The Harbinger Online

Junior talks about how her television obsession affects her life

I live in a world where dogs eat human organs, parents accidentally eat pot brownies and a wanna-be alternative Fall Out Boy bassist conveniently falls in love with a high-school senior. This world comes to a stop when the ‘Save/Delete’ screen comes up on my DVR and the television show comes to an end.

T.V. is taking over my life. I watch 13 shows religiously. Personally, I feel like this is more T.V. than any teenager should be watching but I can’t seem to bring myself to cancel any of the series on my DVR. If all of these shows were airing in any given week, it would add up to 16 hours dedicated to watching the television–meaning 15 percent of the time I am awake, I’m watching T.V.

According to a study on health.com, watching too much T.V. can increase your chances of dying at an early age. People who watch more than four hours of T.V. a day were 80 percent more likely to die from heart disease. Great.

The sad thing is none of the shows I watch are even considered to be ‘good television.’ Every show is either an extremely unrealistic teenage soap opera, a completely staged reality show about the lives of rich people or a reality show with a prize at the end, ranging anywhere from being the next “American Idol” to finding the person your going to spend the rest of your life with. None of the shows I watch ever win an Emmy award. If they do win anything it’s at the “Teen Choice Awards” or some even earned a spot on ‘The Soup’s Clip Down ‘09’ where Joel McHale names off the funniest T.V. moments of the year—not exactly a high achievement.

Its 6 p.m., time for the news. The top stories are Simon Cowell announces his last season of ‘American Idol,’ the twins are moving out of the Playboy Mansion, and Tiger Woods is no longer an endorser for General Motors. I watch E! News every day. I could tell you anything going on with celebrities, but couldn’t tell you a thing about what actually matters going on in the  real world.

The amount of television I watch begins to take a toll on my life, causing me to do things that aren’t exactly normal.

I get way too excited for season premieres. In middle school I would make countdowns where I’d mark off the hours until the show would start. My friends and I would have premiere parties with rules.

1. You can’t be late. We lock the doors three minutes before the show starts.

2. Absolutely no talking. Your gone if you speak during the show. Commercials are for talking.

3. Leave your smug, sarcastic comments at the door. We come into every season premiere with an open mind.

Also, my friends can count on me if they want to know anything about the CW’s One Tree Hill, the show that I personally feel dominates all others. I could tell you the song that plays when Nathan and Haley have their first kiss, their first kiss in the rain and when they kissed at their wedding. I am capable of naming the season, episode and scene most events take place. I’ve watched the seven seasons enough in my lifetime to have the entire series memorized.

Lastly, when American Idol season comes around, I start to think people don’t like to be around me anymore. I begin to relate everything possible to the show. For the past two years I’ve organized a bracket competition with my friends. Two years ago I won because I was the only one who had faith in David Cook. Last year I lost miserably because the winner, Kris Allen, had only made it to the top ten on my bracket. I tend to get very competitive with the bracket competition and always have the brackets by my side for the results show.

To be completely honest, I want to get over my obsession with television. Obviously it’s affecting my life in a negative way because supposedly I’m going to die of heart disease. I choose to watch my shows over studying for tests, doing homework and even working on this story, and I end up being up way later than I should be. To do this I need to either cut out certain shows or make sure everything is done before I begin going into my television world.

Even though I say this, I feel like my life would be extremely boring without my television obsession. The people I spend my time with are used to me relating everything possible to my shows, complaining about how I wasn’t able to watch a show because of deadline and pulling out the ‘American Idol’ brackets at completely unnecessary times. Even though they bring out a side of me that isn’t exactly normal, my T.V. shows get me through the week.

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