Confessions of a TV Addict in Denial

I watch too much television. I always have. As a child I watched TV because my best friends Opie, Beaver, Eddie Munster, Elroy Jetson, and Mousketeers Annette and Cubby lived there. Years passed. I transitioned into adulthood. TV remained a major part of my life. New friends, upon seeing how much time I spent in front of the “tube,” would hint at the possibility of addiction. They would say, “My god, you watch a lot of TV.”

“Not really,” I’d respond. “But I can’t talk now. My 17th favorite show is on.”

Even though I have lived alone for much of my adult life, I have always had a roommate. My television, which is named Philo after television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, has always been there. Philo has been a constant, his voice filling my home with unwavering companionship. Television is a part of my routine. In fact, it is not unusual for me to turn the TV on before I put down my shopping bags, take off my coat, or empty my bladder.

But, even though it appears I have an uncontrollable need to watch, and a dependency on, television, I can assure you it is not a habit or addiction. It is a lifestyle choice. I can state without doubt that I could stop watching TV at any time. But I would prefer doing it during a commercial break. That way I…

Oh, I’m sorry. I have to go now. My 43rd favorite show is on. TV Guide says on Happy Days today, “Fonzie finds a dent on his motorcycle and Richie has a blind date who is four inches taller than he is. Hijinks ensue. ” Let me tell you, I love the retro Deja View Network; it keeps me grounded in reality. I’ll continue writing after I find out what happens to Fonzie and Richie. By the way, did I tell you I keep my TV Guide next to my recliner on top of The Bible?

I’m back. Sorry it took so long. But after Happy Days and Baywatch and My Mother the Car were over, I channel surfed onto The Home Shopping Channel and after three hours they finally offered something I could use, a 272 inch HD TV. And I can pay for it in 48 affordable monthly payments. I think I’ll name it Big Philo.

So, where was I? Oh yeah. I could quit watching television quicker than a Wheel of Fortune contestant, a Midwest housewife with two children, Jordan and Emily, and a pipefitter husband named Gordon, can say, “I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.” I could quit faster than a Jeopardy! contestant can say, “What is a menage a trois, Alex?”

You see, when I watch TV, I don’t waste my time. I watch quality programs, shows from which I can learn and better myself. That is why I watch so much Masterpiece Theatre and other PB…Oh, my god. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is on. Where did the time go? I’ll be right back.

I apologize for that. But I just had to find out if Kourtney bought that $16 million dollar Malibu beach house. I’m happy to report she did.  And guess what? She modelled all the new bathing suits she bought to wear there. That was so cool!

But what was I talking about before? TV. That’s right. So, like I was saying, I am not a TV addict; I just watch more than most people do. But, while they watch programs like NCIS, CSI, and Law and Order: SVU, programs about crime, criminals, and crazy people, I prefer to watch programs that don’t focus on those things, like news programs covering national politics.  In other words, I…

Oh, sorry. It is time for Live With Kelly. I have to watch to see who her cohost is and if he would make a good permanent one. I can’t believe how long it is taking them to choose one to replace Michael Strahan. But I suppose they do need the time because it really is a very important decision. I’ll be back in a bit.

Thanks for your patience. Well, that was a waste of time.  The cohost was Teller of magicians Penn and Teller; he’s the one who doesn’t talk. Of course, that gave Kelly more time to talk about her family and experiences at Soul Cycle, and I hate when she does that. I watch the show for the deep, penetrating six-minute interviews with celebrities promoting their film and TV projects. I know most of the TV stars because I read a lot.

I only have a minute before I’ll have to go again because Ellen is going to be on. My day is simply not complete if I don’t see 58-year-old Ellen dance like a 20-something straight White guy with her audience; I have trouble focusing through the day without it. But I am not a television addict.

I promise I will be back after Ellen to continue this discussion.

A thousand apologies. I got stuck watching an infomercial after Ellen. It was for some kind of natural makeup. Obviously, I wasn’t about to buy it. I don’t wear makeup. Not anymore. But I found the infomercial fascinating and the woman demonstrating the product reminiscent of a young June Lockhart. I just couldn’t turn it off. And that was followed by Family Feud which I just had to watch because I was so rooting for the Belvedere Family from Jackson, Mississippi to win their fifth game and win the car. I don’t really like Family Feud. But I like to watch host Steve Harvey. He does a real good job mugging and stealing the spotlight from the contestants.

I rarely watch Family Feud though. But I’ve seen all the hosts since the beginning of the series. I think my favorite was Richard Dawson because he was on Hogan’s Heroes and that was my 93rd all-time favorite show. There was another host I really liked…it might have been Dave Garroway or Bud Collier… who headed the show during its first season, which included the day the original McCoys and Hatfields were on.  Now that was a family feud!

I realize now, as I write, it sounds like I am, in fact, addicted to TV. I repeat: I am not. I have many other interests. For example, I spend a lot of time revising my lists of Top 100 Favorite Current TV Shows, Top 100 All-Time Favorite TV Shows, Top 100 Favorite Television Commercials, and Top 100 TV Show Theme Songs. Now, admittedly, I usually have the TV quietly on in the background while I am working on my lists. But that is so I can find out who the fathers of the babies are on Jerry Springer and Maury. But I’m not really watching it. It’s not like I’m addicted or anything.

Another pastime I have when I am not watching television is thumbing through my Soap Opera Digest collection, which I find very educational because it teaches me a lot about the actors on all the soaps, who, because I see them every day, I think of as my family and close friends. In fact, we exchange Christmas cards…well, I send them cards and…

Oh, no! NO! We’re having a power outage. Damn it! My television screen is black. Black, I tell you. What am I going to do? It’s black. Oh, my god, The Guiding Light will be on in 12 minutes. And I’ve lost my damn power!

Hey, can I come over to your place and watch TV?

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