Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Sweetheart, I Have to Confess"

(USA, SINCE 2004)

It is often said that confession is good for the soul. No one knew this better than a certain blonde. Edie Britt had been confessing her sins to father O'Maley once a week since she was a child. As the years had passed, much to father O'Maley's dismay, a theme began to emerge. And once she had been forgiven, father O'Maley would tell Edie Britt, to go out into the world, and sin no more. Unfortunately for Edie, temptation seemed to be… everywhere.

I don't like television. At least not since I grew out of watching Hannah Montana every day at 7pm, and started realizing that there are so many better ways of spending half an hour. Babysitting for example, or doing sports. Cleaning the house. Reading a book. Maybe even watching a movie... or two...

Yesterday at 7pm, I was on my way home from work. I work to earn money for the luxury of buying stuff for myself, like cinema tickets, clothes, DVDs and so on (sometimes I buy presents too). I also work because I like it, and because it makes me feel responsible and free. But work is tiring too, so you need to have something to look forward to, and this night it was watching my third Wes Anderson movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Your expecting me now to tell you that I ditched the highly acclaimed animated movie for a television series about life in a suburb. But I didn't. I watched the film. 
And then I watched an episode of Desperate Housewives, because I didn't have any more borrowed DVDs except for the third season of this series, which I bought a little while ago. 
And then I watched another episode. And another. 

Each episode of the series Desperate Housewives is of a duration of approximately 40 minutes. That means three episodes account for 120 minutes, which is two hours, which is longer than the average Hollywood movie. I normally start thinking about the time after 40 minutes of a movie have passed, except when it's a really good movie. This brings us to the explanation why series are so much more addictive than movies: 

1: They're shorter. The episodes are shorter than a movie, mostly of a duration of 20 or 40 minutes, so you always have an "end" in front of you.

2: They're longer. While a film has to present its characters and the story and make everything work in a period between 80 and say... 180 minutes, a series has the time to engage you much more. Series are actually just very intense character studies, and that makes them interesting for someone like me, who is interested in literature and movies mainly because I'm interested in characters. 
When you follow a series, even when you've only seen 10 episodes or so, it's already part of your life.

3: They're better. This doesn't mean series are better than movies, otherwise why would I watch so many movies (1,000 something IMDB ratings) and so few series (except for the children's series, I've only followed about four series in my life). But it's also here the point lies. Once you've found a good series, you always have something good to see in spare. You will have days, weeks, months - maybe years, depending on the series - of the wonderful combination of relaxing and thinking in front of you, while when you watch a movie, you never know what the evening is going to be like. And when the movie is over, and the night still young, you'll have to deal with the hard trial that is called what-am-I-gonna-see-next.  

Now, you might be wondering why I'm telling you this. Well, I'm trying to make a confession, and at the same time defend myself. 
The confession is that while I enjoyed Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox movie, it was the Desperate Housewives that kept me awake until 3:30 in the morning. Okay, maybe Coca Cola was part of the reason, but that doesn't prove anything. What I mean is that the Desperate Housewives had me glued to the screen like I hadn't been since watching my way through the second season before the summer holidays. Not even my until-now-favourites-of-the-month Pyaasa, Little Miss Sunshine and Cosmopolis we're able to fascinate me as much as this television series. 

Television, yes, I don't like it. There's too much advertising and too little quality. But it's because of television that I had a great saturday even though I was on my feet working for over 9 hours. Without television, there'd be no series on DVD that you can buy for the money you've earned with hard work. Without television, no movie buff would surrender to the temptation of spending a movie-free weekend with her best friends from Wisteria Lane, Fairview. 
And without television, there would be no ingenious opening and ending monologues every 40 minutes.

There's a place in St. Timothy's church, where sinners go to confess their sins. And once they're done, they expect absolution. But the truth is, not all confessions are worthy of such forgiveness. Those who unveil hypnogendas, deserve the condemnation they receive. Most who disclose vengeful motives, merit the punishment that follows. Only the truly rependant, have any right at all, to expect a second chance. …Which is why it's best to think twice, before you confess. Especially, if you don't know what it is, you're confessing to.“

* Post title, collage and intro/ outro: Desperate Housewives, season 3, episode 6


  1. Well I love television, I mean, I watch so many shows that it is probably a bad habit of mine. I love it because the story lines feel endless... a movie usually ends and there is no sequel (most of the time) and you won't get any new stories out of that. Shows allow the characters to evolve further than movies, get you more invested in them and you kind of fall in love and out of love during a show. I love it. I love movies too though. I just spend more time on Tv-shows.

    1. And sequels are usually nowhere near as good as the first part, in contrary to TV series. I know a lot of people that watch more series than movies because of the reasons you and I mentioned.

  2. TV shows are seriously addictive, for the last few weeks I've done almost nothing but watched Breaking Bad and now that Boardwalk Empire is starting again I should probably watch first two make some excellent points that the series are kinda log run fun and they don't take that much time if you watch it episode a week, as it airs. Of course the trouble begins when you discover awesome show and there 5-6 seasons already :)

    1. Yes, and that's what usually happens to me - I discovered Desperate Housewives when it was already 4-5 seasons ahead of me, then watched it on TV and now I'm watching what I've missed.
      The only series I discovered on TV - actually watched the first airing of the first episode - was Türkisch für Anfänger, a German series that I loooove to bits.

      Otherwise, it's kind of annoying to watch the series on TV because they are all dubbed here in Germany, and there's nothing I hate more than dubbed series and films. So I mostly watch them online or on DVD.

  3. I don't get to watch television as much as I used too but there are plenty of entertaining and addictive shows out there. But yeah, the commercials are annoying.

    Funny about the alternatives you mentioned to watching TV.... I can babysit, clean the house, or read a book, all while watching TV too :P

    1. You can? When there's a really good show or film on? Seems like you're a much better multitasker than me!


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