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Inviting the monster inside


When I was a kid, we didn't have a TV.

I think we had a TV when I was very small, but could only watch PBS--Sesame Street and Electric Company, mostly. And then we got rid of it, and I only occasionally watched at friends' houses after school, generally while helping a friend fold papers for a paper route.

We got a TV when I was in high school; mostly watched Hill Street Blues on it. But I didn't have a TV in college, and rarely watched anything on other people's TVs.

My post-college housemate Arthur E had one, but when I moved into my own place, after the Wanderjahr, I didn't really want one. Or rather, I wanted one for watching videos, but I knew if it were hooked up to receive broadcasts (much less cable), I would spend all my time watching TV instead of getting things done.

And I've been quite happy with that situation, except for once in a while missing some one-time TV show that sounded cool. Until now.

Kam and I have been watching Battlestar Galactica and Dr. Who on DVD (and some of BSG on downloaded iTunes Music Store video). But we caught up to the present in both those series, and we knew new episodes would be appearing on the Sci Fi Channel, and we really really didn't want to have to wait six months for the DVDs to come out.

So I called Comcast and had them add cable TV service to my existing cable Internet service.

They set it up while I was away, thanks to Kam agreeing to be here to deal with them. Unfortunately, the only place they could get a signal was in my bedroom, so there's currently a very long cable running out my door, down the stairs, along the hall, and across the living room to the TV.

Meanwhile, how could we be sure to see the episodes we wanted to see? Well, obviously, we would need a DVR. So Kam brought her TiVo over (her parents had been borrowing it) and we set that up too.

It's dangerous. Comcast wouldn't let me just sign up for the Sci Fi Channel, of course; I had to get all the other channels too. The other day I watched two episodes of The Daily Show when I should've been reading subs. Fortunately, the second one reminded me that I usually don't actually like The Daily Show all that much, so I think I'm more or less safe from that. But The Tick (cartoon) is airing regularly on various channels, as is Kim Possible. And I've carefully avoided checking to see whether reruns of Hill Street and Wiseguy are showing anywhere. Or Newhart. Or, God help me, the shows that I somehow couldn't resist as a kid when I had the opportunity to see them, like Knight Rider and Hogan's Heroes.

Kam pointed out that it's kind of like a vampire, in that it can't do any damage unless/until you invite it into your home. But when you do, watch out.

I can feel it calling to me from downstairs.

I'm hoping my Internet addiction will prove strong enough to help me resist.


Not that you need to justify yourself on what you like or dislike, but I'm curious: what do you dislike about The Daily Show? I repeat: I'm just wondering, and will not attempt to argue with your reasons at all.

Didn't you used to watch MacGyver, too? (Isn't that the one with him doing things like making a working catapult to fling his car over a flaming chasm out of nothing but five twist ties, a ping-pong ball and some goat cheese?)

And just to be cruel, I must also recommend Mythbusters.

Heh, I'm amused about your cable acquisition (leasing?).

I had been waffling for a couple of years about getting cable for the house. (Haven't had it since 1995.) But since I've recently signed up for Even Faster, Cheaper DSL, I have yet another excuse to postpone it. ;-)

Netflix has been serving as a good cable substitute, if only in the retroactive, somewhat delayed sense.

I don't particularly dislike The Daily Show; I just often don't find it all that funny. Sometimes I love it, but not enough to justify the amount of time it would take me to watch it regularly.

I've actually never seen an episode of MacGyver, though I always thought it sounded like fun. I even bought an episode from Google Video, but for complicated reasons I haven't watched it yet.

Lots of people have been recommending Mythbusters; I suppose I should watch an episode or two. At this point, so many episodes have been described to me in such detail that I almost feel like I've seen it.

Yeah, Netflix has been a great TV substitute the past year or two. But I'm too impatient to wait for the DVDs of BSG and Dr. Who.

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