Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Ode to TV

63 inches of awesome
On this blog, I have used thousands of words in homage to my love of reading, romance novels, and writing. My bookshelves are stacked with hundreds of romance novels, stacks of mysteries, and even the occasional non-fiction for when the mood strikes. I spend many happy hours sitting on the couch in my new family room reading page after page. And I spend many happy (and often frustrating) hours writing words on this blog. And I love all of those. Words have been an important part of me for as long as I can remember and to be able to read them and write them is a privilege for which I am incredibly grateful.

But I am a woman of many interests.

So it is not just reading and writing that consume my extra-curricular hours. There is something else near and dear to me that I don't spend nearly as much time talking about on the pages of this blog. My TV watching habits. And I use the word habit lightly, because what it really is, is a full-blown obsession matched only by my zeal to collect all the books Nora Roberts has ever penned.

I have always loved TV, but I can pinpoint exactly when TV watching stopped being an enjoyable event and started to become a passion complete with charts scheduling my shows, anxiety about missing episodes, and a full slate of programming year round.

It was 2005. The fall. College graduation was behind me, and I was about a month into my first year of law school with all the stress, sleepless nights and competition that entailed. I was living in my law school's dorm in the East Village and the air practically vibrated with intensity and barely concealed nerves. Needless to say, I only lasted a year in the dorm before I moved on to the wonder of the Upper West Side. But it was in that dorm room filled with big, scary books that I began escaping into TV.

For years and years I escaped through books. And during my first year in law school I still did, and regularly. But with all the tension that law school wrought, I needed something more. And I found that something more in a 13 inch television that sat on top of my miniature dresser in an equally miniature bedroom.

It started off innocently, as obsessions often do. I figured law school was no excuse not to keep up with the shows that I already watched, so I made sure that I was always home in time for my four or five regulars. And then one night when I couldn't settle down I discovered back-to-back re-runs of The Nanny, which quickly became appointment television for me. Then I decided to re-watch all the seasons of The West Wing in preparation for the final season that had just begun. And it was fall, so I figured I would surf around and try to pick up some new shows too. Some new shows became approximately eight new shows.

Before long I had far too much TV on my schedule to watch it when it was actually on, so I called Time Warner Cable, and three days later a delightful technician arrived to install my very first DVR box so I could start recording my TV to watch whenever I wanted. And after I started watching with a DVR I noticed a funny thing happen. My grades started to rise in proportion to the amount of TV I was watching, but not the way you think. The more TV I watched, the higher my grades were. I was on to something for sure. So I continued to study and I continued to watch, and I got my very first A+, and I was thrilled with myself.

When I was studying for finals at the end of my second year (and also catching up on the entire First Season of Brothers & Sisters, having just discovered it that spring), two things happened simultaneously to kick my TV habit up a couple of notches. The first was that I discovered TV blogs. Now, not only could I watch my favorite shows, but I could read about them too. I immersed myself in spoilers, and recaps, and news about renewals, cancellations, and new shows on the horizon.

And the second was that I met David, and in him I found my TV equal. I picked up some of his shows, he picked up some of mine, and we discovered some new ones together. In the early stages of our relationship, where most couples would go out, we often stayed in. With take-out, a couch, his giant TV, and each other we had exactly everything we needed. And by the time we got married and moved in together we were watching more than thirty shows between us. There was no way that all this TV could fit on a single DVR, and we decided that when it came to our shows we were absolutely above compromise, so our tiny Manhattan apartment boasted two plasma televisions, each complete with their own DVR. His and hers, and it suited us just fine. We own a house now, but our TV watching habits haven't changed at all. Each and every night you can still find us in front of our shows, sometimes together and sometimes apart, content down to the tips of our toes.  I sometimes wonder how it would have worked had I met someone who didn't share my passion for TV. I think the answer is, it just wouldn't have.

Sometimes people ask me how I have time for it all. A full time job, a blog, running, a serious romance novel habit and a TV obsession. I say, you make time for what's important. I guess I could be spending my time learning more law, or volunteering, or curing cancer or something like that, but Grey's Anatomy and Scandal come back from winter hiatus tonight and I love me some Shonda Rhimes, so I'm going to be pretty busy.


  1. Please don't ever change this. I love people who are unashamed of tv. Love that your grades went up.

  2. Thank you for writing this! I love TV, too. Right now I'm really upset that Comcast has changed things so I can't DVR 2 shows while watching a 3rd.

  3. My husband is the TV fanatic. I mostly watch football and baseball. But I watch TV a bit more now that we stream Netflix. It's a great way to catch up with shows. We are watching Walking Dead now, which is creepy.

  4. My husband and I spend most of our quality time in front of the TV and we love it. Our earliest dates centered around getting together with a group of friends to watch Twin Peaks! I totally get you here!!