Monday, October 17, 2005


Since having a baby I watch a lot more TV than I used to. I spend so much time at home now and it's the easiest form of entertainment - I can watch while I'm nursing, folding laundry, bouncing a fussy baby, making dinner, etc. I feel guilty about that, because I don't want to become one of *those* people. Growing up we hardly watched any TV at all. We played outside! We built our own doll houses, made pretend kitchens in the woods, walked to the General Store to get candy, took care of our horses, played with our dogs, etc. Compared to all that we cane up with to do outside, TV was boring. I really want my kids to have the same experience of being active and using their imaginations every day. So I worry about the example I'm setting for Sawyer by always knowing what happened on today's "Oprah." The thing is, there's not really anything else I can do at the same time as all the necessary mom stuff that makes up my day. Occasionally I read while I'm nursing, but I have a hard time focusing into a book when there are constant distractions, as there always are with a baby. Watching reruns of "Malcolm in the Middle" is much more doable. So for now, the boob tube (pun intended) is my main source of entertainment, and sad as it may be, having a few shows I keep up with gives me something to look forward to in an otherwise fairly monotonous week.

By far my favorite right now is "Lost". Eric and I started watching it on the second episode of the first season and we've been hooked ever since. Everything about this show is so well done. The premise is one that's been done a million times: a plane crashes and the survivors are stranded on a desert island where they have to learn to cooperate in order to survive. This is no ordinary island though. Strange, sometimes miraculous things keep happening, including the intrusion of a "monster" which has never been seen but is definitely there. The brilliance of the show is its method of character development. Each episode is dedicated to one of the 16 main characters. As events unfold on the island, periodically there are flashbacks into the life of the character before he or she was stranded. These memories always tie into the current happenings on the island, sometimes in profound ways. At the end of each episode I can't believe that I have to wait an entire week to see what will happen next. ADQ and Sara come over every Wednesday night to watch with me, and that's definitely a highlight of my week.

On the comedy side, my favorite is "The Office". I'm a big fan of the BBC version so I was skeptical about how the American series would turn out. The critics haven't been enthusiastic, but I've been pleasantly surprised. It is a different (more American) sort of humor, but just as hilarious. Steve Carrell plays the bumbling, ego-centric boss, and he does it in his own way, which is snort-Sprite-through-your-nose funny, and also a bit more likeble than Ricky Gervais' character in the British version. (My favorite quote from a couple of weeks ago: "I'm a night owl and an early bird, so that means I'm wise, and I have worms.") If you haven't seen it, the humor is a bit hard to describe, but if you've ever worked in an office before you will recognize every character and the situations are excruciatingly funny.

Those are my two must-see shows, at least until the new season of "24" starts in January. I have others I like, like "Wife Swap" on ABC, "Extreme Makeover Home Edition", "Prison Break," and the occasional episode of "South Park." My sister is always trying to get me into "Desperate Housewives" and "Alias" but I am resisting, because I figure I watch more than enough TV already. One of these days I'll get a cooler hobby, but for now, thank goodness for J.J. Abrams!

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