My fall schedule is looking pretty crowded. I meet up for drinks with Don Draper on Sunday nights and brush up on my dancing skills with Cat Deeley on Tuesdays. And the rest of the week gets even busier.
My fall schedule is looking pretty crowded.
I meet up for drinks with Don Draper on Sunday nights and brush up on my dancing skills with Cat Deeley on Tuesdays. And the rest of the week gets even busier.
On Wednesdays, I have glee club practice with Mr. Schuester right after Tyra gives me a lesson on how to “smile with my eyes.” I already have business meetings with Liz Lemon and Michael Scott scheduled for Thursdays, and I also might start taking classes at Greendale Community College that day, but I’ll have to see how I like it first.
As you already may have guessed, I’m not talking about real life — I’m talking about TV.
Television is supposed to be a distraction, a break from our daily routine, but I find that keeping up with my favorite shows adds to my list of things to do instead of giving me a break.
After all, broadcast networks have schedules. Television shows are not like movies, which allow you to choose what time you’ll watch. Each program is on at a specific time once a week, and you have to be on your couch at that time if you want to watch it.
Of course, many shows are now available on demand via a cable provider or on the Internet, and I can always record something on my DVR if I have to miss it. But, for some reason, watching TV shows that way is just not as satisfying as watching them when they’re actually on TV for the first time. After all, if I miss an episode, I run the risk of hearing what happened from a friend or stumbling onto a Web site that gives away the plot.
So, although I get excited as the fall season approaches, I also have to start thinking about how TV will affect my schedule.
I try to limit myself to a handful of shows: “Mad Men,” “So You Think You Can Dance?,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Glee,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” in the fall, plus “American Idol” and “Lost” once they start in the winter. I might add NBC’s “Community” to that list, but I have to evaluate the first few episodes before I make any commitments.
In addition to those shows, I also try to catch “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “The Soup” when I can, and I have been known to let myself get sucked into the occasional marathon on weekends. And special events like the Emmys and the Oscars merit their own notation on my calendar.
Frankly, I’m not sure how people find the time to watch much more than I do. When I flipped through Entertainment Weekly’s fall TV preview issue last week, I was overwhelmed by just reading about the 85 shows that were profiled.
After all, watching TV is not my only activity. I also work quite a bit and engage in social activities that provide some actual human interaction.
However, I have to admit that TV is never far from my mind when I’m thinking about my schedule. For example, since I’ve been spending most nights at rehearsals for the Peoria Players production of “Evita” lately, I’ve been recording most of my shows and trying to find time to catch up with them.
And when I make plans for an evening, I do a quick mental check of what’s on that night — just to see if I’ll have to record anything, of course. I never stay in just to watch TV — except maybe for “Lost.” I take that show very seriously, as anyone who has tried to talk to me during an episode can tell you.
In fact, I probably take a lot of things too seriously, since I just spent a whole column reflecting on television’s effect on my daily routine. But no time to worry about that now — I’ve got places to go, people to see and shows to watch.
Pekin Times city editor Amanda Jacobs can be reached at (309) 346-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.