Saturday, September 18, 2010

My favorite season

Fall.  Every year I look forward to fall.  It brings the promise of reconnecting with old friends and discovering new ones. The new fall television lineup.  I wait for it all summer.  I spend the last few weeks of August perusing the upcoming television schedule, planning out my upcoming weeks.  I set my TiVo weeks in advance to record every new sitcom premiere.  I must watch them all, and then judge from there.  I allow for one or two dramas to try to win me over.  It rarely happens, but I allow the effort.  The advent of Hulu helps feed this process even more.  A returning favorite on at the same time as a show’s premiere?  Whatever shall I do?  A few years ago I would have agonized over it.  I would have canceled all the days plans and sat anxiously with the remote, flipping, recording, rewinding.  But now, with Hulu, my heart is a little safer.  (Of course I'm also aware of the dual tuner TiVo, but these are lean times, so I work with the equipment I have.)  
       Of course, heaven help the new sitcoms that dare to go against proven favorites.  You will probably never be seen.  You may not think it’s fair, but its how my world works.  I have favorites, suck it.  If my second kid was born on my first kid’s birthday?  Too bad second kid.  Until your birthday is in syndication, mommy’s probably not going to pay attention to it.  In other words: show going against 30 Rock, just give up now.  You will never win my affection. 
       I look forward to all new shows simply because they are new.  I admit a few sound horrible, and they may be, but I still owe them their allotted 30 minutes to prove to me otherwise.  Dazzle me new show, woo me, attempt to make me your new girlfriend.  Most new shows will fail, but for the ones that make it through, we will have a wonderful warm fall relationship. 
       I’ll admit, a few make it through based solely on the luck that there was nothing else on that night.  This happens frequently to shows on Mondays nights, against Monday Night Football, or anything against a full night of <gross> reality programming </gross>.  Don’t even try to argue with me.  I shall put my fingers in my ears, shake my head, and sing “la la la” over and over.  You will not win me over, ever.  The only reality program I will watch is the News, and even then, I’m usually not thrilled about it.  But the nothing else on principle does let a few stinkers slip in, which is how I ended up with a TiVo full of Jenna Elfman sitcoms last year.  But that can be a fun distraction, especially on Saturday mornings, when I catch up on the week’s leftover television anyway.
       I’m getting ahead of myself.  The first few weeks of the fall season are precious.  Those first few weeks I examine everything, and evaluate their merits.  I start to build my weekly viewing schedule.  A few decent shows may get pushed out of the way if they’re against better ones.  The big debate this year is the Parenthood v. Detroit 1-8-7 conundrum.  I love Parenthood.  There was little doubt in my mind that I would be watching Parenthood each week.  Then I started to hear about this new show, Detroit 1-8-7.  A cop show isn’t exactly up my alley, but it’s about my hometown, and there’s a little bit of controversy around it, and the filming takes place in Detroit.  It seems worth looking in to.  Worth at least a view of the pilot.  And then, forsooth!  It airs in the same time slot as Parenthood.  I can see where the target audience for these two shows may not be the same and it makes sense to pit them against each other.  But a small piece of my heart fell as I had to choose which one to record on my TiVo.  I’m still not confident I’ve made the correct choice.  I’m hoping Detroit 1-8-7 will be mostly terrible so I can carry on with my Tuesdays with little anguish.  (UPDATE:  After watching the Parenthood season premier, I will be settling into a Tuesday night spoon-fest with the Bravermans.) 
       After the first few weeks, I settle into a television viewing schedule.  There will be a few new shows as well as the returning favorites filling up the TiVo.  It typically allows for about an average of an hour to and hour-and-a-half worth of television per night.  The average is brought down due to Mondays, but brought back up because of Thursdays.  And it doesn’t include weekends.  And then there a few guilty pleasures I succumb to on Hulu (Grey’s, Private Practice; shows that I don’t want to show up on my TiVo list lest strangers judge).  I generally reserve those for pre-empted weeks, reruns, or just lazy weekends.  All in all, a well rounded viewing schedule.
       Just when you thought that was the end of the story, and I was settled in for the season, January rears its ugly head and enters – MID-SEASON REPLACEMENTS!  A very similar process begins.  It seems exhausting, but for me, its like constantly meeting new and exciting people, but without the anxiety of actually going outside. 

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