Forbidden Delights and the Small Screen
Why is it that I find myself looking forward to Mondays once January rolls around? It's because there is a special man - just the right mixture of romantic hero and powerful villain - who comes into my life on, yup you guessed it, Mondays. And why am I counting the days, the hours, the minutes till Thursday, March 18th at 8? Because I'll finally get to spend more time with a group of friends I have not seen since late November and learn about their unbelievable struggles, dream-like memories and convoluted love affairs since I last saw them...
OK, before you go jumping to conclusions about my strange dating habits and shady friendships, I am talking TV here. Each year, when January hits I know '24' and Jack Bauer won't be too far off, familiar friends to me at the end of the hardest day of the week. Hey, I am not alone in disliking Mondays, after all they even wrote a song about that! This year though, I am also finding myself addicted to the ABC show 'FlashForward' which will resume next week after a nearly four month old cliffhanger at the end of which I was left speechless and with my mouth wide open from the suspense of it all. Hard thing to achieve, that is...
So what makes these shows so watchable, particularly to a girl who does not typically like action movies or the idea of being led on, week after week after week? I have to be honest that a large draw for me is the yum factor of both Kiefer Sutherland - who plays Jack Bauer, in case you might not be a fan or have been living under a rock for the past eight years! - and Joseph Fiennes, who plays Mark Benford on 'FlashForward'. Both actors I would probably pay goodmoney to watch brushing their teeth or reading the phone book, so that's a big given and a great lure. But not the only appeal.
On a recent trip to India (oh no, she's mentioning India again, we all know where this is going now! Yet another post on Bollywood?!) I found myself deeply affected by the 10 and 1/2 hour time difference from NYC. It's still a puzzle to me why India would have that 1/2 hour thing in there, but that's a whole other story and I'll try to stay focused on the TV dramas at hand. Anyway, as I lay in bed wide awake at the most ungodly hours of the early morning, the only English-speaking thing on Indian TV were old episodes of 'Lost'. I had never gotten into that
whole series and frankly, knew very little about it other than it starred another yummy actor - Naveen Andrews. But the premise of the show seemed too hocus pocus and the island was overrun with too many characters to make watching the brooding Andrews worth my while... Until the days of reckoning with jetlag kicked in.
Lo and behold, what held no lure for me in NYC sure drew me in, in Bombay! Needless to say I have now added 'Lost' to my list of must-see and have loads of catching up to do, starting with
the first two seasons and then working my way to the final season airing these days on ABC.
I think the appeal of these long running, basically single storyline shows, told through the viewpoint and lives of various characters, has a lot to do with the real world. We live single storylines through our personal POV in our day to day doings - I believe the appropriate, technical term for that is 'LIFE', but correct me if I am wrong - and therefore watching Jack or Mark or Sayid struggle tomake sense of their own chaos seems familiar. There is a hero/antihero thing going which ultimately makes them even more charismatic and watchable, since we don't feel judged in our approach and talent - the way watching 'Americal Idol' type reality shows or perfectly coiffed Hollywood stars can sometimes make us feel. And the way the shows are written, they are a lot like potato chips: you can never have just one - episode, that is!
OK now your turn to share your own secret - or not so secret - forbidden boob tube delight. But just don't text me, email me or call me about it on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings.
p.s. Oh, lets not forget that my crossover Indian hero - Mr. Slumdog Millionaire superstar himself - Anil Kapoor is playing a huge role on '24' this season and he adds to the over-fifty, spicy yum factor for sure!