Thursday, October 3, 2013
Feeling Out of It--Again
The last couple of weeks I've felt out of it--a familiar feeling, especially as I've grown more, uh, "experienced in the world" (old). It seems the whole world was preparing to watch the End of Days--well, the end of Breaking Bad, a show I've never seen. Have you ever been in a group discussing something about which you knew zip? Well, that was the USA, for me, the past week or so.
Why haven't I watched Breaking Bad? Don't know. Maybe I didn't want to watch the story of a Teacher Who's Gone to the Dark Side? (Probably not the reason.) Or maybe there's in me a gene that will not permit me to watch things just because other people are watching them.
Some evidence for this: I did not watch a single episode of The Cosby Show (1984-1992), Seinfeld (1989-1998), or Friends (1994-2004). So, basically, for the last thirty years I've been unable to participate in a lot of conversations.
So why didn't I watch those shows? The Obstreperous Gene? Pure contrariness? Elitism?
Let's take the last. Yes, I read Shakespeare and Thackeray and Smollett. But, as readers of these posts well know, I also go see--regularly--crap movies (Joyce, who gamely goes along--sometimes--does not like for me to use FB to "check in" at some of those films: her friends would be dismayed to know she was sitting in that place with those images dancing before her); I read detective novels and thrillers; and Joyce could tell you about some of the TV programs I do watch (mostly via Netflix), programs (and movies) with virtually no virtues (that's a nice phrase, isn't it? virtually no virtues). You know--Jason Statham. Horrible Bosses. 21 Jump Street. Taken 2. That sort of thing. And worse: I watch them more than once. More than twice. More than ...
So ... yes, I have some "elitist" tastes, but I also have other tastes that dismay my mother and puzzle my wife (and delight my son, if we're being honest).
Throughout the decades I also have gotten hooked on TV shows (I left parties to get home in time for Hill Street Blues). I stayed for the series-ending episodes of programs I'd watched religiously--e.g., The Fugitive, M.A.S.H., All in the Family, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under. I've seen all of The Rockford Files (multiple times--thank you, streaming Netflix). There are others ...
Streaming Netflix has also allowed us to watch the runs of shows we did not watch at the time they originally aired--like the wonderful Foyle's War and any number of other British mysteries, including all ga-zillion so-so episodes of Midsomer Murders. We're just about to finish the entire run of Arrested Development--whose most recent season, alas, we are forcing ourselves to finish.
I wish I could figure this out.
So I guess I'll just have to realize that there will be times (like this past week) when I'm going to be even more out of it than usual. And when you talk about Breaking Bad, I'll smile and nod and make noises-of- ignorance-that-I-hope-sound-like-noises-of-knowledge at what I hope are appropriate times. And then I'll go read King Lear--or maybe watch a Rockford.