I’m 32 years old. TV is my life.

FCTVThe problem with films is that they’re ever so long.

Maybe if they were 90 minutes as standard (alright, with the odd exception for Tolkien based adaptations) I’d be on board. After all, 90 minutes was good enough for High Noon, Airplane, Stand By Me. But films seem longer than ever these days. If you go to the cinema, factoring in the obligatory half hour of adverts, that’s the whole evening written off. And if you watch a film at home, well, my sofa is so comfortable, and I’m only going to shut my eyes for a second.

I like watching trailers. It’s like seeing a whole movie, with all of the drama and none of the time commitment. And, although I’ve probably never mentioned it before, I also love TV.

I’ve seen most of my favourite films a handful of times. But if you tot up all the time I’ve spent watching The West Wing (which is only one and a half viewings of seasons 1 – 7 , plus the occasional episode here and there) it comes to over an entire week of solid TV! And, let me tell you, there are few better ways to use up seven days of your year. Bartlet for America.

Yes, I once went to the hairdressers and asked for a ‘Rachel’. But I was 14. Who else was I supposed to look to as a role model? I’ve grown up with some of these shows. ER was on air for the best part of 15 years. How can you invest so much time in something without forming an emotional attachment? You have your inevitable rough patches (ER pushed its entire fan base to the very brink with a certain chimpanzee surgery storyline) but ultimately you know you’ll stick it out until the bitter end, before enjoying a suitably soppy final episode (Seinfeld notwithstanding) and mourning its loss from your viewing schedule for a long time to come.

Some might see me as kind of pretentious, but I just like to think I take my TV seriously. When Friends ended we had a small gathering of, well, friends over to watch the finale together. I served food, but cleared it away hours before the broadcast, lest anyone ruin one last Ross & Rachel moment for me by crunching too loudly on a crisp. When 24 made the leap from BBC to Sky (killing off the excellent spin-off Pure 24 in the process) we eschewed the entire following season, instead waiting for the DVD release because we couldn’t bear to see our precious CTU tainted by adverts. Thank god Sky+ came along when it did. I have a self-imposed ban on Arrested Development quoting on twitter, as I find it difficult to stop. I think of Meadow Soprano every time I parallel park, long to swear as competently as Susie Greene, and have spent at least two hours of my life practicing the Troy & Abed handshake with my husband. I’ve been known to chastise people who write off The Office (US) without having seen it, and am already judging those who will inevitably dismiss Parks & Recreation when it finally hits UK screens this Spring. I watch my favourite TV shows without my phone in my hand. And there isn’t much I do these days without my phone in my hand. Including writing this.

The majority of my disastrous dalliances with Netflix end with me flicking back to my recently watched list, and highlighting a comedy or drama series I’ve seen before. The beauty is that, when one episode ends, you can just stare unblinking at the screen and wait for the next one to kick in without even touching the remote. It’s kind of like watching a film. But a film made of TV. So it’s better.

7 thoughts on “I’m 32 years old. TV is my life.”

  1. I was like you, before I changed to watching films. Tv was everything, every show, 4 or 5 episodes a night no problem. CSI’s, ER, Friends, Buffy, Angel, and Firefly to name a few, then I started to watch films and the TV shows just backed up and up. So much so that in the end I just gave up with them. I never saw the last season of ER after watching it for 14 years, I gave up. I do regret that one the most, but the rest I don’t. First 3 seasons of House, but then I just thought this is always the same, and gave up on that one.

    The other thing which also drove me away from the TV was America’s constant ability to start a show and then just cancel it, fair enough if the ratings are poor they feel they have no choice. Flashpoint, great concept, I watched the first 3 episodes and said to my wife this will be cancelled and so we just stopped watching it, sure enough it got canned.

    So now if I feel I like a show – started to watch Supernatural, my thing – Demons, Monsters etc, liked the cast as well. Stopped watching it after episode 4 and left it for 3 years to make sure it got a decent run. I then just bought the whole season on DVD for £14.99. No ads, no waiting 6 months to complete a series either.
    I haven’t actually watched any of it yet! I don’t know the story arcs or anything about the 7 seasons I’ve collected though. I will watch it one day!
    I do own quite a few TV series on DVD and Blu Ray now! I must watch them!

    I must admit I’ve missed some good shows though like Homeland or The West Wing, I should catch up! Really I must catch up!

  2. No! You must go back and finish ER! You need to get closure on those 14 years. If only to see them all die at the end. (Spoiler)

    Oh I’ve given up on a load of stuff too, don’t get me wrong. Homeland was a poor man’s 24, and two seasons of House following exactly the same storyline every week were more than enough for me. I don’t mind watching things that I know have been cancelled though (Dollhouse, Studio 60) as it’s less of a time commitment!

    I would absolutely recommend The West Wing. It must be really cheap by now.

  3. Interesting comment about Homeland, most people rave about it! Do you watch Dexter? That’s another show I’m collecting. I did manage to see the complete first season of that one…. again apart from a couple of spoilers I know nothing about how the show has gone.

    I have watched 7 seasons of One Tree Hill – one of my wife’s favourite shows, which I tended to see odd shows off and in the end just sat down with the wife and I watched it. I did enjoy it – one thing it did was expand our musical tastes! It had an amazing selection of songs in every episode.

    Tru Blood I’ve got on Blu Ray, 3 seasons which I’ve not seen and I’ve just picked up American Horror Story 1 on Blu ray as well. I had seen 3 episodes of that.

    What did you think of Once upon a time? My daughter watched it over the course of a week and loved it and is forever trying to get me to watch it!

    Did you watch Ripper Street? I watched the first one and thought it was ok.

  4. Mike, Homeland Season 1 is must see TV, and is pretty much self contained.

    Homeland Season 2 got a bit daft in places, hence the 24 references, but finished on a real high and only really pales because it is placed in comparison with S1.

  5. Agreed! I love how TV gives so many more opportunities for character development. I get to know these people, I let them into my home every week, I talk about them with friends and quote them in everyday conversation–it’s just so much more personal and yet so much more communal.
    I love that you’re already judging people who will dismiss Parks and Rec when it reaches the UK. I’m right there with you.

  6. Kelly – YES! Exactly. I love TV characters. I wish they were my friends. Well, some of them,

    Mike – I’m going to check out some of the other shows you’ve mentioned tonight. I loved Dexter, but I had to give it up a few seasons in. Genuine reason, but that’s a blog post for another day!

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