Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Commitment Pattern

I have a serious commitment problem.

If I watch one TV episode of a series that looks interesting, I will go through a series of stages before committing myself to that series. I always hear about these shows from someone else, because I don't trust myself to find a good show with all the crap that's out there.
I do have rules about this. NO reality shows whether humorous, dramatic, fix-your-house, game-show or otherwise, NO. This doesn't mean I don't want to be on those shows, however. I would love to be on Wipeout. It looks dang fun.

If I decide that I liked the episode, I will actually have to start watching the entire series. Not just the season that is currently on TV, but every season before that one. I will have to watch the deleted scenes. The gag reel. The "next season" promos. The actor interviews. (I skip the commentary. I'm not that dedicated.) However, if the show has a formula where you can walk in and out like a revolving door, then I can just watch an episode here and there like a fair weather friend who eats the sausages off your pizza slice.

Now, since I haven't had a TV for 11 years, and TV on the internet and on DVD is a new phenomenon, this can lead up to a lot of commitment.

You're thinking, yeah, she does have a commitment problem. An addiction problem.

But PEOPLE. I haven't even told you the problem yet.

The real problem is that I actually feel guilty if I decide not to watch that series.

Like, if the series isn't that good, or it's crass, or sort of weak on interesting characters, or has cheesy music, I tell myself that 7 seasons is way too much to commit to.

But then I worry about it. I think, well, maybe I didn't really give it a chance. Or, so-'n-so liked it. Or, if it has 7 seasons it must be good. Won't the series feel bad if I just walk away now? What if it thinks there's something wrong with it? Is it fair of me to give an opinion after only one episode?

I also go through this if I have been previously committed to a show but we start having a series of episodes where they killed the main love interest or introduced an annoying new lead character, and I start becoming overwhelmed by the reality of watching 3 more seasons to catch up to the current, so I wonder if I was only having a fling instead of a committed polygamist relationship. This makes me feel dirty, and cheap.

Then I drop the show, but when it comes up in conversations where someone is telling me that they love this show, I immediately feel guilty. I clumsily mumble, "Ohhhh, yeah. I watched that once. It was pretty good." And soon I'm wondering if I should revisit my earlier rash decision.

So my new tactic is "don't start." I've had several shows on my list of "to check out" because of recommendations I've had lately. I'm sorry if you told me to watch something within the last month because I really really really am not going to watch it. Because I am really really really not wanting to start another show. Even though I really really really want to see that vampire show that Sarah recommended. And that "Psych" show that my students told me about (okay, so maybe I watched an episode of that). And I want to watch all the food network episodes they have on Hulu. It is totally eating me up.

But even more so, I just don't have time to watch a new show and that's because I have to watch the 3rd season of Friday Night Lights (recommended by Amy Palmer). Good thing there are only three. So far.

It must be good. Jake's been watching it with me. I give it my whole-hearted recommendation if you're looking for something to fill that slot you have open.


Stephanie said...

i am ashamed to admit that i like friday night lights. there. i said it.

also, NO WAY JOSE we dont own anything! :) it's my in-laws house. they used to rent their studio apartment on top of their house to us and then we moved to hauula once it got too cramped with ambrose and now we are back and they are adding 2 bedrooms to the apartment, a new staircase/entrance, remodeling the bathroom...etc. and we will be their renters again! oh how i wish i could afford...anything really.

and as for the ohana video madness- i had no idea you were in there otherwise i would have marched up and demanded that you instantly declare yourself my REAL LIFE friend! please do say something next time. we're gonna be lifelong friends (too much? too soon? ha!) so we may as well get this whole intro in real life thing over with! ;)

Testing said...

They need a "Goodreads" version for TV- There's tons of shows to try, just like books and you can save them there until you have time for them... that's as far as I've gotten with Goodreads anyway.

I only really watch reality shows (CBS ones mostly) so if you need updates, let me know. Survivor Samoa just started, Amazing Race is this weekend! I don't know what I did with my other babies at 2am without DVR!

Kristina P. said...

I watch WAY too much TV. I had heard good things about Modern Family, and watched the premier last night. But I wasn't really impressed, so it's off my DVR! I don't have time to commit to things I don't start to love.

I only started watching The Office and 30 Rock about 9 months ago. I wish I had watched earlier.

Mariko said...

Seriously. Goodwatch(es)! Not the catchiest title, but best idea. My parents watch The Amazing Race and every time I visit I'm roped in although I won't touch it unless I get to watch my mom reacting to the show. Also I get roped in to Japanese game shows because the contestants are always so interesting and good conversationalists, even though I don't understand a word they're saying and I'm just watching facial expressions, hand motions, and reactions.
Stephanie: Why are you ashamed? It's such a fun show. I never liked football before but now I'm thinking I should give it a chance. We can be real life friends. I just thought it wasn't the best setting for the first official meeting. I was waiting in line for 3 hours to buy 3 seasons of Seinfeld. I bought it mostly for posterity's sake.
Jake says that I'm not allowed to say he's watching FNL because the only reason he's watching it is because of me. (HA!) Now he's going to stop watching it just to prove a point.
Kristina: Good. I don't have to start that one. Never heard of it and I am putting it off the list forever. I can't believe you have to catch up on The Office. That's a weekly ritual around here.I had to drop 30 Rock, as much as I love it. Too much to catch up on. There really is only so much time. I only have room for a few series marriages. I almost feel relieved when they die though. I had to divorce CSI pretty quickly. Too many affairs at once.
Currently I watch:
Castle (I will watch anything with that guy. Period.)
and I will watch Lost when I get my hands on the latest season.
House (thank goodness it hasn't started yet. Or has it? I might have to drop one.)

Mariko said...

Oh, and The Office.
That is too many.
Oh, and 24.
Like 10 too many. Good thing 24 is about to die.
The most wonderful thing about shows on DVD is that there are no commercials (I hate commercials with a PASSION) and you can watch an episode while you're exercising. If I ever exercise. Or cooking. Or putting something off. Yeah, that's the main one.
Oh yeah. And Burn Notice. That's the only one there are seasons to catch up on. Dang you Austie.
I have to say, Koreans/Japanese/and Ricky Gervais are the smartest. They have a run and they STOP. What is wrong with us that we have to continue it forever?

austin said...

where are you? How are you liking it?

Unknown said...

Girl, you don't watch too much TV at all! If I had to give you a list of all the shows I like to watch and what I still need to watch, you'd be like, what a couch potato! and you totally HAVE to watch Psych! It's good! I need to catch up on Office and 30 Rock. I'm definitely a Glee fan. and I think House has started or will start this week. I really like the show Lie to Me too. Oh my, I could go on and on! Ok, I'm going away now.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I totally feel like I have free time now that I'm done with school, am being mean to Enzo and just wear my baby all day long. I should totally start watching some shows.

I've been missing you a lot. I should call you but my calling card is being funny and then I give up.

yesterday I went to Food BlogHer. I WISH you were there. Christian sat around talking to Elise from simply recipes. Of course he had no idea who she was and I was like "omg, Christian and Elise are BFFs" Then I felt COOL when David Lebovitz sat next to me while I nursed my baby and didn't seem to think it was weird at all.

I REALLY wish you had been there.

sorry to take up your comment section. I should of just sent you an e-mail

Mariko said...

The sad thing is, I really have almost no standards when it comes to TV. Well. I have medium low standards. I'm such a sucker for action/spy/medical stuff. I did reject "Royal Pains" after 2 episodes, however, so I feel proud of myself.

Aust: I'm at the part where the guy who wrote the burn notice on him is coming to see him. I've been trying to space out the discs a little so I have to watch 3 foreign films before I get to the junk food. I love the show. BUT, Fiona is a total anorexic and it bugs me. Plus, what the heck is up with dropping the accent? Other than that, Bruce Campbell is the man. And I think I will probably be totally ready for the CIA after I watch this show.

Mariko said...

I wrote you an e-mail. Obviously I think the comment section is a perfectly fine place to take up space.

I would never think that about you. Pregnant women can do whatever the heck they want as far as I'm concerned.

April said...

I was going to recommend Burn Notice! I love it! We started watching it last year and I had to buy the First and Second Season at Costco so I could watch it in order. We LOVE Psych and Monk. They are the kind that you don't have to see them all to get they gist of it.

Masayuki said...

I feel you sister. Amanda and I are addicted to House (Still working on Season 5), Bones (Only on season 2), The Office (Caught up, this is the show we love the most), Biggest Loser (Remember how crazy we were about that right before the wedding?), and anything on the Food Network or the Travel Channel (unfortunately we don't have that one anymore.) DVDs are a lifesaver though. I hate waiting for new episodes of The Office to come out. Hulu is also amazing. I watch The Daily Show and the Colbert Report all the time. Gotta stay updated with the news :P As for Japanese game shows, I have to say they make me laugh out loud more than any other type of show. Too bad Amanda doesn't understand what's going on. Not so fun to watch by myself.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh you silly goose!

You definitely don't have time to watch TV! Just pretend you watch TV. That's what I do.