It’s so funny that Christopher Lawton’s piece on the recession and cable ran in Thursday morning’s Wall Street Journal. While I was en route to work and listening to NPR (which I haven’t done in a LONG time), I was thinking about a long-held vision of nixing my cable. I kept shaking my head and saying to myself, “it’ll never happen”… “what would I do without ‘Gossip Girl’?” Ever since my last day on the old job in December and even now that I’m employed again, I’ve been contemplating what just might happen if I only had basic cable or, worse, no cable at all!!!
I might actually read more books, take more walks, mingle among more humans or even write that novel percolating in my head for the past 10 years (I know, everyone wants to write a novel. How cliche!). God forbid any of that healthy activity come to pass!
In fair disclosure, I did take my cable package down a notch while I was unemployed (and it stays that way today). My friends were shocked then, and that was just getting rid of about 50 extra channels. But (and that’s a BIG BUT), it eliminated my access to offerings such as the Lifetime Movie Network.
Before you chastise and laugh at me, let me just say one thing: LIFETIME IS EVERY WOMAN’S GUILTY PLEASURE. Why do you think every chick lit novel known to [wo]man references the network? I don’t care who you are. You know you feel a twinge of excitement riding up your leg every time you see another airing of sorority drama “Dying to Belong” (starring a young, 90210-era Hilary Swank) or “Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story” featuring a fabulously deranged Lesley Ann Warren with a hot-rolled coif as big as the state of Texas itself.
To answer your question: Yes, I have regular Lifetime, but LMN is uninterrupted, mindless melodrama 24/7. No episodes of “Frasier” or “Reba” (which I watch…secretly…) to screw up the movie momentum.
Sadly, television obsession is not a new thing for me. Since I was a kid, I’ve been fixated with the boob tube. In fact, there’s an urban legend out there that I used to discuss “Dallas” with my first grade teacher every week in school. Hmmm… might be some truth to that. I watched everything from “Gimme a Break”, “That’s Incredible!” and “Trapper John, M.D.” to “She’s the Sheriff”, “Small Wonder” and the Saturday morning NBC classic “Hang Time”. Didn’t matter how crappy, I was there supporting our small-screen stars with eyes possessed.
So, what would I do without the Oxygen Channel, CNN, ESPN (I love college football!) or even NBC? I’ve proved I can get along without IFC or even HBO, but basic networks? Seriously, I don’t know if I could do it. I don’t care how many Hulus are out there online. I don’t care how many reality shows pollute the airwaves. TV is as comforting to me as a quilt from home, mashed potatoes or a hug from my Daddy. When we’re experiencing the times we are, it’s the little things that help us forget our troubles.
So, why should I rid myself of such a simple pleasure now when I need it the most? What do you think? Have you let your cable go? You dare me to give mine the pink slip?
I know. I need to get a life.
(photo: The Guardian, U.K.)