Some people like movies. I like TV. I love TV. I wanted to be a television writer (well, after I gave up my dream of being on Broadway, that is.) When I was young, I wanted to write for soaps because I found it incredible- and still do- that those writers pump out a new story every single day. Their stories are character-driven. Sure, they're outlandish and silly much of the time but they almost have the right to be because they do it every single day.
When I was growing up, we were deep into the realms of appointment television. Big shows made big television superstars, and you made the time and the commitment to watch it, live. There was no DVR (or Tivo!!!). Just a good, old fashioned VCR if you were desperate. For me, it was Thursday night "Must See TV" with Friends. I did NOT like Seinfeld, I'm SORRY. I tried.
When Friends was winding down right as I was easing into college life, I actually thought to myself, "What am I going to watch now? What show will keep me sane through college?" I swear I was cooler than that sounds. I guess I found comfort in characters I had come to love and laugh with. Okay, again- I did have IRL friends, guys. I promise you.
Lucky for me, the next year, a new crop of TV shows were released and filled my TV void. College weeknights included Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and one of my favorite shows of all time: Lost. It was even more enjoyable when all my college roomies and I made a date with each other to watch together. Bonding and relaxing. We watched The Bachelor, too. I didn't want to mention it, but you probably already have a low opinion of me because of my TV obsession.
As time went on, the writing and character development on TV shows got better and better. With DVR (and Tivo!!!) and the invention of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., appointment television started to disappear, but in its place bloomed viral shows: shows on demand, gaining cult-following status complimented by widespread social media chatter, and of course: BINGE WATCHING. TV became art. Why go to a $13 movie when you can stay in the comfort of your own home, with your own snacks, your own drinks, in your pajamas, and watch a critically acclaimed television drama?
There's a lot of TV I haven't watched. The options are overwhelming. Right now, I'm psyched for the return of West World. Like the typical TV lifecycle, it came at just the right time- as another show of mine was ending. I loved the first season almost 2 years ago. Apparently, no one else did because I read a lot of criticism about how they "blew it" with the dragging plot lines.
Can we talk about the season premiere, West World fans? WTF was that? Compared to the first season as a whole, the first episode seemed overly-dramatic and kind of stupid. And confusing. Really unnecessarily confusing. So, I decided to do what is only natural in this day and age of television: watch the entire series from the beginning again. After rewatching episode 1 and 2 of West World's first season, I see the smartly connected dialogue, character interaction and ground work laid for the (still confusing) 2nd season premiere episode. It's that kind of forethought that makes me excited again and again for what I consider to be the golden age of TV.
The second best part of enjoying a well-written television show is the conversations that thus manifest with friends, family, co-workers, and your mailman. TV brings us together.
PS- Ross and Rachel were on a break, but that didn't mean he had to go out and do it with the copy store lady, same day.