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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Qualified to Tube Talk

February 4, 2004

I’ve finally landed my dream job: to watch television and talk about it.

I’m not worried about the pressure of writing a weekly TV column. Nope. Not me. No pressure here. In fact, I can’t think of a career for which I’m better suited. Rest assured readers. I’ve done my homework. You can learn a lot from watching television, if you pay attention.

For example, when rushed to the emergency room it’s important to ask for a CBC and Chem-7. (That’s what they do on ER) I’ve learned the three ways to kill a vampire are decapitation, direct sunlight and the classic wooden stake to the heart. (Thank you Buffy.) I can tell you who shot J.R., the meaning of yada, yada, yada and Beverly Hills’ most famous zip code. (It’s 90210 if you care.)

I admit my TV tastes run the gamut, and I’m willing to try new shows. Sometimes it works. Sometimes… not so much. Shamefully, I’ve been addicted to some I should never confess to watching. For every Friends, I’ve had a Scarecrow and Mrs. King. For every NYPD Blue, I’ve had a Good Morning, Miami.

Disgraceful, yes. But, I blame my parents for my television fixation. It all started when they refused my request to vacation at the Grand Canyon to ride pack mules like TheBrady Bunch. From then on, I traveled the modern world on The Love Boat, visited the Old West with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and solved murder mysteries with Magnum, P.I., all through the magic box in our living room.

Call me a geek, a pop-culture junkie. It’s true. I can’t deny it. But when you need to know who played the role of Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, I’m your gal. You see, I’ve aggressively studied the world of television to prepare for this gig as an intrepid TV columnist. Sure, you can say I’m a little obsessed. But it’s not all bad. My obsession has led me to some pretty interesting places.

I’ve visited the Southfork Ranch in Dallas. (I even stuck my toe in the pool that Bobby Ewing used for his morning laps.) I’ve toured the set of Dawson’s Creek, in North Carolina, and in the name of curious fans everywhere, peeked into Dawson’s refrigerator. I’ve stood at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and marveled at Archie Bunker’s chair and Fonzie’s leather jacket.

So, I hope you’ll join me each week for a little tube talk, where I’ll discuss what’s on television. (And what shouldn’t be on television.) Maybe I’ll even get you to tune in for something you’re not currently watching, or reveal some interesting tidbits you haven’t discovered yet about your favorite show.

I’m here to help you navigate the rocky road of television. I’m not afraid. I’ll muddle through and find something worth talking about. If not, I’ll just turn the channel.

Originally published 2/4/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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