I’m a TV junkie. I’ve been one my whole life, although I didn’t see my first television until I was almost five years old. But I’ve more than made up for it. I won’t mention the shows I watched as a child because you’ll guess my age. But I will say that I loved Westerns. I used to spend Saturday mornings in front of our black and white TV watching Westerns. As I grew into teen hood, I’d stay up late Fridays and Saturdays watching the old Forties and Fifties romantic comedies that played on late night TV. In fact, it was those romantic comedies that inspired my love of romance novels.
Even now, when the Fall Preview edition of TV Guide arrives, my heart goes into palpitations of excitement. I peruse the magazine cover to cover, reading which of my favorite shows will return and which new ones I might want to watch. And sadly, which favorites won’t be coming back. I’m a little obsessed. I don’t deny it. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I’ve got my viewing schedule down to a science. There are so many shows and so little time. Granted, I can’t watch all of them. I know I let some good shows go every season because I can’t fit them into my schedule. And someone please tell me why the networks schedule shows I really want to watch against each other. I like the SyFy channel’s new show, Being Human, about a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf sharing a house. Since I’ve just published a werewolf paranormal, I’m especially interested in the werewolf. I loved the British version of the show on the BBC and I enjoy the US version. But it’s on Monday nights the same time as Hawaii Five-0. You know I can’t miss Hawaii and that hunk Alex O’Loughlin. By going through TV Guide, I found that SyFy repeats Being Human later in the week, but I have to remind myself to catch it then. Of course there’s the Internet which allows me to watch favorites I missed. But I spend so much time on the computer, I’d rather watch shows on my television.
And not every show is on the Internet. Every Wednesday evening my critique group meets at our local Barnes & Noble so I can’t watch TV that night. One of my favorite shows, Criminal Minds, is on Wednesdays. Bummer. However, CM isn’t available online (the studio won’t give the network the Internet rights. I found this out on a CM blog-told you I’m obsessed) so I have to tape Criminal Minds. And no, TV junkie that I am, I don’t have TiVo or a DVR. I tape shows the old-fashioned way. Or rather my husband tapes Criminal Minds for me every Wednesday.
And then there’s Thursday. A few seasons back, one of my faves, Bones, was on at the same time as a new show, Flash Forward. Since my husband liked Flash Forward also, I watched it with him and caught Bones online. I asked myself why the network moved Bones from Tuesday where I had no problem watching it. I think they keep moving shows around to drive us TV junkies crazy. But Flash Forward has been canceled, so no more conflict.
I miss Lost. Does anyone else miss it? And does anyone really understand what it was all about? I don’t, but it was mesmerizing television. I tuned in religiously every week hoping something would make sense and allow me to at least know what it was trying to tell us.
My husband and I rarely watch the same shows. He tends to watch mostly the news channels. I’m a news junkie too, but I need to watch escapism TV to get away from real life once in a while. My husband has never watched these favorites of mine: CSI Miami, Bones, Desperate Housewives, No Ordinary Family, Criminal Minds, The Defenders, Mad Men, Drop Dead Diva, to name a few. But we did watch 24 together, and now we watch these shows together: Hawaii Five-0, Nikita, V, Bill Maher, SNL (too many repeats), and Letterman (love Dave but too many repeats too).
Other shows I loved and now miss are Ugly Betty, Heroes, Ghost Whisperer, Torchwood, Without a Trace. Why do the networks take good shows off the air?
As much of a TV junkie as I am, I have never seen an episode of American Idol. Just not interested. But I do love Dancing with the Stars.
Shouldn’t I be writing and not watching TV you may ask. A writer I know once said that if you want to write you need to give up TV. Oh, no, I beg to disagree. It’s not a matter of giving up something but of good time management. I love writing, but I need breaks, something to recharge my batteries. I learn from TV also. I’m constantly amazed at how a show’s writers will twist a story to keep me interested, how they’ll come up with story arcs I could never imagine. Just when I think a story is going in one direction, the writers throw a curve and take it in a whole different way. You Lost and Heroes fans know what I’m talking about. Aren’t you constantly amazed at how the writers of some TV shows keep us on the edge of our seats with their twists and turns, how they leave us wanting more? Don’t we all want to write books that keep our readers anxiously turning the pages, panting for more, amazed at our writing skills? I watch and I learn. Also, watching TV keeps me up-to-date on the zeitgeist. When you write contemporaries, as I do, whether paranormal or romantic suspense, you need to be plugged into the popular culture.
Because I have books to write, a house to clean, meals to prepare and a husband who actually expects me to talk to him once in a while, I can only commit to a fraction of all the good shows out there. I love summer for the warm weather, but also for the reruns. Then, I get to view shows I missed during the season.
Every week I can’t wait to plunge into the new TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Lest you think I’m shallow, I read Newsweek too. I can’t wait until next fall’s TV Guide preview issue.
Do you love TV? What are some of your favorites?