addiction, Bell, cats, Cosmo, Criminal Minds, CSI, Fibe TV, HGTV, home improvement, House Hunters International, Income Property, Jeopardy, Law & Order, PBS, Scott McGillivray, Sex in the City, Trading Spaces, TV, Vern Yip
I think I’ve been watching entirely too much HGTV — House and Garden TV for those who don’t have an idea what I’m talking about. It’s been my Numero-Uno-Go-To Channel since Bell and Fibe TV screwed around with my original selection — or maybe I did that but it’s always Better to Blame Bell (especially since I’m paying them a ridiculous amount of money each month). You know, before the government in all their wisdom declared that everyone in the realm had to throw out their old TVs and get with the new, I was perfectly happy with my very fine, state-of-some-art rabbit ears and my five channels. What more did I need? I had PBS and CBC and I was even able to watch Jeopardy if I jiggled the ears in just the right direction. All was well in my television kingdom. I didn’t need anything else — or so I thought. But then I had to make a decision — Box? Cable? Fiber Optics? I don’t like these kinds of choices — I want things simpler and cheaper. So I went with the box until my sister in Oklahoma, who had been using one, said, “It’s crap. You won’t be able to watch anything.” Great — I had another decision to make. Then, the Intrepid Editor came to my rescue with the words, “Fibe TV.” Since I knew that we shared the same addiction for a certain amount of crap coming into our living rooms each day, I followed her lead.
In retrospect, those early days of Fibe were bliss — I can’t remember why I decided to “upgrade” to a better package — but I did and that’s when my choices for mindless-watching became more limited. I even lost Cosmo and Sex in the City reruns so felt stuck with nothing but HGTV. If I’m honest, I have always been drawn to those shows about home improvements. It started years ago, when I was in DC and that program Trading Spaces was on with that fabulous designer, Vern Yip! I never missed an episode — and this was before I could record things and remote my way through the parts I didn’t want to see. But now — it’s not just one program I watch, once-a-week, no, it’s every night that I’m tuning in.
Is that not an addiction or is it, simply, a lack of other choices — or of choices that I want on my TV? I’ve gone off programs like Criminal Minds (the cats’ favorite) and Law and Order and CSI because I find them too scary and close to the truth — especially after that story from Cleveland about those captive women. So that cuts out half the channels. And PBS, my go-to-good-viewing station, has what seems like back-to-back fundraising drives where they show the same programs they’ve been using for fundraising since 1982. I’ve written them about this and they politely (they are PBS, after all) thanked me for my comments and showed the same ones the next time. I didn’t contribute out of protest.
So I’ve been watching HGTV and more HGTV and even more. I know it’s too much since, recently, I’ve been starting to yell at these people when they start whining about stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. “Who cares, eh? Be different”, I tell them, “Why not have white appliances or, better yet, go retro and get avocado ones.” But the worst for me are those folks re-locating to fabulous places like Dublin or Berlin or Copenhagen or Oxford or Paris. I vicariously watch these shows to get a little fix on Europe since I can’t afford to travel there right now and here they are complaining about their incredible surroundings. I find myself fast-forwarding through every complaint about lack of parking or no big refrigerator or, golly gee, this bathroom isn’t as big as the football-field-size one I have at home. Actually, I fast forward through all the shows on HGTV — I just want to see the finished product and avoid all the whining.
Yes, its time to give it up — or drastically limit my watching time to almost nothing. This really hit home last night when Scott McGillivray of Income Property fame appeared in my dreamland. There he was in all his perfectness — not-a-hair-out-of-place and that too-too-white-toothed smile. I was surprised to see him in one of my dreams. He was there taking tickets for a plane ride to somewhere. I gave him my ticket and hurried on the plane but he never told me where we were going. Who knows, maybe I was going to one of those grand destinations where they were going to find me the perfect home. Too bad Rose, in her own whiney way, woke me up before I found out.