When you miss your appointment TV

When you miss your appointment TV

There is a lot of fuss, at the moment, about the upcoming Game of Thrones Season 7 Opener.

It reminds me that every time there is a much-ballyhooed new show, I have the same old dilemma: to watch what everyone’s talking about? Or not to watch?

On the one hand, I’m no trend setter —

“You can say that again, Mom!’

(That’s one of my beloved offspring, choking on their retro peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.)

On the other hand, I don’t like being a “joiner,” either. You know what I mean — the tiresome person who arrives just as the party is breaking up, and has to know all that they’ve missed.

“So what’s the deal with this “Breaking Bad”?  It’s not a show about an orthopedic surgeon?”

“We’re so over that, Judy!  Where were you when everyone was watching it?”

What keeps happening to me, over and over again, is that I miss the boat.

I have a friend who watches every new series right when it comes out; and she’s always inviting me over to watch them with her.

“Why don’t you try it, just once?” she asks. “What’s your problem?”

“You mean, other than the fact that I’m busy and have a life?”

“Don’t give me that — your kids are mostly out of the house and you don’t even have a full-time job!”

“I’m a freelancer!  That means I work all the time — even on weekends!”

“Yeah, whatever.  I’m working two full-time jobs, and I can find time for this…   so you have no excuse.”

It’s true.  I have no real excuse.

“The truth is, I just can’t take on any more “clients,” I whine.  “That’s what it feels like!  It’s all I can do to keep up with everything I already watch  — and all the DVR space….  So I’d have to stop watching something I like,  to start a new one.  So thanks, but no thanks.”

Then my friend, who is very thoughtful, records the pilot anyway, and saves it for me.

But somehow, I never get interested till years later — long after she’s had to erase that show to make room for something else.

And I am left with my stupid questions.  Because another problem with catching on to a show, years later, is that there’s no one to talk about it with.

Sometimes things don’t even make sense.

For example, I’ve just started watching something on PBS called “Doctor Blake.”  But I apparently joined it a few seasons in, and although I like the characters (or I think I do), I cannot understand what they are up to.  For example, the Doctor lives in a house filled with random people who don’t seem related to him or to each other … but don’t have any other good reason for living there, either.

“Have you ever heard of Google, Mom?  You should try it!”

And I do —  but sometimes it’s hard to even formulate a question.  For example, just try asking what I really want to know, which is: “Why did Danny give Mattie that look, in the middle of the episode?” and you’ll get a whole Wikipedia entry, complete with episode guide…but not the answer I need, the answer a friend would know if we’d been watching together:  “Dummy!  It’s sexual tension, of course!”

It took my DVR mistakenly recording an earlier episode for me to figure that out.

Somehow, looking things up on Google too often turns into finding the episode guide, and printing it all up and putting it into a three-ring binder near the TV so I can check them off when I’ve seen them… (because my memory isn’t what it used to be, and anyway, re-runs are often out of order, and I’ll spend a whole hour wondering “Is this an evil twin?  Or did he come back from the dead?” when it’s just an episode from an earlier season).

Before I know it, I’ve produced something that feels like a homework assignment, just to watch a TV show — and all because I’m too proud to just watch it with everyone else.

So this time, I’m trying something new.  I know you’ll forgive me for leaving right now — before my sad story is done — because I’ve got to get to a Season Premiere viewing party for Game of Thrones, at my friend’s house.  I’ll see you next week for another installment of …the Lighter Side!

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