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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hook, line and sinker!

I've written in the past about my unfortunate susceptibility to the glowing blue tractor beam known as television.  For some reason I have this uncanny ability to become personally invested in shows that, quite frankly, I have no business watching.  By this I mean shows that are often not particularly 'manly'.

The last crisis I had in this area was when my wife managed to get me - completely against my will - hooked on 'Sex and the City'. 

I know... I know... I'm so ashamed.

Anyway, my evil wife has gone and done it again.  I swear this woman would pour a drink for a recovering alcoholic and give free casino vouchers to someone with a gambling problem!

I was perfectly happy watching West Wing once a week.  But then she went and introduced me to the gateway drug of 'CSI'.  Now I'm up until all hours watching CSI Miami, CSI Vegas, CSI Spokane, CSI Peoria and CSI Fresno.  Zahava didn't tell me that there was a version of CSI for every city in America!  Funny, did that just happen to slip your mind honey?

At least the CSI shows had enough violence and gore to be acceptable fodder for any self-respecting male viewer.

Still, I thought I had things under control.  I told myself I could stop cold turkey any time I wanted.

But could my little Cassandra leave well enough alone?  No... she used her feminine wiles to lure me onto the couch while she watched "something new".    That something turned out to be the first episode of 'Desperate Housewives' (we're a bit behind the times here in Israel).

The opening few minutes of the show were promising from a masculine viewer's point of view; pretty female leads... gratuitous gun play... a messy suicide.  I settled in with a tumbler of bourbon on ice thinking this would be a nice, albeit brief, diversion.

Well, here we are almost halfway through the 'Desperate Housewives' season and all I have to say is, "Hi... my name is David and have a TV problem."

I've tried to keep up appearances.  I've pretended I don't care what happens to any of the characters.  I've even tried to make Zahava believe I'm indifferent about watching the show from week to week.  But I think she's onto me.   you see, any time we have stuff scheduled in the evening like Parent Teacher night... dialysis... funerals... I ever-so-casually ask "uh, that's not the night Desperate Housewives is on, is it?"

Dammit Zahava, you've done it to me again!!!

I think I need an intervention.

[hangs head]


Posted by David Bogner on October 17, 2006 | Permalink


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Hysterical! D.H. is da bomb, Dave - - no shame. I personally have never watched a CSI any city, myself, but glad you're enjoying. If "Prison Break" gets over there... check it out - - a little more of a masculine themed show with lots of suspsense.
Enjoy your tv viewing... no intervention necessary.

Posted by: val | Oct 17, 2006 12:40:59 PM

As a rule, I try to allow myself only one show to be "hooked on" i.e totally run my life. Right now its LOST.... its a bit less ummm how shall I say, "estrogenic" then desperate housewives....
Good Luck!

Posted by: David | Oct 17, 2006 1:41:35 PM

It must have started with Friends Right?

Posted by: pk | Oct 17, 2006 1:43:48 PM

I went on a Kosher Alaskan Cruise two years ago, and one of the channels on the ship's TV was the CSI channel. 24 hours of CSI. Thank goodness I noticed the episodes started to repeat, they only had a limited number of them, otherwise I might never have left my room! :-)

My wife watches "Desperate Housewives." She keeps trying to tell me about what's going on. I tell her that if she get's me hooked on it, I'll get her into "Battlestar Galactica" (the new one, not the old one). As she doesn't like Sci Fi, that usually works.

Posted by: Nighthawk700 | Oct 17, 2006 1:45:17 PM


Hmmm.... you THINK I'm on to you?! Could that have anything to do with your checking your watch about fifteen times in a 2-minute span of time, urging me to finish my work, and practically racing me up the stairs?! I mean, could it now?!


Posted by: zahava | Oct 17, 2006 2:00:26 PM

You ought to try a REAL manly show like Project Runway. I have no idea how I got sucked into it... but there it is.

I'm hoping one season is enough though.

Posted by: Oceanguy | Oct 17, 2006 2:07:54 PM

I'm Lost.

Posted by: Andy | Oct 17, 2006 2:25:02 PM

I'm working through West Wing with the wife.

It helps not to own a television, only a dvd player inside the computer. I don't have to pay TV tax, either.


Posted by: Yehuda Berlinger | Oct 17, 2006 2:42:53 PM

Lucky for you, you can actually buy each season's dvd to catch you up or when you are getting a withdraw and can't wait until the following week to see what happens.

I remember when Melrose Place was a bit hit and no man in his right mind would ever admit to watching the show, but we all knew that they were closet fans. Even Seinfeld had a show about it.

Val is right about Prison Break, it's a lot of testosterone. But nothing beats "24". Now that's a real adrenaline rush.

Posted by: jaime | Oct 17, 2006 3:41:17 PM

We have been addicted to the original CSI: Las Vegas since the very beginning. I don't think we have ever missed an episode, thanks to our VCR. We don't watch the other ones. The only other show we cannot get out of our system is 24, the free-based heroin of television. So don't get started, or you'll never, ever be able to stop :-) Methadone will not help.

We were not West Wing fans, but we love Studio 60, the new Aaron Sorkin thing. That's pretty much it. Can't stand the reality shows. Got enough reality in my life already.

Posted by: ezer knegdo | Oct 17, 2006 3:44:28 PM

LOL! I try very hard not to get hooked on shows because I don't like having the TV rule my life. But I do love watching the DVDs of L&O (all 3) and I am really into The Nine. You can watch it online and the new episodes go up the next day! I'm also liking Studio 60 so far. I watched season 1 of Desperate Housewives but it was too soap opera-y for me. You need TiVo. ;)

Posted by: Essie | Oct 17, 2006 4:18:48 PM

You know what's next Trepp?...American Idol. Look out...I made my husband watch and now he thinks he could actually qualify to BE the American Idol. You could be next.

Posted by: cruisin-mom | Oct 17, 2006 4:35:10 PM

You can watch Jericho on the web. Thank God. (my aptmates are anti-TV)

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Oct 17, 2006 4:43:37 PM

The simple solution, of course, is to pull an Elvis and shoot the television. Then your TV problem will clear right up. *smiles*

Not to worry, we all have our vices - mine is the inability to walk into a bookstore and walk out without buying anything.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Oct 17, 2006 5:16:09 PM

Well, at least you (ie Zahava) have good taste in TV. There's much worse you could be addicted to. ~CoughDrPhilCough~

(And OceanGuy- one season isn't ever enough of Project Runway)

I do hope you people all read TWOP regularly too...

Posted by: PP | Oct 17, 2006 5:35:41 PM

Yes ... you need help. I remember back tothe 1970s an 80s when I watched no TV. People still occaisionally make references in my presence re some show 'the whole nation' was watching back then and all I can do is offer a blank stare. I have no idea what the Brady Bunch or Magnum PI or a whole host of other shows was all about. Did I really miss anything. Don't think so.

I watch TV now. At my desk while working or web surfing on the computer. I have a sony of my owny next to my other two monitors. I find it takes about 5% of my attention to follow the CSI shows and any other 'drama' on TV. (and the occaisonal glance takes in all the 'jiggle factor' I'm intersted in these days)

This perfectly assuages any guilt I might have about wasting my time and brain cells on the evil box. At least I'm working on my photography (photoshop), writing, talking to my motorcycle friends, reading news and blogs or doing any sort to interesting, productive and fun things ..... while the tractor beam throbs on. I find it's actual attractive powers quite weak now.

Posted by: Scott | Oct 17, 2006 6:15:47 PM

"Desperate Housewives" addictions call for desperate measures. (Let's assume for the moment that you don't mean that Zahava has gotten you addicted to actual "desperate housewives" - something which would call for some REALLY intense marital counselling.) But as I was saying, I recommend going cold turkey on TV. (Hmm, I wonder how a word-for-word translation of that sentence into Hebrew would be interpreted.) Anyway, back to my point. I advise you to pull the plug, donate the television to a worthy charity, and inform the kids that the drain from Hollywood's sewer has been plugged.

Our TV died ten years ago and apart from a missed basball game or two, we really haven't missed it all that much.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 17, 2006 6:48:09 PM

I have a few shows like that- Lost, The Nine, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 17, 2006 7:04:40 PM

I hate all these shows. I hated Seinfield,too -- I never got why everyone thought that group of gratuitously mean people was funny enough to tune into every week. I'm still not getting why t.v. watchers get hooked on the meaningless lives of babbling adulterous nincompoops.....?

Posted by: aliyah06 | Oct 17, 2006 8:32:42 PM

Oy...nebach. Try 24, Prison Break, and Grey's Anatomy. You have to watch them in order, though!

Watch 24's Season 1 Episode 1 first. After that, you'll spend much less time watching TV, because everything else will seem so dull. Really. It worked for me.

Posted by: Ezzie | Oct 17, 2006 8:55:02 PM

I found the solution to the "getting hooked to a TV show" problem. here in the US there is something called Netflix. for $18 a month, they send you 3 DVD's by mail. you return one and they send you the next one on your list. I found that it is easier for me to watch the shows on DVD while i exercise. no commercials, if someone interrupts me, i just pause it, and if it gets too good to wait 'till tomorrow, then watch the next episode right away. I just do not care if the other people tell me about a great new series, i tell them i will wait till the DVD comes out.
I agree with Ezzie, 24 season 1, 2 and 3 were great shows, i also loved fx's "the shield" and hbo's OZ.

Posted by: David S | Oct 17, 2006 11:30:39 PM

I avoid anything that comes in a "series" because I hate that itswednesdaysoihavetobehomeatnine thing. I tend to stick to documentaries and the news.

However every summer I get sucked into Big Brother. This year, in the UK, that meant 1 hour a night, 7 nights a week for 13 weeks. The pressure was terrible, but I made it through. Never again though...

Posted by: siobhan | Oct 17, 2006 11:41:08 PM

About 18 years ago my husband and I started watching the British soap EastEnders, it is shown once a week here in the US on PBS. I am so hooked on this show I feel like they are my neighbors or my family. If something dramatic happens on the show I think about it for hours after the show is over. The worst is if my VCR doesn't tape it, Oy, my husband and kids know to stay out of my way because I am pissed! I know I sound crazy, I'm not, I am just a devoted fan of that show.

Posted by: ac | Oct 18, 2006 12:21:11 AM

...next week on Survivor!!!and i'm ashamed to admit but long after my kids stopped watching i'm still hooked on...oy do i have to say it outloud??? ha shir shelanu...it's like opening your cupboard and all you see is harlequin novels...fabio, fabio...wherefor art thou fabio...oy

Posted by: marallyn | Oct 18, 2006 12:36:16 AM

my wife is still mourning for West Wing.
and its funny what Marallyn mentions. our kids got us hooked on Survivor. It was a great family show to watch. Welp...they are gone now... and we just can't stop. I think its more nostalgic than really enjoying the show at this point.

Posted by: weese | Oct 18, 2006 1:07:50 AM

Makes me happy I don't watch shows. But like matlabfreak, I'm an obsessive book buyer.

Posted by: Irina | Oct 18, 2006 5:39:55 AM

Haha! I was such a huge DH addict for a while too... my bf knew to leave the house at 8:59 pm on Sundays, every week. But season 3 has been so bad so far that I've finnally managed to cure myself ... would rather be hooked on a good version of DH though. *snif snif*

Another great show to watch when you're not glued to the others, is Six Feet Under. Very bizarre, but it just sucks you right in... (which is probably a bad choice of words, but meh).

Happy watchings!

Posted by: Chantyshira | Oct 18, 2006 6:57:16 AM

We quit the TV cold turkey when we made aliyah - just didn't buy one. I still think it was one of the best decisions we ever made - although I do acknowledge the need everyone has for "mind junkfood". Mine are good mystery/thrillers. I am a frequent customer at the used English bookstores.

Posted by: westbankmama | Oct 18, 2006 8:57:42 AM

just don't let her anywhere near greys anatomy, my wife got into that show before we moved hre and now downloads (legally of course)the show every week. I try not to care but...ahh, it's like a crash, you kn ow you should just drive o by, but you can't help looking.

Posted by: Max Power | Oct 18, 2006 11:55:15 AM

"Fear Factor" anyone? Something about eating live roaches that's just too captivating. :-)

Posted by: Yaron | Oct 18, 2006 1:47:58 PM

Enjoy DH - there's no shame in it! I will warn you however, that in my opinion, the second season got sillier and more soap-opera-ish to the extent that I nearly abandoned it. We're just getting season 3 underway over here, and we'll see how silly it turns out to be. I agree with some other posters about Grey's Anatomy - I think it's a far superior show. I'm glad it's not on at 10 anymore here in NY (yawn), but what were they thinking moving it to Thursday night at 9?? Don't these people need to cook for Shabbos!?!

Posted by: Nati | Oct 18, 2006 3:08:57 PM

Val... OK, here's what just happened: I told you I'm watching too much TV and need an intervention. You respond by recommending another show to start watching. Are you another one of those people who would pour a drunk for a drunk? Now I understand why you and Zahava get along so well! :-)

David... lalalalal, I can't here you! I'm not looking for new shows to watch, people!

pk... I could always take or leave friends.

Nighthawk700... Do you seriously think you could get your wife hooked on BSG? If so, why isn't she watching it already? :-)

Zahava... You mean you knew??? ;-)

Oceanguy... helloooooo, people... NOT looking for new shows to watch here! lalalalalalalalalalal...

Andy... Oh great, another person with a crack habit trying to 'help out' the junkie. :-)

Yehudah... In theory I'm right there with you, but in practice I need to know that at 3AM I can have access to National Geographic and History channel if I need to.

Jaime... Are you insane. In addition to paying big bucks for cable you want me to go out and buy the DVDs??? AND you want to push me into new shows??? With friends like these...

ezer knegdo... Oy, even you want to put a bottle in front of the drunk?

Essie... I really can't understand this. I tell you guys I am drowning in TV and everyone wants to set me up with new drugs. Nice people... really nice!

Cruisin' Mom... Not bloody likely!

Steg... Et tu?

matlabfreak... Finally someone who makes sense! :-)

PP... At least you had the good grace to pretend to conceal your drug of choice. :-

Scott... I wish I had your strength.

Bob... Do you and Scott have cells next to one another there at the monastery? :-)

Jack... Why not just hold me down and pour the drink down my throat? :-)

Aliyah06... That's like telling an alcoholic "I don't know how you could like that stuff... I hate the way it tastes". :-)

Ezzie... This is getting to be like a bad after-school special where all the bad kids gang up and use peer pressure to get the good kid to start smoking and ding drugs. Yikes.

David S... I wish we had that here. In time (I hope).

siobhan... Great. Your advice is 'just say no... then you tell me about another show. Gee thanks. :-)

ac... another pusher joins the crowd. Thanks.

marallyn... This really is starting to sound like an AA meeting (not that I know what what of those sounds like...).

Weese... Hi, I'm David and it's been 24 hours since my last.... uh, I gotta go, my show's on!

Irina... If only I had more time to read. My night table is piled with books that will probably be buried with me.

Chantyshira... See that? At least you were nice enough to get your BF out of the house before you started 'using'. :-)

westbankmama... Yeah, when I get time... :-)

Max Power... Oh, you're an alcoholic? What do you drink, Bourbon? Well don't try this Vodka... you'll probably love it" :-)

Yaron... Did I mention I have a TV problem? :-)

Nati... Good to know the initial high wears off. That way I have years of empty longing to look forward to. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 19, 2006 11:02:28 AM

Trep - oooh, good way of putting it! :)

(Though I meant that if you watch those, it would release you from the hold of the other ones. It's more like taking crack cocaine - you're no longer interested in the pot.)

Posted by: Ezzie | Oct 19, 2006 4:30:16 PM

Sheesh! Do you want help or do you just want to whine? Think about what I was telling you. I used to watch TV in the living room with the wife. I just sat there and let the tractor beam take over my consciousness. Hell .... I was even paying attention to the fricking commercials. :^0

Now .... using my method explained above ... the beam has no power. I regularly now wholly skip any and all shows with impunity and could not care less. Somehow doing other things while only half watching the boob toob has cured me. Put a little TV in your workshop as you build your racing sloop, or your studio as you sculpt your masterpiece .... or whatever. TV puts you in an alpha state in which your will to self-awareness and sentience is sapped. Break the cycle and break the addiction. Chump.

Posted by: Scott | Oct 19, 2006 6:27:12 PM

Ack! WHAT CHANNEL? what channel? oh please, what channel?! I lost my tv halfway through the first season of D.H. (burgler) and have been bereft ever since. What channel, what time, what day?!?!!!!

Posted by: Yael | Oct 20, 2006 1:38:32 AM

OK. I give up. Since I had never heard of any of these shows, I decided to use my computer to watch some episodes. However, everytime I choose one, I get the message "this content is not available outside of the United States." Have you watched them over the internet? If so, how?
Thanks, Carol

Posted by: Carol | Oct 21, 2006 8:57:55 PM

I threw out my television almost 4 years ago and I've never regretted it. Soooo much more time now.

Posted by: jg | Oct 22, 2006 5:53:03 AM


Wow - you should definitely check out www.abc.com and watch this season's shows. It's free and with limited commercials.

No time like the present to get hooked on Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and the next BEST Show - Ugly Betty! It's so quirky. What a great show!

Posted by: jaime | Oct 24, 2006 9:21:14 PM

So happy I don't watch TV. I would be such an addict. Ocassionally I fall off the wagon and watch episodes on the 'net...but that doesn't count, right?

Posted by: mcaryeh | Nov 5, 2006 7:29:15 AM

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