I remember swearing to myself that I’d never be addicted to soap operas. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why family members, friends’ mothers (or anyone else) religiously watched The Edge of Night, The Guiding Light or The (strangely named) Secret Storm. In college, everyone in my dorm arranged their class schedules around General Hospital — I think I was the only one on the third floor who didn’t really care about Luke OR Laura.
As it turns out, I lied to myself. How could I have known that prime time television options during my adult years would lean so heavily toward either reality TV, CSI-type crime dramas, cooking shows or singing competitions? Now, I can watch rednecks catching and/or shooting things, argumentative pawn store owners, polygamists, taxidermists and other colorful characters doing strange things for a while, but they eventually wear thin. Even my beloved cooking shows can only be entertaining for so long…the tenth or so time you watch someone make ice-cream out of chicken feet or ‘the ultimate saute showdown‘ …well, even these riveting concepts lose their charm over time.
What I didn’t bargain on was HBO. The very first time I watched The Sopranos I was hooked. Other than Dallas and Dynasty, I had never thought of shows that came on at night as soap operas…but they definitely are. Then someone got really smart, and they actually threw vampires and werewolves into the mix! True Blood came along and I was a goner! I eventually strayed over to the offerings of the other channels (Breaking Bad almost broke me), but HBO is still the reigning king of usurping my life.
Over the past 7 or so days I’ve binge-watched 39 episodes of Boardwalk Empire, and I have another one cued up and waiting for me to actually finish this post. It’s sad but true…Nucky Thompson and the goings on in 1920’s Atlantic City have been more important to me than writing…and laundry…and grocery shopping…and pretty much everything else. (In case you were worried, I’ve managed to squeeze a shower or two and few meals in, under protest.)
I know…it’s a sickness. Oh Nucky…sigh….