Confessions of a TV Addict
Category: EntertainmentBy: perrie-halpern • 2 years ago • 42 comments
Today a tragic event will happen in my life. E.R. will end its fifteen year run and I will lose many of my closest friends. Now I have grown used to losing my E.R. friends. First Susan left...but then came back. Then Dr. Ross left with his girlfriend nurse Hathaway. But the most painful goodbye for me was the tragic death of my dear friend Mark Green. We had been through so many things together: his divorce, the terrible attack in the bathroom. I was so glad that he finally found happiness with Elizabeth Corday and had a beautiful baby that brought them both joy. But life being unfair, finally when Mark had just found the happiness he so deserved he developed a brain tumor. It was so painful to watch him battle his cancer with grace and then finally to lose that fight. For those of you who didn't watch E.R. I must sound like some sort of head case. But stop for a moment. Haven't you had the same feeling when your favorite TV shows end? What is it that makes some TV shows stick out in our heads and take over our hearts, while others come and go? The reason is so simple. In really good TV shows, the characters ring true, and so we welcome them weekly into our homes, not just as entertainment, but also as friends. We have years to get to know them, to care about them, and then they go. They are never coming back again. It's like a death in the family.
As I look back on my TV addiction, I know the first time I had lost many friends. It was the day that "M.A.S.H." ended. I cried in joy when the 4077 found out that the war was over and that they were going home. But just like the characters on the show, I cried because I knew that I was never going to see my friends again and I was going to miss them.
1999 was an awful year for me because of the loss of so many of my friends. First, there was the terrible loss of our close friends Jamie and Paul Buchman, in "Mad About You". They had gotten married just two years after my husband and I had gotten married, and we had so much in common. We were all New Yorkers, with colorful families. We always had the same issues going on in our homes that we could share. Is sex on the kitchen table okay if the relatives are in the next room? We all agreed that it was fine, but maybe not in the best taste. We decided together when to have a child (here we beat them, we had twins!). Yes, we as couples could even find comfort in the bumps in the road that come with marriage, and some counseling got us through. But not for Paul and Jamie. Their marriage ended in divorce, and their divorce ended our friendship with them too, which left my husband and I heartbroken. We never saw the Buchmans again.
We were just trying to get over the shock of losing the Buchmans, when we found out some terrible news about another old friend. After seven years of watching our friend, Tim Bayliss, go from an idealistic, eager, passionate detective, on "Homicide, Life on the Street", to a jaded man, who had grown tired of watching the criminal justice system fail. We watched Tim struggle with his demons. He was a man of little faith, and tried to find peace in Buddhism. He struggled with his sexuality, but we loved him whether he was straight, gay, or bisexual because total acceptance is what true friends do. We were there for him, as he tried to gain his partner's friendship and approval. On the fateful night that Tim had made the decision to execute the internet murderer so that others would not die, we knew that there was no turning back for Tim. The execution was perfect and no one suspected Tim, but we all knew that he had crossed the line. We watched Tim pack up his stuff at the police station, take one last look back at the the station remembering everything we had been through together, then smile and leave. We never saw Tim again. I still wonder what ever became of him.
If this sounds like a case of mental masturbation, well...maybe it is. Maybe, you don't get it about the connection I make with the TV shows I watch. Or maybe you didn't like those shows. But there is something else about this virtual world of TV that I so willingly give myself to. It is a lot like the virtual world that we all participate in here. Whenever we log in, we are in a virtual world. We develop friendships from the articles we read that touch our hearts. We converse through our postings and sometimes by email. But do we truly know one another? We believe we do. To all that participate here, this world is as real to us as the real world we live in. We might even like our virtual friends better than our real life friends. But for most of us, we have no idea what each of us looks like or sounds like. We have a picture in our minds of who each of our friends is, and would we be shocked if that picture didn't match up? Are my relationships here any more real than those with my TV friends? Well, I think so, because I converse with you. But to some of our family and friends in the real world who just don't seem to get what we have here, well...it's a lot like my TV relationships. You might not get my connection to my TV friends, just as they don't get the connection to our internet friends. My TV friends might not write responses back to me, but I live their lives with them in living color, and so they are as real to me, as you are. Well, not quite as real, because I actually do talk to you. But I think you all get it, Right
I miss ER and MASH. Great shows
Me too. That is classic TV. I still cry when I watch Mark and or Henry die. I so loved those characters.
If this sounds like a case of mental masturbation, well...maybe it is.
That made me laugh.
Maybe, you don't get it about the connection I make with the TV shows I watch. Or maybe you didn't like those shows. But there is something else about this virtual world of TV that I so willingly give myself to. It is a lot like the virtual world that we all participate in here. Whenever we log in, we are in a virtual world. We develop friendships from the articles we read that touch our hearts. We converse through our postings and sometimes by email. But do we truly know one another? We believe we do. To all that participate here, this world is as real to us as the real world we live in. We might even like our virtual friends better than our real life friends. But for most of us, we have no idea what each of us looks like or sounds like. We have a picture in our minds of who each of our friends is, and would we be shocked if that picture didn't match up?
I don't really have any mental pictures... some of the people here, I've seen their photos; others, I have no idea, but don't really have a mental picture either.
Are my relationships here any more real than those with my TV friends? Well, I think so, because I converse with you. But to some of our family and friends in the real world who just don't seem to get what we have here, well...it's a lot like my TV relationships. You might not get my connection to my TV friends, just as they don't get the connection to our internet friends. My TV friends might not write responses back to me, but I live their lives with them in living color, and so they are as real to me, as you are. Well, not quite as real, because I actually do talk to you. But I think you all get it, Right
I definitely get it. My husband does NOT. He doesn't even have an email, let alone have internet friends. He doesn't get that you can befriend someone or have empathy for someone sitting in another state, another country, whatever while we're all sitting behind our computers. He didn't understand when I wanted to meet a couple friends in other states with our son; those friends I met through a pregnancy website / social media site. They categorized by estimated due date. I still talk to those ladies and our kids are all coming up on 13 years old. My husband was FREAKED OUT that I traveled to Reading, PA and then made our way to near Boston, MA to meet people that I only spoke to via the internet. Upon my arrival in PA however, my friend's husband handed me their home phone and said, "Call your husband from our home phone. I know I would want that if I were him." That's a big deal. They're caring people. I also met up with a member here; he had come to MI from NY for a wedding. My husband didn't want me to go. I told him that I'm going, but if that it would make him feel better, I would take my mother with me. We had a good time. We just had lunch and chatted, but it was nice to put a face to this person. My family was invited to a NT meet and greet, right here in my home-state, but my husband didn't want to go and I needed him to go, because we'd have needed our camper trailer with HIS truck. I really wished he would've wanted to go, because a few of the people that were there are no longer alive... I miss them too.
My husband also doesn't understand my obsession with certain TV shows. I'm really a big fan of anything Walking Dead related. I watch all the spin-offs, I follow the webisodes, and I watch the Talking Dead, where they have people from the shows on and they talk about what was on the most recent episode. This upcoming season [season 11] is the final season of the original, flagship show The Walking Dead; however, there will be a spin-off with two main characters.
He watches the flagship show with me... Hell, he was the one that got me into it. However, he gets aggravated with me when I talk about what I think a character is planning or how I think something will occur; he calls me obsessed and that I need to stop watching all of the spin-offs and says he is glad that the flagship show is done after season 11. It kinda bums me out, because the only shows he watches are things like, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Mysteries at the Museum [I like that one too], Foods that Built America, etc. He watches things that have historical significance, but shows like Pawn Stars and American Pickers show the same crap over and over and over... it gets old watching the people determine some sort of monetary value to an item.
I love American Horror Show too, but he was done with that after the first season. He didn't like that each season was different characters and different stories that didn't really connect to the other seasons. They actually do, but you'd actually have to watch them all to understand those connections. I enjoy the macabre and the unimaginable [also unlikely to happen]. He enjoys real life things, real people doing ordinary things. It's hard to find show that we both like. I really enjoy Stranger Things too, but stupid COVID ruined the next season of that so far.
I have a mental picture of some of the members and not so much of others. For instance... if they use someone else's picture (say someone well known) that is my mental picture of them. I think I might be the only member who uses their actual photo... which I need to update. That one is 4 years old.
As for hubbies, Matt very much gets it, although I would have to say that his social media presences is almost zero. He was confused at first, when I joined a "Homicide: Life on the Streets" group, but by the time I joined NV, he got it. I know I don't say here much politically, but that has more to do with my job here than anything else. I have had the honor of meeting several of our members and each time it's been a great experience, but I remember the first time, and Matt was freaked out, since it was a guy, and he was worried about my safety, but he rolls with things pretty well.
As for TV, we are watching buddies so he talks about characters and plots as much as I do. Right now, we are dying for "Yellowstone" to start. The cliffhanger from last season was massive!
I think I might be the only member who uses their actual photo..
My photo is a real photo of me. I represent myself.
I think that is so cool. I wish more members did that.
Me too, mine is me behind my cat.
I love that pic. Maybe I should take one with Wally.
I never use my own photo as the profile photo, but there's plenty of me and my family if you go to my profile. I've shared photos of myself and hubby here... I just don't use my photo as the main photo everyone sees.
sorry, wally won't fit within the avatar size limit.
Hey, what are you saying about the love of my life? He's not fat.... just broad.
That would be quite interesting. I actually like that idea; just don't know how that would be pulled off.
What you find is that one on one you end up liking most people.
what if you're not "most" .../?
I'm not most, but I hide it well.
after my well deserved bop in the nose.
I'm a lover not a fighter.
It all comes down to good writing. I love good stories and character development on a long running show. A good example would be Ziva David on NCIS. I was delighted to see Cote return for a story arc that spanned several episodes. I love the contrast provided by Bishop...a brainy blonde whose complex character is increasingly revealed.
I also enjoy the ongoing adventures of real life people like those on "Deadliest Catch" and "This Old House". Been watching for so long they almost feel like family
I agree it comes down to good writing. I have noticed that people either watch the NCIS shows or the Law & Order shows, but not both. As procedurals go, we watch L&O, which is kind of odd, since NCIS New Orlenes has Scott Bakula in it, and am a big fan, but for some reason I never got into it.
I like some of the real life shows, like "This Old House" or "Love it or List it", but I don't watch every ep.
I watch NCIS: LA and NOLA. I also watch L&O SVU.
Wow! That is a whole lot of crime watching. I have been thinking about NCIS NOLA, since I love Scott. But right now my viewing is fully booked.
I love Criminal Minds too. What can I say? I love puzzles.
I like some of the real life shows, like "This Old House" or "Love it or List it"
I like "Sell this house"
As a former realtor I find it unreal the way some people put their home on the market and expect people to buy it. The condition some people think their home is in and that it is sellable (at almost any price) is unreal.
"Sell this house" takes people without a clue and sells their home by doing simple stuff that doesn't cost much.
Its cool to see what they do with what's there.
They do before and after Open houses ..... What a difference !
anyway if you like "this old house" and "list it or rehab it" I'll bet you'd like "Sell this house" as well.
Oh no... not another show to watch, LOL!
There are so many channels that show scripted content now that it would be impossible for anyone to keep up with them all. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that there have been hundreds of drama, comedy , action, crime, or fantasy series available to viewers over the past 10 years. When I first got Hulu a few years ago I checked out the content on all the different networks they feature. If I opened the page for Lifetime or USA or FX or SciFi channel there were shows I had never even heard of let alone had interest in watching. And it goes far beyond just those. There are dozens of channels on cable or streaming that have numerous scripted shows each. Netflix has dozens of scripted shows itself.
I wonder how such shows can stay in business. They cant possibly have that big of an audience , especially compared to what used to be in the old days. A show like MASH used to have 20 million viewers a week. Now if a show has 2 million viewers a week it gets renewed. I dont understand it. I guess it is the power of paid subscriptions.
We have several subscriptions; Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. We like those for their original content. I don't think that these new shows will ever have the viewership that the old shows did, with a few exceptions, like "Game of Thrones" and the "Sopranos".
Hey John, Glad to see the change in the avatar. Nice to see your face!
I see you deleted your comment before I could get to it. I loved "Criminal Intenet" and Vincent is also one of my favorite actors. I often said that he and Mark Ruffalo look liked brothers, and then they got casted as brothers, but I can't remember the movie.
I loved "Criminal Intenet" and Vincent is also one of my favorite actors.
I'm working my way through that series on Peacock. I liked it when it first aired, but didn't get to watch it every week. I'm not as crazy about it after Chris Noth joins the cast, but I understand that D'Onofrio had some health issues that required him to cut his work hours. Logan (played by Noth) is ok, but Goren is a more complicated character.
Goren is such an interesting character. That is why I also loved "Lie to Me". Tim Roth's character Cal, was as much of the show as the actual science, which btw, is based on the real guy who developed the use of micro-expressions.
You crack me up!
It's my job.
I was also hooked on ER, until Mark died. By then, I felt like the family was gone - no Mark, Ross, Hathaway, Lewis. So I didn't catch later episodes. I did watch the final episode, for nostalgia's sake.
I think the last TV series I was addicted to was Downton Abbey.
Mark's death was rather traumatic. The poor guy finally gets some happiness in his life and dies this awful death. I kept on since I do like Noah Wiley, but it wasn't the same.
For some reason, I could never get into Downton Abbey, which is odd given the amount of Brit shows that I watch.
We are hooked on You Tube bushcraft videos like Kent Survival, Nagualero, Swedwoods, TA Outdoors and Living The Van Life, Elsa Rhae & Barron.
From our flea market trips, pretty much each Sunday, we've accumulated a selection of DVDs we've never watched. Have been watching during pandemic.
Do not consistently watch any TV show, but typically PBS, History, Discovery channels.
I watch "The Vikings" on the History channel. My brit coms are from PBS. My cable took away discovery from my cable and I miss it.
I liked "As Time Goes By", watched reruns until I could practically repeat dialogue. It comes on right after Lawrence Welk, which we watch, like big bands, and grew up watching it with our parents.
Obviously, I wrote this article a long time ago when I was on NV, but given a recent topic, I thought it was worth the revival.