Monday, January 18, 2010

Personal TV Fads

Fad: "a temporary fashion, manner of conduct"

Sara and I were reminiscing the other day about our TV viewing fads during the course of our marriage. It’s the stuff blog posts are made of. Well, at least for a blog like this one. (There are some really good blogs out there, but since you haven’t found those yet, enjoy this fare.)

When we lived in Mundelein, IL, we used to watch Matlock every night. It came on after our supper. We usually to put fudge syrup in bowls, microwave it, spoon a couple dips of vanilla ice cream on top of the fudge, and then sit and watch attorney Andy Griffith (Ben Matlock) in his light blue suit go to work.

After Andrew was born we unwittingly began another TV ritual that lasted 2 ½ hours each night. Rocking Andrew to sleep was often a long process, but it was okay with us because we found a sequence of programs that worked for us after tiring days as apt. manager/new mom (Sara) and as seminarian (me). As Sara remembers it, In the Heat of the Night came on at 9:00, followed by Leave It to Beaver at 10:00, followed by The Rockford Files at 10:30.

When we first came to Northside in ‘95 we enjoyed watching The New Adventures of Lois and Clark on Sunday nights after the evening service. Sometimes we would go over to the Ryans’ (our senior pastor) and watch it at their house.

I think Law & Order is the longest-running TV series ever (apart from stuff like the nightly news). Sara and I became fans a few years after it had been on but long before all the spin-offs (Law & Order: SVU; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Law & Order: Trial by Jury; Law & Order: Parking Violations Unit; etc.) On any given Wednesday night we would lead youth group, then go up to the Ryans’ for an informal time of popcorn and conversation, then hurry home, put Caty and Andrew to bed, and plop ourselves down in front of the tube to watch the likes of Sam Waterston, Jerry Orbach, Benjamin Bratt and the rest run down the leads, make the arrests, and prosecute the cases. One of the things we really liked about Law & Order was that more than once, the bad guys got off. Incredibly frustrating, but realistic. But that was a fad, and we don’t watch Law & Order much anymore.

For the first, second, and maybe third season of CSI we were riveted to the TV on Thursday nights. Our adrenaline was up when we heard the opening Whooooooo are you? Who? Who? Who, who?” But eventually the show got too graphic and explicit--in more ways than one--for me.

PBS produced several two-hour episodes of Foyle’s War over several seasons. Set in England during WWII, where wartime, Nazis, and crime all mix, Foyle, played by Michael Kitchen, is a police detective who solves crimes, often war-related. Kitchen’s reserved and conservative nature was appealing. We started during the middle of the series and picked up other episodes from the library. We stopped watching when the series ended.

Well, this is already running too long. I’ll just mention other fads briefly.
--Homicide: Life in the Streets
--The kids and I always try to watch the holiday Charlie Brown specials (like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc.).
--The Olympics are rarely missed at our house. Sara’s the biggest fan, I’m the smallest fan, and the kids fall in between.
--We watched some ER in its early years with interest. But then, because of increasingly bizarre plots and twists, we began rooting against the show, hoping it would be cancelled. We started that rooting several years before it finally died. I guess that might be our one anti-fad.

I’d love to hear about your TV watching fads, but am realistic to know that maybe only 1 or 2 of you will actually comment.


Anonymous said...

no real t.v. fads. but, you might like to know that last saturday i finally watched "star wars" for the first time in my french, of course.

andrea r

Phillip A. said...

Hmmmm, fads. Well, Tera and I when we first got together, stayed up to the wee hours of the night to watch the cheesy dating shows (Fifth Wheel, Elimidate, Blind Date).

Not to long into our marriage, Lost came on and has been our #1 favorite show ever since. We're very sad that this year is it's last season.

We also really got into Big Brother over the years. I've gotten a little tired of it, but still find myself feeling emotions (mostly anger at houseguests) during current seasons.

As to anti-fads. Tera LOVES crime dramas like you two. I CANNOT STAND THEM!!!! Blach! They are all the same, bloody (I can't handle much gore), BORING, and have poor acting! Thats my anti-fad.

Jeff Elliott said...

Before we had children we would both arrive home at around 4:30. Then it was dinner and "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Then after that it was Seinfeld reruns. (I don't remember the time of day--late afternoon).
We don't really watch much tv anymore--although if "History Detectives" or "Antiques Roadshow" is on there's a chance we'll be watching.