Television is a guilty pleasure for me. As with most of my life, it goes very much in waves. Most of my growing up years were supremely addicted. College quickly was so invigorating that I decided that real life was much better than television, so I abandoned it for a few years. Moving to Idaho, however, was so stressful on me that I found myself turning back to my faithful friend on occasion again — not as an addiction this time, but as an occasional stress relief it seemed I could barely live without. In the last year or two of being unemployed, I have gone through spurts of addiction and spurts of simple stress relief. TiVo, the blessed bit of genius that it is, has given me far greater control of my television watching than I have ever had before, so it’s hard to compare to the earlier years, but I know I’m not as controlled by the television schedule as I once was, long ago.
It’s been an interesting year for TV, though. I have my old favorites, House and Heroes. House is not always very uplifting but it is always thought provoking, which is delightful to me. Heroes is sort of a love/hate thing with me. It feels trite and cheap, but it pulls things together well enough that I can’t really say that it IS trite and cheap, science be damned. But the intensity of it is stressful to me and I have the most intense, whacked-out dreams about it. Sometimes I can’t watch a full episode or I miss for weeks because of a mix of stress and boredom. But I always go back to the darned thing. This year I am most intrigued by Chuck, Life, and Pushing Daisies. Chuck is somewhat lacking in logic to the point that I have a hard time with suspending disbelief (though really, I have some of that same problem with Heroes as well). But the character is very likable and the potential romance is likable so I’ll probably keep watching for at least a while. Life’s pilot was WONDERFUL, bringing in the Zen, and I definitely think that the unique characters and character situations will drive the show, but I am really afraid of the lingering, never-solvable conspiracy lurking in the background. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned ‘Gilligan’s Island syndrome’ before, but I HATE it. That’s where the main goal of the show is something that everyone wants but they can never, ever have because then the main purpose of the show is eliminated. If you can find alternate goals that are equally compelling, that’s great. But most don’t. So they either drag on forever and get very contrived dancing around ‘almost’ reaching their goal, or they jump the shark and reach the goal in an anticlimactic manner, or they are canceled and leave the viewers hanging because the goal is never realized. Life may survive because it also has the focus of solving murders, but we shall see how the conspiracy plays out.
My very favorite show of the new season, however, is Pushing Daisies. It’s absurd. Interesting. Beautiful, funny, witty, and intriguing. And the lead’s grin is so ding-dang engaging! I LOVED the pilot (‘pie-latte’) and am looking forward to the show. I hope it lasts. If not, at least I have my TiVo’d episodes. What a nice birthday present! You should go look it up. It’s on ABC on Wednesday nights.
And speaking of birthday presents — another present I received was the first 3 seasons of Moonlighting on DVD. A guilty pleasure of my heavily addicted years, I was worried that my infatuation with the show wouldn’t have withstood the test of time, but even after twenty years the genius holds strong, and I can still quote the occasional episode. 🙂 It makes me feel old, which I DON’T like, but seeing Bruce Willis in all his young, follicled glory is totally worth it. It’s something I will be happy to share with my children.