Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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To TV Or Not To TV

"You watch too much T.V." The Surge says.
"What are you talking about?" I respond after Breaking Bonaduce has gone to commercial.
He sighs.
"You watch A LOT of television."
"What're you, the T.V. police?" I don't like being told I watch too much T.V. Because it's true. Thing is, I'm not always watching when it's on. As we've already discussed in 'Instant Family', I like the background chatter. When I write, the television is on. When I read, the television is on. When I'm going to sleep, the television is on. I know, sounds excessive. Liken it, if you will, to a stereo playing softly in the background. To effectively concentrate, I need the noise. Without the T.V., the silence is deafening. Too much pressure to accomplish the task at hand. It's dark, crickets are chorusing outside your window. SLEEP! YOU MUST SLEEP! LIGHTS OUT! DARK! TIME FOR BED! That's what tickers through my mind without the T.V. on. Similar scenario occurs when I'm attempting to write. Silence. Perhaps the far off wail of a police siren, the rumble of a Mack truck or a dog barking in the distance. WRITE! YOU MUST WRITE! FOCUS NOW! EMPTY PAGE! TIME TO WRITE!

If the T.V. is on, and I'm writing, I can switch back and forth. Write like a mad woman until that particular thread unravels, then tune into the T.V. for a bit of scripted reality television, then back to writing. Less stressful, see? And before you send me to T.V. Watchers Anonymous, I do alternate the television with the radio. It ain't all T.V., all the time.

These haughty 'I don't watch T.V.' bastards irk me no end. Bullshit. We all have our guilty pleasure programming. I'll out he of the 'you watch to much T.V.' comments first: The Surge watches Ashlee Simpson AND American Idol! Me? I've seen every episode of Laguna Beach: The Real O.C.... Yes, it's true. I'm sorry to let you down, but I walked smack into that sticky cobweb from season one. And I'm ensared.

Recently my mom came for a visit, and instead of catching up on people we know, our conversation went something like this:
Mom: Kristen is such a slut. She hooks up with every guy! Jessica is my favorite.
Monica: Jessica! She's the girl you never want your daughter to be. A complete mess over some boy with whom her self-esteem is completely tangled. At least Kristen has it figured out. She's acting like every guy in high school does, yet you call her a slut. Double standard, I say!
Mom: Maybe.. But can you believe K.C. told Jason that Alex has bad hygiene?
As ridiculous as this conversations sounds, I enjoyed it. These folks who allegedly don't watch T.V. often claim they're currently reading Proust or some other such hard-to-read-but-fun-to-tell-others-you're- reading-book so they sound oh-so-literary. One of two things is going on there.. A) they really are reading Proust and don't watch T.V. in which case I'm gonna risk a venture and say they're boooring snobs! B) they aren't reading Proust but just want to lord their superiority all over your white trash T.V. watchin' ass. This is the same person who watches T.V. regularly but lies about it because they want to pretend like they're above it all.

And so.. I must leave you now, a rerun of Seinfeld is starting on TBS.

Reader Comments (17)

MY BOYFRIEND IS THE SAME WAY! He says I watch too much tv but he has seen EVERY episode of the Family Guy! I love reality tv too! The town I grew up in didn't even have MTV, even if it did we weren't allowed to watch it! We couldn't watch the Golden Girls b/c Blanche was slutty! SO let me tell ya I have seen every episode! Sunday night on VH1 is my favorite night of the week! I have seen the same Laguna's over and over and over again, I still watch the marathons! My idea of a good Saturday is a Laguna marathon followed by a Real World marathon! AAaahh the life of being 27 years old!
I am with ya girl! :)
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJen
i'm with ya. it's all about the fine art of multitasking. those who can't do are just so jealous of those who can .
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteranna
I see I'm the odd man out here, or woman rather. It's not that I don't watch tv or am gainst those who do, my roomate spends all her free time watching every reality tv show on earth and soemtimes I join in. its the commercials I can't stand, so instead of watching a tv series I have my tv on to a dvd. I love organizing my room to The Fifth Element, my favorite fall asleep to the tv dvd is curiosly enough While You Were Sleeping. I'm a romantic comedy and sci fi whore and proud of it. But tv shows not so much. But I guess its all the same in th end, the tv is on, most of my life. :)
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Favorite fall asleep movie:
You've Got Mail......................
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJen
If it tells you anything, I felt passionately that you were right about the Jessica/Kristen thing. And while we're at it, can you believe that L.C. and Jason are dating? (or by this point, dated??!) I sat there thinking, "Jessica must be so upset that Jason is kissing L.C.'s ass, whereas he pretty much dumped on her every chance he got".

Yeah, so I'm addicted - sue me. :)
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersandra
At times, I look at our tv and wonder why you and the dude watch what you do. Did you know that after 11pm many nights HBO features delights like PORUCOPIA and REAL SEX ???!!!

Also, the small frozen bones you buy me are a little skimpy on the marrow, FYI.

October 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermax
I'm sure you'll all think I'm weird (or English or something) but we only have one telly in our house and not in the bedroom. Plus we don't have cable, only the regular public TV channels. You'd think I wouldn't watch much telly, but I still manage to watch plenty, and most of it crap, apart from the odd BBC production I manage to find whilst flicking (I'm a terrible channel flicker). I'm with Julia though & can't stand the adverts - back home we have a grand total of ONE advert break during the whole of Friends, as opposed to about 15 here! Drives me crazy!
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAli
I definitely don't watch as much as I used to, though I do have several shows consistently and look forward to. We have too many tv's in this house and I have threatened in the past to remove the. AI, Survivor(pleeeease someone vote off the megga skinny biatch immediately), Boston Legal(Just for the James Spader parts), SNL, Conan and CNN. I watch tv when I knit, I listen to music when I'm on the computer. My husband is always watching the Food Network and has both of my boys watching Rachel Rae.
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTabatha
I hate TV but I watch it anyway. Usually six or seven shows (or sports events) at once, and I never see the beginning, middle, and end of a show. I also find that this does not bother me, so long as I never have to watch a commercial.
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlinator
i LOVE that LC hooked up with Jason and shoved it in all of those senior bitches' faces.

and don't even get me started on ANTM, too much t.v. indeed...
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Monica
Laguna Beach ROCKS. Didn't want to like this show but its my fave. Ditto for Newlyweds, the Ashlee Simpson Show (even though she irritates me) and other celeb reality.
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterValleyGirl
That "Breaking Bonaduce" is absolutely addicting. Pun intended.
October 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
dead on re: tv - i HATE those idiots that turn their noses up at tv as "trash", yet are film buffs! cause if you pay $10 and eat a tub a butter while you watch it must be "art." fuck you. there's good tv, there's bad tv, there are good movies, there are bad movies - guess what cakeboy, either way you're just staring at a screen for a few hours like an idiot. you're not curing cancer, you're not pullin out orphans from a fire. these are the same assholes who in all those personal ads under "most embarrassing moment" try to put in something that is slightly self-effaciong, yet reminds everyone how much cooler they are than anyone else:

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: spilling my coffee while hanging out with Charles Bukowski

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: scaling the Andes mountains at sunset and realizing how beautiful life really is (youre a fuckface!)

i'd like them to be more honest

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: Thursday, when I shit myself at work. that was embarrassing.

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: when everyone found out I couldn't read. "ouch."

Non-tv watching snobs. grrr.
October 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNND
i like tv. and, i heart laguna.
October 20, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersubgirl
You guys are making me laugh my ass off.. Your comments are better than my fucking stories!
October 20, 2005 | Registered CommenterMonica

I picked up after the formula video,there were nothing but comments....And now here I am reading the whold three years

July 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMississippi Belle

i am new, happy to be here.. need fix my keybord

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjaclelingenen

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