July 11, 2005
A chronicle of that most co-dependent of relationships: a girl and her TiVoBride of TiVo
In Praise of the Rerun
Used to be, there was nothing new on TV during the summer — reruns dominated the schedules, canned jokes heard many times before echoing in the background while kids played outside and fathers barbecued and young lovers shared one milkshake with two straws.
At least, that's what I've been lead to believe happened: my memory of those hot days is fairly shaky. All I know is that this summer, new programming dominates the airwaves, but with a few exceptions (I love my basic cable sci-fi), I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on shows that I've missed. Reruns are far less a fixture of the summer schedule now, but those few that are rerunning? Senor Tivo is gobbling them up.
Turns out, there was — provided, of course, that said snarky doctors were on immediately after American Idol. So when Veronica Mars wrapped up its first season and Tuesdays at 9 PM were once again fair game, I figured that I'd check in with Dr. House, see how he was doing.
Turns out House is doing great, emerging as an exceptionally solid drama with a brilliant actor at its center. Rather than being strictly a Medical Emergency of the Week program, the show's focus is on its central character (Hugh Laurie), a meglomanaical, crippled doctor whose bum leg and abuse of pain medication would normally keep him out of the office — except, of course, for the fact that he's brilliant.
I struggled to earn my B- in freshman bio, so I'm never totally caught up in the medical side of the show. What I love is the lack of BS, the focus on relationships. The way in which an episode won't end on a lacrosse player, returned to health, caught up in the action of a game — but instead on House, watching said lacrosse player in play, and wishing like hell that they could trade places.
|It's a daring diversion from formula, but one that pays off as we come to understand just what House's injury has cost him — and exactly why he's so angry with the world, and so determined to do his job well.|
It's such a bold approach to network drama — stand-alone episodes, with only the faintest of emotional continuity, and all about a man who you'd as soon punch as kiss, who is at times aggressively unlikable. And thank god for Fox rerunning it this summer, rather than ordering another season of Mr. Personality — because a Bride of TiVo cannot survive on sci-fi alone.
Good news: House and Veronica Mars will be in totally different timeslots this fall, saving me from the heartbreak of choosing between them. Bad news: Veronica's new time slot means that I now have to choose between watching Veronica Mars and Lost at my convenience. I know there's technology that can do the two-shows-at-once programming, but Senor TiVo has been so good to me otherwise; I'm loathe to break up over this one problem. But if next summer's schedule shows the same reliance on rerunning past seasons, maybe we'll be able to work through this problem. After all, a good DVR? Hard to find.
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