Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Guilty Pleasure

Tonight, on my way home from yoga, I caught an interview with Gregory Maguire. He's the brilliant author who takes fairy tales and turns them on their head. That is not what tonight's post is about. Sorry. But he did strike a chord with me.
He reminded me of a lost era. He reminded me of my childhood. In explaining how his ideas came about, he reminisced about a time when there were only 3 channels on TV. I came a little later, and can remember  just 10. I thought my family was really super high tech when we had 10 buttons to push, rather than a dial to turn on our television. I could feel a little bit of the excitement from long ago when Maguire shared how the Wizard of Oz was scheduled to air once a year, and it was eagerly anticipated. These days, most kids grow up seeing their latest favorite movie until it wears a hole in the floor. Oh, waxing nostalgic, when The Wizard of Oz came on, it was an event. We marked it on the calendar, we made popcorn, we may have even curled my hair; I'm not sure.
What has this to do with guilty pleasures? Just this: I'm just 30 minutes away from part 3 of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater. It's a period drama, but I won't have a freak out if you call it a Soap Opera. It might be. Only the acting is better, the location is better, the story is better and ooh la la the wardrobe is better. But sure, it's a soap.
I had to wait a whole year for this. Actually, more than a year. It's the same feeling I had while waiting for the next Harry Potter book or movie. Anticipation.
This connection in and of itself is obvious. Least, I think it is. But, just to really drive it home, I recently had a little exchange on facebook regarding Downton Abbey. A friend of mine, (forgive me friend for using you as my foil), wrote: "Managed to watch seasons one and two of Downton Abbey in three nights. Now what?" After a little bit of confusion on my part, as all of season 2 has not yet aired on Masterpiece, I discovered she'd watched it all on some website. And you know what ensued? She was jealous of me that I have several episodes yet to view.
I didn't think about this exchange until I heard the interview with Maguire. And then I realized, I'd been looking forward to Downton Abbey all week. I've known no matter what happens this week, good or bad, on Sunday night there's nail polish, wine and Masterpiece Theater. (Truth be told, if handsome man asked me to dinner, I'd watch it online later this week.) But the point's gooooood to look forward to things. And, it's not often I do look forward to something. Everything is so right here, right now. Tomorrow is crashing in on us instead of being a beautiful wistful full of possibility and mystery day to anticipate. I'm going to take some time to think about some other things I can look forward to. There's a saying that goes, "Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?" Just for this moment, I'm going to think about replacing instant gratification with, why consume today what you can eagerly anticipate tomorrow?


tooterose said...

Hey!! I also look forward and keep my Sunday's after 9 free. I have been like this with some tv shows, Mad Men, Six Feet Under,The Sopranos, Rescue Me, yes all soap operaish, yet good tv. Most Masterpiece for so many years have been superb. I was watching DA at the week before Season 2 started and Jimmy watched one episode. Now we both watch, which is cool. (he's such a jock) I'm often surprised to hear how many people enjoy it, but not necessarily you. Had a bit of a tear tonight watching it. thanks for this post!!

robertjm said...

Too funny! I can remember when cable first came to the Bay Area in the early 1970s. The cable box had two rotary dials on it, one with letters and one with numbers. I was shocked at how many channel we got, something like 15 or 20!! :-) And when you turned channels there was a big "clunk" as the physical metal switch clicked between relays.

Over the air was only a handful before Sutro Tower went up.

Your blog reminded me of some thoughts I had while watching the Golden Globes the other day. Go back and look at the winners. Virtually all of them were non-broadcast television. Heck, many of them were channels that cost extra (HBO, Showtime, etc.) to watch. The regular networks need to see that and figure out what they're doing wrong because there's got to be something.

Cassandra said...

Thanks so much for your comments!
B, I'm glad you enjoy it too. It's so good. Glad Jimmy can get into it too. Shhh...don't tell him it's a soap.
Funny robertjm, I remember that box too!
I actually don't watch a lot broadcast tv, just Masterpiece Theater, so I don't even know what's out there anymore. I do know that Downton took away best miniseries. Interesting thoughts!