I’ve decided to watch the Lost finale. I’ve never seen a single episode. Who knows? I may understand just as much as someone who has watched all six seasons. Below are my thoughts, published periodically through the episode. Beware, there will be spoilers and nonsense.
In recent installments of sitting in the same room as a television, I’ve noticed TV shows about people trying to buy a house and people trying to sell a house over the past few weeks. I don’t know how long these programs have been around, but the makers of these shows could be taking advantage of the housing crisis to show how people are buying and selling.
Then I started to think. What other mundane activities could turn into TV shows?
You’re Hired: Watch the job search of a group of unemployed people from various walks of life. Watch them write resumes and cover letters, struggle to get the word out that they’re looking for a job, let them go to any heights to find a job and impress potential employers, tape the excitement that they actually got a job interview, tape the interview itself, along with the thank you note and the nail-biting that goes along with waiting. Will she get hired? Won’t she? Stay tuned!
Survivor, Foreign Travels Edition: Throw a group of people in a foreign country where none of them know the official language(s) spoken. Give them a dictionary and basic challenges: Make a restaurant reservation, go to a major tourist spot, master the public transit, give directions when asked, go grocery shopping, go to the post office, see a doctor, watch a movie, go to a sporting event, etc.
The Real World (no, really) : Throw a bunch of freshly minted grads out into the real world and record their adventures with figuring out how to get a job, pay the bills, and still have money left for fun. Show their adventures in cooking, unclogging the toilet, dealing with cantankerous neighbors, fending off unwanted visitors, and other activities previously left to Mom and Dad.
Adventures in Frantic Novel-Writing: Show what’s going in the lives of a group of NaNoWriMo novelists, from signing up for the challenge on October first (or returning to the site for the veterans) to wasting time, stocking up on writing snacks, posting on the forums, rallying for free shrimp dinners, trying to convince people to do NaNo, and finally, writing (or putting off writing).
These don’t have any hope of becoming real TV shows, though, probably because they’re too real.
Very little is immune to my dark humor. This includes things I love, like math, writing, and social media.
When South Park decided to make fun of Facebook and Chatroulette in one episode, I had to watch it. Luckily it’s available online for everyone’s viewing pleasure and laughter because everything mentioned in that episode is true. Even the Yahtzee.
I don’t have a TV. Okay, technically my brother took my TV years ago with my permission and gave it back; now it’s just sitting in my room, unplugged. This is perfectly fine by me, since the only thing I watch that isn’t findable online is the national spelling bee finals in the late spring. Thanks to Twitter, I don’t even need a TV for major events because the people I follow enjoy livetweeting: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the Apple iPad release (guilty as charged), and the Oscar Awards, which are airing live right now on television and on Twitter. Since snarking the coverage is much more fun than actually watching the coverage and because I don’t really care, I’ve been reading their coverage instead of watching the ceremony myself.
Don’t worry; I’ll be livetweeting the National Spelling Bee–probably all by myself. That topic probably won’t trend, though.
I don’t watch TV. I don’t refuse to watch TV; in fact, some things, such as the National Spelling Bee finals, are television-only experiences unless you’re lucky enough to go to Washington, DC for the competition, a feat I never did achieve. I just don’t feel the need to let TV and my lack of recording devices control my schedule. The lack of television in my life is a well-known fact among my friends and acquaintances, for when they tell me about TV shows that they watch, I’m usually clueless except for what little I manage to glean from various fan communities.
Despite my lack of commitment to television, people still recommend programs for me to watch. First it was Numb3rs, an understandable choice because of my mathematical background. This recommendation came in droves. After watching half an episode online over a shaky connection, I gave up, resolving to try again when the opportunity presented itself.
Then my brother, who can’t do anything without the TV as background noise, recommended The Big Bang Theory, a show about two genius physicists, their nerdy friends, and their non-geek neighbor. “You’d like it,” he told me. “It’s about a bunch of nerds, and they’re all socially awkward, and there are a bunch of nerd jokes.” At first I wanted to say “So that’s how you see me?” I kept my mouth shut. He persisted. I reminded him of my lack of TV.
The recommendations continued to come, and they gave the same reasons as my brother (though concentrating more on the nerdy side than on the socially awkward side). This week I no longer had an excuse: I let slip to members of my alma mater’s physics club heard that I had never seen the show, and the club was hosting a marathon. Would I like to come? The game was up now.
Everyone was right, even Little Brother. I laughed straight through the twelve episodes we watched. The jokes were perfectly timed; the characters were well-developed, real, and quirky; and best of all, no one was kidding about the jokes being geeky. I wanted to strangle Sheldon from across the screen at least once an episode, but it was in a loving way. The only negative I found about the show was the laugh track. I found myself laughing in all the right spots and even in spots where the laugh track didn’t laugh. If a viewer doesn’t get the joke, they’ll likely wonder why it was so funny to start with or just write off the joke as dumb.
The verdict: I may be biased because I am a self-proclaimed geek. If you are too, give this show a try. You won’t be disappointed. The continuity-obsessed freak in me just needs to finish all the other episodes first.