When people say they don’t watch TV, that’s usually a strong statement. Maybe they don’t even have one because they think it’s so harmful or worthless. I’ve never been one of these people. For a couple of years though, I was a person who said I didn’t watch TV. There were two dumb reasons for this, first shows I liked kept getting canceled and secondly I was lazy.
Wonderfalls was probably the last straw for cancellations. I can still remember how excited I was after seeing the ads and previews for the premiere. I told myself there was no way it could live up to my anticipation, but then it did. It was quirky without being obnoxious, it mixed magic into ordinary life, the show (and the men) were beautiful. What kept me entranced though was Jaye. 15 year-old me was entirely enchanted by and identified with her (I think this both confused and alarmed my mother). Jaye wasn’t particularly happy or content, but at least she wasn’t working hard and still being discontent or hiding how she felt. Then Fox started moving the show around and finally canceled it.
This happens to everyone who ever grows attached to a show. They all end eventually, and it’s not a unique observation to say too many great shows end even earlier. Most people suck it up and move on. I did too. It was going to take more than one dumb reason to stop me.
But then increasingly shows seemed more demanding. I started to feel like I had to catch every new episode if I wanted to follow a series. Even when I wanted to watch every episode, sometimes that just didn’t happen. Why put in the effort when any show I really liked would just disappear?
In just a few years, I went from someone who was (perhaps too) deeply invested in shows to someone who barely even knew what was on. The reasons are simplified here, but the point is I let something that I enjoyed, that mattered to me, cease to be part of my life.
I had to go to freaking Austria to re-discover TV. Not only could I now watch TV online, but it was my only option unless I wanted to watch Scrubs in German. I also had absurd amounts of free time, and was with people who preferred to watch shows with people than alone. Also, the Wonderfalls people came out with a new show, Pushing Daisies. TV was back in my life, and I couldn’t believe I’d ever pushed it out.
It was still really easy to be lazy about my TV watching. Especially when I came back to campus and the suggestions of friends on what to watch. Frankly, I was overwhelmed by the options, I still kind of am. But I like TV, even when I wasn’t watching TV, it was bizarrely enough in part because of how much I like it. TV matters to me, and that’s why with this season starting, I’m ready to start acting on caring about TV again, not being too lazy or just following what others recommend. No new shows have me as excited as Wonderfalls did back then, but I can also watch whatever, whenever after it airs. I’m out of excuses, and it feels good.