Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A TV addict in relapse...

I SWORE I wouldn't get sucked in!

I am insanely busy most of the time. You all know that. I don't have much time to waste in front of the TV. I barely have time to keep my own thoughts straight and fit in all of my obligations, let alone set aside an hour every week to catch a favorite show. The only time I usually have is whatever time I'm willing to sacrifice from sleep late at night. I have no magic genie like Tivo and the clock on my VCR still blinks 12:00, so prime time shows are usually out.

I try to stick with non-serial shows like Family Guy, Simpsons, MadTV, the occasional Boston Legal (hey, 4 Star Trek alums in regular roles) and other largely episode-by-episode shows that don't require continuity to understand. I watch stuff I can catch in re-runs and enjoy without disrupting the Cathode Time Continuum. Thus, I make it a point not to get sucked into serial shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives (though I did for a brief time – I'm recovering from that addiction), Gray's Anatomy and the like. I haven't had cable for well over a year, so Sopranos, Entourage, etc. are thankfully a moot point.

Then came Heroes…dammit.

A sci-fi show. Perfect. I saw the first episode and figured that is was going to be a great, but short-lived show. Sci-fi shows tend not to last (unless you have a huge franchise name like Star Trek) due to either poor writing or bad time slots. I knew I'd never have time to watch it, so I let further episodes slip by without a second thought and cut off my supply before I got addicted.

Then last week it arrived at Blockbuster. I had been slightly curious about how it was doing, so I rented a couple discs, figuring, like so many of the videos I bring home, Sonya may get a chance to see it, but I wouldn't have time.

We have been up until 4am for the past 3 days watching it now, with 2 more discs to go.

Super powers, well developed characters, Star Trek references, intrigue, morality in varying shades of gray, time paradoxes, developed back stories. It's everything I want in a show. This show has all the best aspects of my favorite shows from days past: M*A*S*H, X-Files, Twin Peaks, X-Men, Star Trek. Hell, it even has a prominent role for George Takei!

The best part of the show is the attention to detail. Sci-fi fans are no dummies. We're obsessive, nit-picky motherfuckers. We'll catch inconsistencies and cheer out loud for subtle salutes to other genres and mediums (if done well). Heroes's character interrelationships are well planned, timelines are meticulously mapped, and cameos are tasteful and don't hit you upside the head like a bag of rocks. I about fell off my chair when George Takei's character stepped into a limo with the license plate "NCC1701"discreetly shown. That's the kind of shit that hooks the masses of sci-fi geeks.

I have been a TV addict most of my life. For the past decade or so, I have been able to avoid temptation and not feel the compulsion to be on the couch, remote glued to my hand, at specific times of the week for a show that will send me into DTs if I miss. This show has destroyed my resolve. I am officially in relapse.

All I can say is, thank God for fairly speedy DVD releases, webcasts, and peer-to-peer downloads. Hopefully with these aids, I can keep my new addiction from impacting my life too much.

Hello, my name's Paul, and I'm a Tvaholic. It's been 9 hours since my last episode.

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