I didn’t have TV for years. During college I spent 58.2% of my time mindlessly staring at the television, indulging in the boredom that TV breeds. You know, you watch one show, and then something else comes on, and you’re not really that interested, but you don’t feel like doing much else. Pretty soon 3 hours have gone by, and you’ve only gotten up to take a crap and to get more Doritos. When I graduated, not having cable was like a burden lifted.
When I moved home I guess I probably watched stuff, but I was working two jobs plus interning one night a week for my old boss. I met Katsumi, and we would go out drinking with his friends, I spent a lot of weekends with my friends in NY. So there wasn’t time for TV. At this point, after a year of abstinence, I became borderline militant. I would tell anyone who’d listen what a load of crap all this “reality TV” bullshit was (“I went to school for film, I KNOW the tricks they pull”), and how much time I had to do other things (SMART things. Like READING.) since I didn’t watch television.
Katsumi and I eventually moved to Newton to be closer to my job, which was taking up 12 hours a day of my time and slowly sucking the marrow from my soul. We wired internet up from our first-floor neighbor and spent too much money going out to dinner to be able to afford even basic cable.
But slowly, things started creeping in. In 2004, when the Sox were on fire, we had to find places to watch all the games. We’d spend hours upon hours perched on barstools watching the playoffs, and the night of the series we got our seats early and racked up a $200 tab, drinking beer after beer because if we LEFT we wouldn’t see the end of the game. It occurred to me, at some point, that I’d love to be able to watch Frontline, as I thought my next career move would be to WGBH. Then last January, when the film I’d been working on finally aired after years of toil, we had to drive to my parents’ house to see it broadcast.
Which brings us to now. Our new apartment has no friendly neighbors with unsecured wireless connections, so we made the decision to buy cable. And cable was cheaper if you bought… well, CABLE. The bundled package.
“It’s only for Frontline”, I maintained. “This will not become a habit.”
Cut to last night. We’re out with my old boss and some of his friends, enjoying a companionable meal and several rounds of drinks. I look at my watch, and notice that it’s 10:45. We immediately said our goodbyes, dashed from the restaurant, and raced home. Why?
We left dinner for a TV show.
And as if that’s not bad enough, after Blade wrapped up, an episode of CSI came on. And we almost watched that, too. Just because we had nothing better to do. Then I got up to take a crap and grab more chips.