I have made a soul-saving decision: NO MORE TV! I’m giving up Survivor, saying goodbye to The Simpsons and letting go of Will and Grace. I can finally say I don’t want to be a millionaire. And I don’t know what Jennifer Lopez wore to the Academy Awards. What’s going on with Joey and Rachel? God, I haven’t thought of them in days. When I think I may never see The Weakest Link again…. It’s hard to live without TV. We as a society have come to depend on its eye-damaging, but warming glow. We were raised on sitcom-brand artificial morals. TV is no longer a luxury, a way to relax—it’s an addiction. I no longer control the remote, the remote controls me, and all that crap. Well, no longer.
I went for a walk during prime time last night. The deserted streets echoed with an eerie silence. Where was the hustle and bustle of Seinfeld’s New York? The people playing road hockey in Labatt Blue commercials? And why don’t we have a creek? How are we expected to find any melodrama in our day-to-day lives if we can’t be silhouetted standing alone against a gently flowing creek? I don’t know how to live without a creek.
I’ve learned all my life lessons from Degrassi, Ready or Not and Saved by the Bell. I have learned to live in TV reality, leaving me completely unprepared for real reality, which I fear is actually a lot more difficult.
I think I’ll read a book tonight. Not a magazine. Not TV Guide. A novel…actual literature. It’ll be hard to know when to laugh without a cue from the TV audience, but I have to try. I need to occupy my mind, particularly in this stage of television withdrawal. I’m weak, and there’s a new episode of Friends airing tonight. Maybe I’ll take up smoking to busy myself.
But even that won’t lift the infinite weight from my heart whenever I think of Niles and Daphne. Does Conan O’Brien long for my giddy laughs at 1 a.m., as much as I yearn to create them?
I know I’ll pull through somehow. The first step is admitting you have a problem. And finally I’ve found the time to wonder. If BET’s on, and there’s no one there to see it, does it still suck?