Don’t look back

31 10 2009

Getting rid of my t.v. has not much altered my viewing habits.

Hulu. And CSI on CBS. (I’m still watching CSI: NY, but that may end. They’re turning the damned show into a blue-tinted CSI: Miami. One Horatio Caine is already too many.)

I’ve watched some Buffy and Angel and (guilty pleasure) Stargate SG1, along with a few episodes of the 21st c version of Battlestar Galactica. I watched the opener of FlashForward, but none since. Oh, and Stargate Universe, which is grim and intriguing and just a little bit boring.

The Good Wife is supposed to be good, as are Glee and Community, but I don’t know that I want to get snagged into anything else. I got shit to do, and I’m already finding too many ways to avoid doing it as it is.

I was a regular viewer of CSI et. al. before I stopped watching t.v. over a year ago, so I don’t really feel like I’m making any new commitments; even the new SGU feels more like a mash-up of the old SG1 and BSG.

Only FlashForward was at all new, and I watched that because I’d heard good things about it and was intrigued by the premise. But while the kickoff was mildly interesting, a part of me was thinking Do I really want to let myself get sucked back in? I was relieved to read that later episodes sucked.

Of the shows I watch, only two are still on the air (SGU & CSI); Buffy is disappearing from Hulu and I’m almost done with SG1.

So, no truly new shows, and a few old ones of which I’ve pretty much had my (re)fill.

But what about those old old shows—you know, like Lou Grant? Didn’t I write a little mash post to Lou Grant a month or so ago?

Haven’t watched it since.

I noticed today that the classic version of Bionic Woman is on Hulu—it shouldn’t surprise you that I loved that show as a kid—as are other shows I watched in my parents’ house. One Day at a Time. Partridge Family. Charlie’s Angels. Picket Fences. Hill St. Blues. St. Elswhere. Hell, a bunch of shows from my childhood and adolescence are on Hulu; I could spend any number of weekends gettin’ my nostalgia on.

Except. Except I don’t really want to.

It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy the shows again—I have no idea if I would—but that I don’t want to go back. I went through that time once, watched those shows then.

Enough.

It might seem like I’m making too large a point about too small a matter—old t.v. shows—but I really don’t trust myself to look backward. It’s not about the time being good or bad; it’s about it being over.

Yes, I do look back, and am sometimes pulled back, but I always have to keep in mind that I live here, now. A little escapism is fine, as is a considered reflection on memory, but not too much, and preferably only if it helps me make sense of my life here, now.

I’m already sufficiently disoriented by my presence in the present. I don’t need to add to my distractions.





Television man, I know you’re tryin’ to be

18 10 2009

I finally did it: I got rid of my t.v.

I’d been going back and forth on this decision ever since I moved in January. I didn’t have access to my t.v. at my previous apartment, but in my new space, well, I’d see what I could get with just an antennae.

Bupkis, is what I could get.

So I didn’t watch it, but I kept it around, thinking that maybe I’ll join Netflix and watch some movies. But I never got around to doing that, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to shell out the 100 bucks for a Roku box anyway, and then my DVD player decided everything looked better in black and white. . . and this big lump of plastic, wire, and various toxic material didn’t seem to be worth it.

What really tipped me over, however, were my ongoing and heretofore unsuccessful attempts to transform my main space into a way that, mmm, flowed. It didn’t flow, and moving around chairs and shelves and the t.v. just didn’t cut it.

But: If I got rid of the t.v., I could move this over there and that over here and voila! flow!

So that’s what I did. I put the t.v. (with its remote, instructions, and original box, of course) in the hall, posted a few signs in my building that a free working t.v. was available for the taking and voila! taken!

Please note that I am not proffering any sort of anti-television purity. I greatly enjoyed watching trashy cable shows with my old roommate P., and were I not so cheap, I might have sprung for cable on my own. But it’s also true that I watched very little first-run t.v., far more often plunking myself down in front of the tube for a marathon of Law & Orders or CSIs, or watching Independence Day (i.e., Doritos-on-film) for the eleventy millionth time. After my initial withdrawal symptoms passed, I realized that I really could live without t.v.

Especially when there’s Hulu. . . .





Lou Grant on Hulu!

2 09 2009

Okay, so it’s probably not new, but hey, it’s new to (inattentive) me.

Lou Grant: Oh, the wonders of late-Seventies t.v. See Lou come to terms with female reporters! Watch as the difficulties of Vietnam veterans are confronted! Racism! Censorship! DES! Nuclear bombs in L.A. (from a Croatian independence group, no less)!

Can I tell you I loved it? That I watched the terrorist-nuke episode the other night?

If only Fame were on Hulu. . . but it is coming out on DVD. Might have to get Netflix, just for that fine Eighties fare.

Upshot? If you didn’t already know, as a kid I was a) a news-loving liberal geek; and b) a wanna-be writer/actress/singer who wanted more than anything to attend the High School of Performing Arts in Newwwww York City (that A Chorus Line song be damned!).

And today? Oh, just. . . just. . . shut up.