So This Friend’s Got a TV Show…

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Ever sit next to one of those people on a plane who’s addicted to a show like Lost? Who gets that look in their eyes when they describe it?  I always wanted to be one of those folks with that mystical reverence for a particular TV program. Who lived by it, was truly loyal, and wouldn’t go out nights when it aired (til Tivo appeared). The last time I was able to commit to a show completely was The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. Only it’s just not that hard to stay home and commit to a Must See show when you have to be in your pj’s by 7and in bed by 9. Later I would love Dynasty and Thirtysomething, but I’d never be able to commit entirely (what with growing up and all).  Now I love Mad Men and Modern Family and Glee and Private Practice – but I’ve never really been that person with The Show That I Love More Than Anything. Much as I try. Never been the person who watches a series from the very beginning and gets hooked, so that when it comes to the epic end of a seven-year run I’m teary and bereft and I feel like the show is mine, all mine. I wanted to be. See, many years ago, when Twin Peaks was first announced, I remember hearing the buzz and deciding that for once in my life I would pay attention and catch something before it hit big. I would be on the crest of the wave. I—who had missed most primetime network TV while living in a big city in my twenties on account of living in a big city in my twenties – would watch Twin Peaks religiously, I would love it and somehow, I was certain, it would make me cool and cutting edge. Nor had I the faintest idea what Twin Peaks was about (no one did) but I had a weird sense that it would somehow be groundbreaking. It was a show that could conceivably change television (which it would) only it was twisty and turny so you had to know what was going on from the beginning. It was David Lynch (who by the way, is a very lovely man and he did the daily weather report on the radio station where I did the morning news but that’s another story). So you knew it would be cool, other-worldly & almost unintelligible.  On the day Twin Peaks was to begin, I happily set my VCR up and left my New York apartment, sure that when I came home I would watch, understand, grow fascinated, and by extension, become fascinating. Only when I returned home that night it was revealed that my programming skills were even poorer than my knowledge of primetime television. I missed the whole show. Nor was that a time when you could just pull it up on YouTube or Hulu or even go get a DVD at the end of the season. No way. You missed that pilot? It was all over. And so my hip, cutting-edge TV obsession never even had a chance. Which is a roundabout way of saying that I saw a pretty cool show on Sunday night called Episodes on Showtime and I hope it’s something I can follow like that. I thought it was funny and it skewers the American entertainment industry (which needs skewering) and in so doing looks to be making very good and very funny use of Matt LeBlanc. Definitely something you should catch online if you didn’t see it Sunday. And if the show is a hit – which I hope it is – I will have been there since the beginning. So for a burgeoning TV watching career, it’s a start.

Today’s poll:

Showtime’s new series Episodes stars Matt LeBlanc. Which of these original Friends’ boys is your favorite:

1)   Matt LeBlanc

2)   David Schwimmer

3)   Matthew Perry

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