Monday, September 20, 2010

Tele-Apathy

The new TV season starts in less than one hour. I only watch about half a dozen shows, but I watch them religiously. That's in the Roman Catholic sense, as in "skip a week and you're damned to Hell." In that respect, TV is like most things in my life: taken to an unhealthy extreme.

As recently as 2004, I rarely watched TV, much less followed any series. When I moved out of my parents' house at the beyond-ripe age of 24, I ordered cable TV for my apartment but soon found my interest in even network programming on the wane. When I bought my condo less than two years later,  I invested in a 27" TV (unlike my studio apartment, the condo had a real living room) but rarely watched it. Nearly 10 years passed. I moved into a house, got married, and often went weeks without turning on the TV.

For reasons long forgotten, I decided to started watching again shortly after completing my book manuscript. I suppose I was bored without full-time employment and looking for something to occupy my time. I'm still not a channel-changer, though. Not only do I never turn on the TV without a specific show to watch, but all my shows happen to be on CBS (I used to watch Boston Legal on ABC).

But this year doesn't feel right. I can't muster any excitement for my old favorites. Numb3rs is gone, but it was starting to wear thin anyway. I've been watching three other "criminal procedurals" -- NCISNCIS: Los Angeles, and The Mentalist -- but I'm not anxious about what's going to happen next on any of them. Last year I literally slept through a couple episodes of NCIS: LA. I've watched the CBS Monday night sitcoms How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, and Two and a Half Men, but I'm kind of tired of most of those characters and their recycled plot lines by now.

I don't give a shit about the next screwy relationship Ted Moseby gets into. I don't care how Charlie Harper catches his next STD. I don't care whether Patrick Jane ever kills Red John. I don't even care whether Jethro Gibbs stops the drug cartel chick from killing his dad.

What should I do tonight? Should I watch the season premieres anyway, hoping that something reignites the passion I once had for these shows and characters? Or should I just say fuck it and abandon TV entirely?

Those are really my only options. I do not want to check out any other shows (new or returning) because that would only complicate my life further. Besides, if I can't even muster any interest in the characters I've watched for the past two to five years, why would I care about someone new?

So it's all or nothing, and I'm leaning toward nothing. Ask me again in an hour or so.

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