without a definite route

a simple, geeky woman

on January 18, 2007

“I am a simple, geeky woman who enjoys watching sexy people in tight pants try to solve some mystical riddles while being cosmo-blasted by otherworldly beings.”

– gillian flynn,  teevee writer from entertainment weekly

i’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how much teevee i watch and about how to accurately judge myself. i’d like to think that i watch shows differently from most people. that i’m paying particularly close attention to the writing or to how something is shot.  i enjoy the fact that writers can really dig in deep on a show that runs 22 (+/-) episodes. i enjoy watching actors really embody their characters over the course of a season and, then, over the course of several seasons. i enjoy shows that employ interesting art direction, special effects and lighting.

i watch teevee with a critical eye. but also? i’m a fan and any kind of critical thinking is just on top of that. i’m not different from any other couch potato just because i want to work on a teevee show. just because i dream of writing. just because i studied some stuff a long time ago. just because i’m a snob.

i’ve come to the conclusion that i need to accept the fan in me. that’s the only way that i can reconcile the shows that i enjoy that really don’t stand up to my own personal criteria. grey’s anatomy? i don’t care how many awards it wins, it is a soap opera. it’s pretty well written for what it is, but it isn’t buffy. i’ve tried to quit grey’s, but i keep flipping to it. i can’t stop myself and then i start to worry that i’m just watching teevee. the shame. america’s next top model? i simply love it. i could go on about it being an avatar of pop culture, but, dude, it’s tall skinny women being catty to each other. which is, clearly, fun. gilmore girls? this is actually my biggest frustration with myself. i absolutely hate all of the characters. well, i like sookie and lane, but not enough for the torture that i put myself through every week hoping that the writers pull their heads out of their asses and try to write likeable characters who act like normal teevee people. i get angry. i yell and throw things. why can’t i stop? it’s like a bad relationship that i can’t get out of. week after week, i return to star’s hollow for my punishment. maybe it’s not a bad relationship. maybe it’s worse than that. it’s like family reunions that you don’t really want to attend, but you have to. and you end up either having fun or having a my-family-is-more-disfunctional-than-your-family story to tell. either way, i’m stuck because i’m a simple fan.

the fan in me is tired of being judged by me. the fan in me wants to shout to world, “hand me the remote!” the fan in me wants to be part of the masses who don’t question the time they spend in front of the idiot box. what i’m coming to terms with is that i have to allow myself to just be a fan and to admit that it’s alright to simply enjoy television for its own sake.

i think i’d like to hang out with gillian flynn. we could share some queso and watch battlestar galactica.


4 responses to “a simple, geeky woman

  1. lmb says:

    You would… you would… share queso with somebody else?!?!

    As for Grey’s Anatomy, soap opera may it be, there’s one thing that I think sets it apart. Shonda Rimes has always said that she created extremely detailed and complex characters, and that those characters follow their hearts, their personalities, their flaws. And I feel like she’s stayed pretty true to that. As annoying as Meredith is, she’s a woman in her young 20s who sleeps with inappropriate men. She doesn’t hang onto Finn just because it would have made a good plot line. I think the other characters have also proved well developed, fleshed out characters—even though they’re in a soap opera situation that isn’t always terribly realistic.

    Compare, for example, to the equally soap opera-y Desperate Housewives, in which characters must conform to changing plot lines rather than the other way around. I think I feel the same way about Housewives as you do about Gilmore Girls. It’s just how I end my weekend and move on to Monday. Even though it often sucks.

  2. cd says:

    Because I think you’re an incredibly smart, interesting human being, maybe I should use you and your television addiction to help me get over my TV snobbery. My dream is to live in a house without a single hooked-up TV — just a screen to watch DVDs on. But my dream also is to remain married and the mother of two TV-loving children, so I don’t see becoming television-free anytime soon.

    Sure, I’ll watch a couple of shows once in awhile; I love Jeopardy and The Office. It’s just that too often, I walk into the living room and see the people I love staring, mouths slightly hung open, at whatever happens to be on at the moment — no matter how inane. It makes for a cranky Mom and a husband who feels put down for doing what he enjoys.

    Next time, I’ll repeat a new mantra to myself: “It’s OK — Jaq does it, too.”

  3. flao says:

    girl…i have not personally gotten self involved in it, but all my girlfriends out here from lausd seem to immensely enjoy and derive the greatest of pleasure out of watching the train wreck that is intervention on a&e. i’ve tivo’ed it a couple of times and haven’t forced myself to watch them all yet. my guilty pleasures as of late have been wicked wicked games on mynetworktv since my hot french boyfriend is on there sporadically and now i’m just hooked on tatum o’neil’s horrible excuse for acting and i have to say that i love me some beauty and the geek although this season has lost its charm to me…but i’m still hooked.

  4. ramblinjaq says:

    little flao, for real? wicked games? as i said, i’m all about losing the judgmental, but that whole mynetworktv is crazy bad. you need me there in la to keep you on the good path, dontcha?

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