IT’S IN THE CHARACTERS

Few people know my dark struggle. Being an adult human obsessed with movies makes for a very lonely existence, let me tell ya. Apparantly as we age, movies move down the ol’ priority list to make space for stupid stuff like careers and babies and cooking and hosting dinner parties and finding the wrong person to marry.

I guess it’s in the storytelling. Whether the story is contained in a 2 hour movie reel, scattered throughout the 400-something pages of a book or sent into the air by the deep, soothing voice of a radio actor, stories are the medicine and the mood stabilizer.

But I’ve never gotten my teeth into television series. And ironically that seems to be the one thing to keep adults engaged in spicey talk around a barbeque fire or water-cooler.

Have you seeeeeeen what so-and-so got up to last night?!

Can you belieeeeve what happened in somethin’-somethin’?!

My answer to these questions are always a slightly shameful ‘no, I’m not watching that…’ This response is usually followed by flummoxed expressions like they’ve just seen ‘n grape give birth to a puppy.

Yes…no, I don’t watch series. Many reasons I can give ya. Number one, what kind of a maniac must you be not to be overwhelmed with curiosity after episode 1? I’m usually so nosy after getting a taste of a program that I head to the internet immediately to read up about what happens next. And BOOM, I lose interest.

Also, have you noticed how these days the first episode of any series is so dress-upblowingly brilliant that it could just solve third world problems? But then, when the credits after episode two starts running, you can’t help but feel like the dumb kid stole your exam paper and wrote your name on his.

But some series are different.

Some don’t force themselves on me. They offer me an elbow and take me on a gander through a meadow. A pretty, flowery meadow where horrific murders are committed every so often or where brilliant dialogue steels my heart or where someone makes me laugh. But mostly, a meadow where I learn to care about people. Strange people, funny people, clever people.

There are only 4 series I watch and I do so over and over and over.

Fringe – I’m still not a 100% sure I understand anything that happens in this show, but I love it regardless. There is just something about those characters that makes me wish I was there…something about Olivia that makes me think I too can be beemed from one parallel universe to the next…

West Wing – Because it’s just bloody brilliant, that is why. I love the quick, witty banter between characters that are too interesting to be real.

Boston Legal and New Girl are the others. I walk through these shows’ episodes, one by one, and remember why I love the people. Why I given a damn about what happens to them. And when the last episode runs into the last few seconds, I feel sincere sorrow. My friends are done presenting their play and I have to say goodbye. For now.

Well, my work is done and the wine has fallen into the bulby glass.

Time to see if Nick will end up proposing to Jess, or if – this time – he chooses a single life…

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