This morning, Juice, our local radio station (which is worth a listen just for the ads) had a breakfast show competition to win tickets to see last year’s X-Factor finalists who are performing at The Brighton Centre. The two phone-in competitors had to answer trivia questions about last year’s show and I have to admit it was quite gripping in it’s sheer ‘oooh, I should know this’ factor. The kids and I sat in the car staring at each other. Who replaced Frankie Cocozza? Ahh, Amelia what’s-her-name. Of course.
I was stunned by how little information I had retained, despite picking up snippets of the show, although I wasn’t one of the 13 million who watched the final.
Perhaps it’s as they say, that booze, age and children stunt the memory (I have a high score in all three categories). Or perhaps it’s just that television does something to your brain and it really is hypnotherapy for the masses. You only have to put a screaming infant in front of a Baby Einstein video to see that this is true.
I sat in the hairdressers this week and all the mags were shouting about how brilliant TV suddenly is, with The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent and Titanic, but I’m not going to get suckered in.
What I really want is a new box set. Box sets are – after house prices and schools – the most common topic of conversation during your average dinner party or night out at the pub. A box set addiction like mine is a guaranteed conversation starter. Box sets elevate TV into a proper modern art form.
And it has to be a box set. I can’t do episode by episode. Homeland, for example, has simply fluffed me for a new series to sink my teeth into. I’m too much of a junkie to be able to stand being drip-fed the divine Damian Lewis on a Sunday night. It’s too frustrating.
It’s like the eighties all over again when we had to wait a whole week before the next episode of Fame. But this is the twenty-first century people, when you can watch a whole series if you want until your eyes bleed (the first series of 24); become so engrossed that you become one of the characters (like when I turned into Carmella from The Sopranos or Tina Fey from 30Rock); develop irrational crushes on the male leads however unsuitable (David Duchovny in Californication – OMG!) or suitable (Coach Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights – I could seriously marry him); and make you re-assess your opinions on, say, gangland crime (The Wire), the police (The Shield ), or even making your own drugs (Breaking Bad).
So I need my next fix. Suggestions please?