By Kate Emswiler
Happy new (TV) year! Finally, the fall TV season is upon us and I cannot wait to roll around in this pile of new shows and briskly clear out my DVR in preparation for the harvest of new series. Early fall always feels like a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, clean slates, etc. So, like so many people do at the beginning of January, I’ve decided to make my own list of “new year” resolutions – TV-related, of course.
Some of the most frequently declared New Year’s resolutions include:
- Lose weight.
- Manage stress.
- Get a better education.
- Be healthier/drink less alcohol.
And as it is in life, so it shall be with that box in the living room. Thus, for the start of this 2012-2013 TV “year,” I am committing myself to the following resolutions:
Lose weight. Every year I start new relationships with shows and inevitably, some of those relationships just don’t work out (it’s usually them, rarely me). And yet, for some reason, I often can’t sever ties by deleting the recordings, holding on to some vestige of the hopefulness I felt at the beginning of the series – that we might work out, that we might spend many happy hours in the dark together right up to a bittersweet series finale someday. But I should face reality: If left unwatched, episodes just pile up on the DVR, weighing it down with unnecessary baggage and reminders of what didn’t work out. Lose the weight!
Manage stress. When I save up a bunch of different shows over the week and then watch them all at once, it’s important to strike a healthy comedy/drama, happy/sad balance with the lineup. Unless there is an even combination of comedy and drama, I risk spending a whole night curled up on my floor, gently and steadily keening. Sometimes it’s impossible to predict: I’ll carefully curate a menu of recordings from the week that includes “Parenthood”, “Modern Family”, “Castle” and “Parks and Recreation”. And somehow, each and every one of these will feature some kind of heartwarming story (Castle’s relationships with his daughter and mother can be real sweet stuff sometimes – which is lethal when pitched in alongside old reliable tearjerkers like “Parenthood”) aaaaaand cue the keening. This is the year I manage this “stress” better, I can just feel it.
Get a better education … in “Breaking Bad”, which I simply haven’t watched yet. At all. I know, I know. Look, I’m not proud of it. I just know that this series will grab me by the throat and pummel me to the ground, so, yeah, I’ve been waiting until I have plenty of time to spend, preferably alone, feeling amazed and wretched.
Be healthier/drink less alcohol. In the TV world, this translates to: No more “Real Housewives”. These series are like my favorite cheap wine – not particularly well-crafted, definitely not good for me, a little gross. And I’ve indulged too much. It’s just empty calories, and yet, I so easily get addicted to the sloppy, fuzzy, vague pleasure it brings me. It’s not healthy and because I know for a fact that that my time could be better spent on other things, watching these shows sends me down a shame spiral I can’t escape. I need to quit cold turkey.
(Without a doubt, I’ll be breaking this particular resolution on occasion.)
What other resolutions should be added to this list for 2012-2013?