The Making of a Couch Potato

All you need are the right ingredients.

Growing up, I watched tv in between the time I came home from school and when my mom pulled into the driveway. Then I frantically turned it off and pretended to study while my brother raced to another room to make it look as if nothing interesting was happening in the living room. We would usually watch X-Men (back when it was just in animated form), or some other made-for-youngsters programming.

During junior high, our tv finally blew a gasket, the screen went green and we said goodbye to television for several years. It was torture at first, but then my brother and I found other hobbies and really enjoyed being free from the clutches of the couch. I ended up cultivating my artistic talents by drawing celebrity portraits. That eventually led me to take an art class in high school that resulted in many memorable contests, workshops and events. I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise that our tv ‘blew up’.

During college, I lived with a friend from high school in the dorms for my freshman year. We didn’t have a tv then, and we didn’t really need it; we were way too busy taking advantage of all the cool free activities (and tshirts and pizza) to really want to watch anything. Not to mention that given the shoe-box dimensions of our dorm room, a tv would have meant sacrificing the space used by our microwave; a necessary amenity for midnight snack runs. For our second year, we moved to an off campus apartment and added another girlfriend from back home to our mix. She was a true tv junkie and finally provided our household with not one, but two tvs; something I hadn’t had access to in probably six years. She had each of ‘her shows’ that she would watch religiously (She was big into Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, and a few others I don’t remember). Every now and then I’d watch a few episodes with her, but on the whole I maintained my ‘no tv’ mantra.

Pilot (Lost)

Image via Wikipedia

Then the day came when she said, “You have to watch this new show with me, it looks AMAZING!” to which I replied, “Why? What is it?”. The answer was, “LOST“. She described to me the various commercial plugs she had seen for it and begged me to just watch the pilot with her that week. I agreed. From that point forward, I was doomed to be a tv addict for the next several years.

I remember watching the Lost pilot with her in our dilapidated apartment (we thought it was great at the time), as we sat on a denim covered couch (complete with loose change and other ‘items’ stuffed under the cushions), and stared across the room at a tiny 19″ tube tv (which probably accounts for my vision impairment today). I didn’t have any preconceived ideas going into it, but after the pilot ended, we were both in shock and awe – we were completely hooked. If you have never gotten on board the Lost train, I recommend you take a few days off work, get all the seasons and just start at the beginning. Trust me, your life will be better for it.

For the next several years, we religiously watched every single episode, through college and on into our professional adult lives. After much begging, threatening and coercion, I convinced my husband to catch up on the previous seasons of Lost so that he could watch the final season with me in our new apartment. I told him that any good husband would want to do that with their wife and that it was pretty much a marital requirement. He was skeptical, but after the first season, I would find him on Lost message boards and lostpedia trying to solve the mysteries. He was hooked, too. We even started hosting ‘Lost parties’ where we would rotate between a few houses and the host would provide dinner before the show. For the finale, we had a huge party complete with games, prizes and the most awesome invitations ever made (the girl who made them is a graphic designer, so don’t feel bad if your attempt at Oceanic tickets turned out lame). After Lost ended, we felt – well – a bit lost. What would we do with our evenings now that the show ended? What would bring us all together for parties now that the reality of driving for an hour was much clearer (Lost seemed to cloud the judgement that driving for an hour to watch a tv show with your friends was a bit silly). What would we talk about around the water cooler at work? How could we go on!?

The Bro Code, Barney Stinson

Image by tchuntfr via Flickr

We decided we need a new awesome show to ease the pain of the end of Lost. Although we would sometimes settle in for an HGTV marathon or a Sunday night viewing of Iron Chef America, we wanted something a bit more captivating – and something that didn’t inspire me to make a creme brulee or paint the walls at the drop of a hat. We did a bit of ‘research’ by asking our fellow losties what they were watching now that Lost was out of their lives. We settled into How I Met Your Mother. It was witty, silly and at times laugh-out-loud hilarious. Though I tend to avoid sit-coms in general, this one seemed different somehow. The characters were lovable, and the themes were usually light and rather ridiculous. It was a feel good crowd pleaser with many quotable lines (a sure indicator of a good show). If you haven’t dabbled in HIMYM (the appropriate acronym for the show), you need to suit up and watch it! It is LEGENDARY (even without the use of Moleskine notebooks).

My husband and I try to watch shows that will please both of us, but sometimes it is a bit hard. For now, we’ll watch an episode of Jericho, Full Metal Alchemist (A dark Japanese anime; versatile, I know), or the occasional venture into US history with The Story of Us (which usually makes my hubby really sleepy). I not-so-secretly watch Glee on my own, since I got the feeling my husband wasn’t really into high schoolers singing and dancing, nor was he into me bursting in song and dance after getting ‘inspired’ by the show.

I’m definitely much more of a couch potato than I was growing up, but I blame the good ingredients. Sometimes, you just can’t resist.

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  • It is definitely fun to watch something on TV with your spouse if you’re both into it.

  • izzy darlow

    I’m glad there is someone else out there who watches “anime”. “Ghost In The Shell” is a movie but it’s good, if you’ve not seen it.

    • Haven’t seen it. I’ll have to add it to my netflix!