
If you are one of those people who "hardly ever watch TV" or "only watch PBS," this is probably not the entry for you.
I was raised in a "media" household. My mother was addicted to radio soap operas, my father collected pop music records and was so thrilled when the very first "high fidelity" recordings came out. When we got our first television set (when I was 10 years old), we watched TV every night and gathered together to watch Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights and loved "All in the Family" because Archie was so much like my father. My father wouldn't miss a prize fight--heavyweights were his favorite. My mother watched Bishop Sheen every week. Karen and I watched "Winky Dink and You" whenever it was on and were members of the Mickey Mouse Club.
When color TV came along, we would watch the NBC peacock spreading its tailfeathers and say "I'll bet that's beautiful in color." (We didn't get a color TV until a few years after Walt and I were married.)
I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't surrounded by pop culture delivered through some electronic medium.
When I had my first job and my own apartment and lived alone, the television was on all the time, whether I watched it or not. It was just always on, keeping me company. TV is in my blood.
Hi, my name is Bev and I'm a TV-holic.
I've loved medical shows, for instance, since Ben Casey and Dr. Kildaire brought medicine into our living room in living black and white. I've been through "St. Elsewhere," "Marcus Welby," "Medic," "M*A*S*H," "Trapper John, M.D.," "Medical Center," "Doogie Howser," "The Bold Ones," "Chicago Hope," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Nip Tuck" (for awhile), and now "Nurse Jackie" and, of course, "House."
But I'm getting more discerning in my old age. I started watching "Mercy" when it first came on this season, but it was more like a soap opera than a medical show ("Grey's Anatomy" manages to balance the two nicely, what I saw of "Mercy" did not) and so I decided not to get hooked.
From the promos, I didn't think I was going to like "Miami Medical," but I gave it a try (are all Miami-based shows shot with a yellow filter on the camera lens???). However in the first episode they had a patient in the operating room, doing surgery on him, surrounded by a full operating room staff, His belly was opened and he was bleeding profusely as they clamped veins and tried to find the proper organ to fix, and nobody in the O.R. was wearing a face mask! That did it for me. I like a little realism in my fake medical world.
"Trauma" is a good show, but I just had too many medical shows going at once and finally gave up on it when I got behind 3 weeks.
I also love "NCIS," "Criminal Minds," "The Closer," and any of the "Law and Order" incarnations....very nice because at almost any time on any day you are able to find a marathon of one of those SOMEWHERE on the airwaves. But I think I may have OD'd on new cop/action dramas too. I cannot get into "NCIS-LA" (but I haven't found anybody else who can either) and none of the CSIs are for me either because you really have to WATCH "CSI." You can't just have it on in the background.
"24" fits in its own category and I am so glad that this is the last season. This season I feel that I'm watching out of a sense of duty because once again the idiocy of most of the plot elements has me rolling my eyes. And the new kinder, gentler Jack Bauer doesn't work. What good is it to have a Jack Bauer if he isn't going to be beating people up every week? (I say this as a confirmed pacifist, of course.) And the new head of CTU is the first one they've had who looks like someone who doesn't understand anything, doesn't know anything, and couldn't direct his way out of a bank hold-up, much less a threat of nuclear attack.
I used to say I didn't like reality TV, but it has slowly sucked me in. I still have never seen any of the sex-for-TV shows, or the catfight shows ("Real Housewives of..." anyplace, or celebrities in their own homes), but "Amazing Race" is one of my favorite shows of any kind. My favorite contestants are always the ones who take time to appreciate the scenery. If a pair of contestants don't know the difference between Japan and Mexico, so intent are they on beating the other teams, they will end up as one of my least favorites. I almost always root for the "old guys" (which means anybody over the age of 50 these days!)
I feel silly for watching "Survivor," but it always gives me something to talk with Ned about--and I always get sucked into it by the 3rd week. I think one of the requirements for consideration as a female contestant is the ability to fill out a bikini. The only reason they go for tropical-type climates is those are the only places where people feel the need to shed their clothes. You'll never see a Survivor-Alaska, though it would be a welcome change.
I finally gave up on "American Idol" this year. I watched it for more seasons than I should have because that's not my kind of music, but it was nice to understand what the talk shows were discussing. I had hoped Ellen Degeneres would bring a new life to it, but she hasn't and with Simon Cowell leaving at the end of this season, I can't see that there is any lure for me.
I gave up on "Dancing with the Stars" for a season, and missed it. It's better when I can watch it with my finger on the fast forward. Tonight I had to watch last night's show while my DVR was taping tonight's show--and then I had to watch tonight's show before I could watch the latest "Lost" because I didn't want to accidentally hear who was eliminated this week on the morning talk shows. (I know I'm safe from accidently hearing anything about "Lost" because nobody can ever figure out what's going on in that show anyway!)
There are also "Project Runway," "Shear Genius," "Top Chef" and the occasional cooking show (I've given up on Paula Deen and Perky Rachael Ray, which I used to watch religiously, but I'll still watch The Barefoot Contessa occasionally and I love Iron Chef).
And that doesn't even get into the dramas like "Desperate Housewives," "Brothers and Sisters," "Big Love," "Parenthood," and the short season of cable network shows like "White Collar," "Glee," "Royal Pains," and a few others which are on just long enough to get you hooked and then the season ends 8 weeks later.
I'll tell ya, there's a real art to doing this TV addiction intelligently (I use the term advisedly). For the most part, I have it down pretty well, and even factor in "Hardball," "Keith Olbermann," "Rachel Maddow," "60 Minutes," "Face the Nation," and occasionally "Charlie Rose," to give me a sense of what is going on in the world.
Of course you don't really need any of those if you watch "The Daily Show" religiously.
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