The reason I love cable TV is because for half of my adult life I didn’t own a television. When I did, I barely had a VCR and trolled for movies at the local library. While this left me geekily behind the popular TV show times, it allowed me to murmur that popular disclaimer: “Yes, I own television, but only use it to watch movies.”
What’s that biblical saying? Be WITH television, but not OF television?
Now that my rent includes cable, I’m outing myself from the television closet. This column is devoted to my Top Ten Reasons why I love cable, television without cable – and other forms of TV technology.
10. Basketball season and the pre-requisite snacks. During the 80’s I got hooked on hating the Lakers. My neighbor Bill was a Lakers fan and since the other team needed a Montrose Avenue representative on their side, I naturally voted for the Portland Trailblazers. I even gave Bill a purple and yellow “Nerf” gecko that we named “Laker Lizard.” Our pre-game ritual was to flip the lizard to see how it landed, thereby predicting the winning team. I don’t live in Montrose, California, anymore, but I still love to hate the Lakers. My one salvation during a recent Laker win was the chow I picked up for myself and my pal Brian at El Rancho Marketplace in the Santa Ynez Valley. Whenever I get the chance, I head over Highway 154 and turn onto Highway 246 to stop in for a bite. The market was started in 1966 by Helmut Holzheu and is still a family owned business. The deli features all kinds of great grub and being in friendly store just feels decadent. Half a giant burrito with Brian’s homemade chips and “guac” made the Laker win a lot easier to swallow.
9. Damages. Catching up to the latest season of this FX series made me a www.hulu.com expert. Hulu features trailers and many episodes of popular television and cable shows. The episodes that weren’t on Hulu, I was able to download from Amazon. (I needed to keep up with the fabulously evil Glenn Close.)
8. The Chinese Backstreet Boys. When I heard about this gem, I had to get on You Tube. The short lip-synch to “That Way” is worth it - especially for the blooper scenes at the end. I have no idea why I love this video so much. Maybe ‘cause they’re wearing jerseys that say Houston.
7. What Not to Wear. I rang in 2009 with two cats, a parrot named Jeffrey and a What Not to Wear marathon. Though I don’t always agree with the outfits that Stacey and Clinton put together, I do dress better. AND I no longer live in terror that one of my friends has called the duo for a “Dorothy’s outfit” intervention.
6. Project Runaway. Though Heidi Klum’s repetitive, “you’re out,” does get tedious, I adore the creative designs. And watching the winner reach their dream is such a Hallmark moment. (I always sniffle along when design guru Tim Gunn bids the contestants adieu.) I got so excited about one season that I actually started writing a piece that teaches Inner Family dynamics based the contestant’s interactions. Stay tuned.
5. www.Netflix.com Instant viewing. Unlimited movies streamed to my laptop included in the price? Bring on the 2nd season of “Duchess of Duke Street.” The site remembers where you stopped the movie and reloads in the exact place – just in case your laptop spontaneously Shuts Down in the middle of your flick.
4. The Closer and Cold Case. For some reason, I only watch these shows while doing the late night thang during visits to Mom’s. I’m an expert at closing my eyes when the music signals that the grisly crime scene is happening. Kyra Sedgwick and her cop crew’s antics are hilarious, while Kathryn Morris as the lead the Cold Case detective is to die for.
3. Californiacation. The only thing I knew about David Duchovny was that he proposed to his former wife Tea Leoni while she was arranging her shoe closet. This Showtime hoot is about a one-hit writer who is punching his way through his 2nd novel. You gotta watch it to believe it.
2. www.Ted.com. Even if there is something on TV, this website is a fabulous option. Packed with 20-minute lectures and performances, this site was started in 1984: the letters stand for technology, entertainment and design. The lectures on the creative genius by “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert as well as brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk almost put Ted at the top of my list.
1. Brothers and Sisters. As if listening to David’s snarky remarks isn’t delicious enough, watching the Walker family makes my drama feel as if I’m beating Kobe in a little game of one-on-one. Be sure to catch up on past seasons through Netflix or ABC’s website.
Come on now, be brave. Out your couch potato self and spill your favorite embarrassing show. Just click on the Comment Icon at the bottom this column. (I won’t tell a soul….)
May all your down time be as luscious as watching Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker,