I’ve developed a scary new habit as of late. Another time vampire, muscle atrophy-inducing, eye-melting, waste of my life. Or not, depends on how you look at it. Confession: I watch TV shows with strangers on Twitter.
Have you ever been watching a TV show and thought, damn, I wish I could watch this with my friends, except it’s 10:30 on a Tuesday night and everyone has babies and jobs and most people are asleep right now? Or, I am in PJs, stuffing my face with Pringles, and am in no way fit for other humans to lay their eyes upon me, or, my house is too dirty for company…or, hell, nobody I know even watches this show and I wish they did…oh the list goes on why it is easier to not invite friends over for entertainment-sharing (This also just might be me, as I love hermit-ing it up). Well, thanks to the magic that is Twitter, you can watch your favorite show with thousands of other people in real-time. I’ve become a bit obsessed with watching something whilst Tweeting and reading what others are saying, plain old searching Twitter after an episode has aired, and reading recaps of episodes I’ve watched on blogs and entertainment sites.
I blame Downton Abbey. PBS hosted a “Twitter event” for each episode, and to participate you just put the phrase “#DowntonPBS” into each of your tweets, and let the fun begin. For those of you who don’t “get” Twitter, by adding that group of words, your tweet gets grouped with all the other tweets containing the same tags. You just put that phrase into the search bar, and, as it updates every minute or so, BAM! You get to see what everyone is saying about what’s happenin’ on the telly. Let me tell you, it’s awesome. Oh no, O’Brien did NOT just do that. Read hilarious scathing comments from other haters! Oh, Anna and Bates! Squeeee! Peruse the fellow squeeing and/or grievance-airing! Post away and read what everyone else in the twitterverse is saying at the same time. Say something super-awesome and get retweeted! Feel acceptance you were deprived of in high school! Only problem: It becomes a tad tricky actually paying attention to the damned show.
But it’s not just Downton. There doesn’t have to be an official “event” to enjoy this phenomenon. What are you watching, right now? Search for it with a hashtag on Twitter, and I promise you’ll find somebody else watching. It’s almost exhilarating, feeling so connected, but not having to deal with actual humans in your home. (Annie may need therapy. This is up for debate)
Another way to share your joy or hatred over a particular episode of a show you have no one to talk about with are recaps. Go ahead and google “(insert show title here) recap” and hundreds of links will appear. What pisses me off though, is like, I already watched this. Now I’m spending time reading somebody else’s description, and then pages upon pages of user comments? What a goddamn time vampire! But it’s so addicting….hearing other’s opinions. I don’t spend my life reading recaps of shit I don’t enjoy, like Up All Night (when will I gather the courage to abandon that show, honestly) but there are a good handful that I feel I’ll burst if I can’t discuss, and when the real world offers up no viable candidates – to the internet! Some of my favorite recap providers are: Tom and Lorenzo, TV Without Pity, and Pajiba.
As I have been typing this post, NBC is airing the pilot episode of the new drama Awake. I’ll be watching it tomorrow evening, but I just did a brief search for “#Awake” on Twitter, and the tweets are abundant, and overwhelmingly positive. It appears people loved the shit out of it. (I should write another post one day about how I’m continually baffled and amazed at Twitter, and how I think it’s one of the greatest internet inventions, and has pretty much changed society. I’ll defend that statement another day, when I’m not so knackered.)
I’m mad at myself for wasting precious hours and blood circulation with this frivolous activity. But I can’t help it. It’s strangely exhilarating. I’ll leave you with a quote from the great Stephen Jenkins: “I’ve never been so alone , and I’ve, I’ve never been so alive.”