Saturday, January 12, 2008

War of the Words

It's been crippling, devastating and unbelievable! No, not the fact that Britney Spears's sister is pregnant out of wedlock (we should have ALL seen that coming) but the effect the writer's strike has had on the television industry and those of us who sit glued to it every night from 8 to 11.

The strike, which began back on November 5, 2007, is currently going on it's third month with no end in sight. Most of the late-night hosts have returned with the provision that they cannot deliever pre-written material. Some of the soap operas (yes, I know you're out there too) have episodes taped through the month of January. And there are some saving graces: American Idol, Lost (though I'll get really into it right about the time the episodes run out), Cashmere Mafia, Breaking Bad, The New Survivor, and Dexter on CBS.

That's why I'm not too worried about not knowing how newlyweds Kitty & Robert are coping on Brothers & Sisters; or, how much chaos and death Jack Bauer will cause on the newest season of 24 (the season has been postponed because of the strike); or, just how close Gabby & Edie will really become now that they've gone through that "whirlwind experience" on Desperate Housewives; or, knowing if Henry is really the father of Charlie's baby on Ugly Betty. Don't get me wrong, I will miss these shows but I haven't gone into withdrawal. By the time AI, Survivor and those other new shows that I want to check out are over, it will be summertime and everyone knows there's NOTHING good on during the summer. Right!

The strike has no doubt been terrible for the livelihood of the thousands of writers, however, it has been good for me because I've actually had more time to read, catch up on the news, spend more time with friends and blog more. Ok, maybe not the last one; but I'm trying. Yes, this is where my spouse would say, "Yes, Paul, you are very trying."

But I digress! The fact is that, I, a veritable tv junkie am actually enjoying the freedom from the tube. It's something I never thought I'd be saying. Of course, I will be watching the paltry 8 episodes of Lost and following the tuneless antics of the Hollywood Hopefuls on AI but it's nice to not have between 15 and 20 shows (at least) that I "just have to watch" every single week.

Having said that, I am truly hoping that the writer's strike ends.....SOON! Not just for the families of the writers that are affected but because I will be deeply disappointed if the Academy Awards are affected by the strike. The word is still out on how the Golden Globes will look.

There is one other reason that I'm not freaking out about the tv situation and that is because in today's tv-on-dvd culture, almost every tv show ends up on DVD so one can watch a whole season in one sitting; provided that the season aired and wasn't a victim of a scribe strike. Check out your favorite shows online too. Missed an episode and want to catch up before you start watching again, go online and see the eps you missed. Make sure you have high speed or wireless. It just doesn't work well on dialup.

So, for a while at least, I can enjoy going to the movies during the work week (I do still have some movies to see before the telecast of the big O) and not waste my whole weekend at the cinemas.

And if I do happen to get bored, I can always catch up on how the parenting book by Lynne Spears is coming or just which athlete Jessica Simpson is currently dating or catch up on the latest escapades of O.J. Simpson or which of the Dems/Repubs are ahead and behind. And while I'm catching up on the juice I will be quietly dreaming of once again returning to the days of being held prisoner by the picture box.



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