Monica Bielanko
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The Difference Between You And Me

Ahem. *Taps microphone* Is this thing on?

YOWZA! Coming up for air after a month of diligently watching eighties/nineties sitcom reruns. Sure my work at the news station carves into my viewing time, but despite the inconvenience of earning a living I am KICKING YOUR ASS at television watching (amen sister!) I've decided I'm going to provide my own back-up choir for this post. I like the encouragement (right on sister friend!) See? Cool, huh?

It's important to note I've now seen every single episode of ROSEANNE 12 times and am now assiduously working my way through a fourth run of MAD ABOUT YOU (the stellar programmers at Nick-At-Nite finally saw fit to add it to the rotation, WOO HOO!) The workload is cumbersone because more often than not I want to sock Helen Hunt squarely in her pointy little face. But so far I've kept at it. I power through, my friends. The reward? I get to see Paul and Jamie Buchman argue about that one thing and then Paul is slightly befuddled and Jamie is bitchy and then they make up. My stamina is aMAZing (uh huh!) Now, I don't mean to grandstand here but it just goes to show you really can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it (sing it, sister!) I'm nearly to Jamie's pregnant years.

After painstaking practice, oftentimes working throughout the night and most of the day, I've also mastered the art of watching two sitcoms at once (brag!). Sometimes, at 8am I just can't decide between that donkey Tony Danza (he's my boyfriend I can talk about him like that.. we've seen each other TWICE (you're so jealous!) at Starbucks) or the charmingly doofy Tim Allen.

Sometimes I'll get a wild hair and paddle on down the river of drivel to DAWSON'S CREEK to hang with Suri's doe-eyed mom and The Creek's namesake.. But most of the time, when I watch those teens flex vocabulary muscles that rival Dickens and stress about EVERY SINGLE THING I end up craving a cigarette to calm my nerves.. and I don't smoke! Reminds me of the old days, watching PARTY OF FIVE...dead parents, alcoholics and child services, OH MY! So I opt for Zach and that dazzling head of golden hair and the equally delicious gang at Bayside High instead.

Everything always works out at the end of thirty minutes.. Even the time Jessie got hooked on uppers in, like, three hours. I mean, I was freaked! I was on the edge of the couch! It was a close call. We coulda lost her, kids. But in a surprising twist, Zach saved the day. Well played, young man. You saved our girl from certain death by caffeine pills.

But the crew at The Creek... Well, Dawson STILL hasn't come out of the closet and the kid that has is caught up in the high stakes world of pledging fraternities. Will he make it? The suspense is maddening! On a positive note, Samantha Micelli is filling out nicely. I'm up to her stone cold fox years.

I hit The Wall around one o'clock in the afternoon. YES,DEAR is over, the Soap Operas are monopolizing the big networks, I've already seen the episode of THE SURREAL LIFE VH1 is airing for the 462 time, MTV is trying to shovel YO MOMMA down our throats and I am SO not a tool. Incidentally, damn I'm hungry... I could really use an Almond Joy.. Hey - sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't. Where was I? Oh! I am SO not a tool so I opt out of that MTV carnage. Sorry Wilmer, but your show is so bad even yo momma changes the channel (Oh, snap!)

But this is when TV viewing is strictly for the big guns. Wussies need not apply. Normally JUDGE JUDY isn't my thing. I consider myself above the fray, if you know what I mean. Like, when my landlord once stiffed me on my deposit (what's a couple holes in the wall? Ain't he ever heard of spackle?) I didn't take him to court, I just let the dog pee on the carpet (total burn!)

Or the time I was drunk and drove onto the curb and hit that guy. Really, it was more like I bumped him... Couple broken ribs, I later heard. Think you'd see me on JUDGE JUDY? Hell no! I just gave the guy a blow job and I was on my way before the ambulance even got there. Sweet fella told the po-lice it was a hit and run. What a prince!

My point is, I have my standards.. and JUDGE JUDY falls well below my line of demarcation. But I watch goddamit! I dig deep. If needs be I rely on back-up reservoirs of strength in the form of chips and cheese and I POWER THROUGH the dross until Oprah ushers me into the ograsm of television watching, Prime Time. Because I am a professional. I do it for the starving kids in Africa (can I get an AMEN!) Not really, but it sure sounded good, that starving kids bit, didn't it?

YOU would have given up halfway through JUDGE JUDY, probably right around the time the pseudo news reporter/actor interviews the plaintiff and the defendant after that sassy Judge Judy gives 'em the business then makes her ruling.. But I hang in there for the next case. That's the difference between you and me.

Reader Comments (33)

I'm sorry, but I really don't think you can be hard-core unless you can handle the MTV reality shows.

Although Judge Judy does give you a strong case...

I relate to this post all too much. :)
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Monica
Ha! You have a point there, girl with the beautiful name. YO MOMMA and SWEET 16 are hard-core. Since the Abu Ghraib scandal gripped the nation, I hear that's how U.S. soldiers now torture Iraqi prisoners. Force them to watch back episodes of SWEET 16 and quiz them afterward.
April 23, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonica
Fox Reality network. Paradise Hotel for the um, third time. I think I broke through the wall it when I started discussing the "Reality Revealed" segments in normal conversation.
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Oh man I had me a good laugh over this one. I do have to agree with Another Monica. MTV reality is hard-core. If you can stand can I date your mother's daughter roomraider date crash what the hell ever than you can stand anything.
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRaj
I want to be a professional TV watcher! Where do I sign up?
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJS
So...I eat nachos...I'm fat....I'm sad about the world. Tell me about it! What are you going to do? What are we doing to do? Watch tv?! Do something, will you? Stop lamenting. A professional TV watcher...For what? To say what? You work in the news. Make a difference. And it's not about the small pocket who believe.
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBitch
Oh Bitch, get a sense of humor.
April 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope might do you good to laugh once in a might help you release the anger and then make you feel good enough about yourself to stop naming yourself 'Bitch.'

I recommend watching Laguna Beach...there is nothing more hardcore and hilarious than super rich teens on the West Coast that get BMW's for graduation and say things like, "What happens in Cabo stays in Cabo." You can actually feel your brain rotting away as you watch but I have to admit that I am addicted to that manipulative beauty Kristin...when will she ever stop leading Stephen on?!

Once you have put in the 'professional' TV time of the rest of us on The Girl Who you won't feel the need to criticize and we can all laugh together.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
sweet 16, real world, 8th and ocean, the new nick lachey show, next food network star, top chef. noooow who's the lowest common denominator, huh? huh?!
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkasey
I watch Clean Sweep and then I don't feel so bad about the mess that surrounds me.

April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjls
yeah...clean sweep. clutter. give me some of that there clutter. trash mongers! heathens! I love 'em.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
Mad About You. not my slice.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime
New Nick Lachey show? Where? I must starting watching immediately!
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Ouch! You win. You are a true professional (amen!) and I'm not worthy. I don't have cable, yet I can always waste a few minutes watching King of Queens, Supernanny--ooh, or the local news ("Our top story: Armpitsville gets a Taco Bell drive thru"). I think I deserve at least a few points for resourcefulness here.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPurr Meow
I really hate Mad About You. Don't ask my why, I can't stand it, I want to poke my eyes out!
I find myself watching that show, not sure what channel, where they pan for gold! I think it is called Gold Fever or something, I can watch for hours! Just to see if they find a few flecks of gold! My new favorite past time!
Roseanne does rock!!!
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
The next food network star, the mtv standards, but I have to say I can't power through the Surreal life or celebrity fit club. I am just not strong enough.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertallangie
I really need to salute the Golden Girls here. Hello? "Thank you for being a friend"

That's what I'm talking about!
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterZoe Strauss
And helllllooooooo General Hospital. Top that folks! That's ONE FULL HOUR A DAY, 10 pm on soap net.

Monica, once again I salute your resolve and dedication. I could not hold on through Mad About You.

And may I suggest my new favorite treat...the "Million Dollar Movie." ABC Sunday Night Spectacular! I'm not sure if this is just a Philadelphia thing but if it is, it's worth a trip down just for those 2 hours of viewing.
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterZoe Strauss
Yikes, you all ARE pros to stick through General Hospital and Laguna Beach.

My new TV addiction is "What about Brian" starring the hot older brother from 7th Heaven...Yowza! Anyone else seen it yet? I can't tell yet if the show is going to be any good, but I will watch anything Barry Watson is in!
April 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterktphotog
I Found Absolutely FREE PlayBoy & PentHouse:
If I find something else I'll inform you.
Best Regards, Yuriy
April 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteryuriy
Woo Hoo! Comment Spam!
April 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdu_dragons
Love the Golden Girls. Did you know that Estelle Getty had a hard time remembering her lines and such, she would disoriented. Feel bad for her.
What about Will & Grace? You know that is going to go in HEAVY syndication. Right now you can watch it a few times on the Lifetime network.
April 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Yuriy is now my new favorite poster.
April 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCunning Linguist
I am here to confess...before my husband comes out of lurking mode (busted Rob) to rat on me...

I must reveal an embarrassing fact that makes me the queen of shit reality TV....

I cried in the season two finale of Laguna Beach...last night... the way I am not 14 I am going to be 28 in a matter of weeks...

I am not sure what the hell is wrong with me but I think that makes me the runner up in the professional TV watcher pageant. If there is any reason that Monica can not perform her duties, I will be there to step in.
April 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Ya'll have nothing on me. Laguna is my life. But All My Children, One Life To Live, AND General Hospital are all on my schedule too. Not to mention the 4 different episodes of A Different World that come on UPN and Oxygen before noon. Beat that!
April 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Let's see OLTL, GH, and The Young And The Restless.

Now reality shows, American Idol, America's Next Top Model, Intervention, Top Chef and others I can't think of.

Recently started getting into the Charmed repeats on TNT. I then will watch Law & Order-SVU on USA every night. Then ER repeats on TNT most I have seen already for the 3 or 4th time.

Then whatever I can on VH1, have started watching The Surreal Life again. As silly as it is Hogan Know's Best.

I too will catch an occasional Roseanne. Still find myself watching Seinfeld. Sometimes if I really want to go down memory lane Little House on the Prarie on the Hallmark channel.

I'm addicted. I admit it. :)
April 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
Little House on the Prairie is classic. I love Nellie Olsen. Ever see the one where she and Laura race their horses? Then there is a completely fucked up Little House where some clown in the woods stalks Laura? Anybody know what I'm talkin' about? As if clowns didn't already scare the shit outta me...
April 27, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonica
Yes I know both episodes. Nellie Olsen....ugh! She was such a brat as well as her brother Willie.

The only episodes I can't watch is when Albert gets hooked on drugs and dies. I had the biggest crush on him. Eventually he went off to Whiz Kids the tv show which never panned into anything. Then his brother who also was on Little House makes it big on JAG and Albert is never heard from again unless you can tell his voice in cartoons he does.
April 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
Richelle wrote: "I must reveal an embarrassing fact that makes me the queen of shit reality TV...."

I'm not usually one to play the "one up" game, but I have to leap out of lurk mode to chime in here and set Richelle's mind at ease. You're not the queen of shit reality TV, but I'm afraid I may be.

Here in Europe there is a reality TV show called (I'm not kidding here) "The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses" and several weeks ago they had a Saturday marathon. I watched in absolute horror... every episode.

Here's a rundown on Episode 4:
Episode 4
They may have embarrassing illnesses but having embraced the enema, eight Brits now have no embarrassment about the old taboo of bodily function as they get to grips with detoxifying their bodies in the search for cures. Psoriasis sufferer Tracy and IBS suffer Amie get competitive over colon output and compulsive overeater Melissa’s shiatsu session gets her going in more ways than one.

I can't believe I watched the whole thing, but it was like a train wreck - I couldn't help myself. So I ask: Who's the queen of shit reality TV now?

Glinda, that's funny you say that about colon output. Did you see the link Monica posted yesterday?

(warning! very very disgusting!)

Holy shit! Literally.
April 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFOX

I was in love with Melrose Place. I still am actually. I’ve seen every single episode (when you count the re-runs). I so loved Melrose Place! How I wish they would just have an entire station dedicated to airing the re-runs. Allison, Billy, Michael, Jane, Sydney, Brooke, Matt (the homo) and Amanda They all worked so perfectly together. I could name all the characters - if given the chance.

Greg: Jane this is a video tape of me with one of my old ex-girlfriends! Can’t you clearly see what’s happening here! Someone’s trying to set us up!

Jane: No it isn’t Greg! Look at the date and time on the video! It was this weekend when you were away!

Greg: Jane.. Please .. I love you!

Jane: GET OUT!

Michael: (knock knock): Hi Jane are you ok?

Jane: sob.

Ha! I loved Dr. Mancini. He was so deceptive and manipulative. And highly educated too. Jane was Soooo Hott! And Billy’s squeeze, that little rich girl Brooke (Played by Kristin Davis). Yum yum. Her Dad hated Billy... For no reason! Then I remember when Billy broke up with Allison and started dating her friend Suzy. She and Billy hit it off really quick Allison and Suzy became Ex-Friends.

Allison: You know what they used to call her in college?

Billy: WHAT?

Allison: Roll over Suze, because the guys would give her a nudge and she would roll right over.

Billy: Oh Please!

Allison: It’s True, and now all yours.

Billy: Oh please Allison, you are so bitter…

Sigh. I always promised myself I would visit Melrose Place (the real apartment). I even have the Map quest directions and still haven’t gone. I’m not sure if I want to ruin the mystique.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
And I have no idea who posted the picture of the seaweed but you are a very disturbed individual to post somthing like that..
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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