And That is How I Became a TV Freak

In Canada there is really nothing to do in winter. I mean there is really really nothing to do. Canadians like to ski and do somersaults on ice and other such activities that only white people are crazy enough to do. But I am a brown man. And I am cold. Actually I can’t lie, the weather has actually been unusually warm lately, +2 Celsius.

Don’t get me wrong, there is actually plenty to do in Canada but it all gets filtered out depending on your characteristics. For example, I’m a practicing Muslim so there goes drinking at bars and dancing at night clubs. I’m a student on a limited budget, so there goes expensive restaurants and hang outs.

Now I am an Arab and logic dictates that I should be in some cafe smoking argeelah but I despise the habit and I think I have some sort of allergy to smoke in general. So there’s goes that.

Also, I am car-less, so that rules out anything outside that I can’t walk to, bike to, or take the bus to in preferably under 30 minutes.

What this leaves me with is the movies or home. This isn’t a big thing as I am a fan of the great indoors. However when I’m in Amman I can’t stand to be inside. I have to go out every day and every night even if it’s just for a walk or a drive. I don’t know why, I guess the environment demands it.

And that is how I became a TV freak.

TV does have some good shows which I follow every week. In fact everyday there’s something and I watch only what I consider to be the best shows on the flat box. If you filter out the crap you can squeeze out about one good hour a night.

On Monday its Medium, which is a great show about a woman who helps the DA to solve crimes based on visions she gets.

On Tuesday its Boston Legal, probably one of the best law shows that is both funny and dramatic with a stellar cast.

On Wednesday it’s LOST, ah well, what can be said about this show other than it rocks.

On Thursday it’s NBC with My Name is Earl with Jason Lee which is about a red neck type bad guy who after being so unlucky decides to do his “Karma” good and cross off something bad he did on his Karma list every episode. And this is followed by The Office, not as good as the British version, but let me tell you it is nevertheless brilliant. Steve Carrell is definitely the craziest boss in the world.

Friday, nothing. Why the heck is there nothing on Friday? Because everyone goes out and no one watches TV.

SNL on Saturday (if I can stay awake and it’s not on reruns)

Sunday it’s The West Wing on NBC and Family Guy on FOX

And every night I record The Daily Show to watch the next morning on the treadmill and with fast forwarding thatÒ??s about 20 minutes.

So as you can see, I watch about one hour of TV a day, except Sundays when it’s 90 minutes. So that’s 7.8 hours or 470 minutes or 28,200 seconds of my life a week invested into watching TV. Luckily I only get 27 local channels and no cable like HBO and Showtime. Now I know TV has such a bad wrap from parents and the pseudo-educated elitists who pride themselves in the fact that they only “read books and never watch TV”, but I disagree. I think TV like movies, like music, has its good and it’s bad. At worst it can be your sloppy dribble of shows like “Wife Swap” and “The Bachelor”; the killer filler. But at best it can make you laugh at least for a few minutes a day in such solemn and bleak winter weather, or even inspire you with its creativity. There are shows that will just “wow” you like LOST every now and then.

And if nothing else, your mind which is constantly haunted by your daily burdens, will be preoccupied for just one hour with white noise. Did you ever try not thinking? See the Zen way to go about this is not the lotus position, it’s watching TV and letting it numb your senses.

And I like my senses to be numb at least an hour everyday; it’s time off for the brain. It’s being awake, but not really awake.

And that is how I became a TV freak.

Deep down, we’re all TV freaks.

The question is, what was everyone doing before TV was invented?


  • Well Nas, I am a TV freak as well … I do everything with the TV on .. even when I am reading … I guess that goes back to my studying days; I never knew how to study except in front of TV .. funny ha?
    Now don’t get me wrong; not all TV shows grab my attention or lets say; I don’t watch everything with the same level of concentration. Some shows do grab my undivided attention, like Medium, Lost and CSI (original, Miami and NY), I mean when one of these is on, I vegitate! Simply I go out of the world.

    Like yourself, when I was in Dubai; I did not have any business going out much so TV was my ultimate companion .. so yeah, I am one hell of a TV freak πŸ˜€

    The show that is on TV now is “Prison Break” … do you know it?

  • Khalidah, lol yeah i tried watching prison break but i didnt like it too much. it was normal for my taste and i have no room for “normal” on my schedule πŸ˜€

  • Nas, what you’re going through is simply hibernation… something I, as a follow northland dweller, understand and relate to. Many a winters have I seen my waistline expanding, skin getting paler, and my TV consumption increasing.
    Look at the bright side though, it Has been a mild winter, and we’re already in mid January.

  • Oleander, yes you’re right, time will pass quickely now im sure. but skin never seems to get pale….the darkness is embedded in me. πŸ˜€

  • very interesting post! Personally, it’s been ages since I sat in front of the TV… last year I used to watch Alias, or was it the year before?!! But it’s not some kind of an intentional resolution… it’s just that there’s so much to do and occupy my time, and whatever spare hours I find, I spend on the internet!

    But for someone who’s very much into media, I think I need to work on that a bit πŸ™‚ Aaakh if only we had 30-hour days!!!

  • Nas, how about a walk to the library? Volunteering at a homeless shelter? Tutoring illiterate kids?

    I’m going to play Xaalto here, hope that is ok. Nas, I know you are endeavoring to be a godly man – is what you are watching helping that happen? I personally feel that so much on network TV is trash. At best, neutral and at worst, well, harming character and allowing values and concepts that are completely against your value system to take root. I am sure there is some funny stuff out there, and some brilliant writers who can make us laugh at ourselves and cause introspective thinking.

    My rule of thumb is, if it’s not what I do, I don’t watch it. If I don’t feel comfortable watching a couple share an amorous kiss in real life, I don’t watch it. I know that makes me an extremist and a radical πŸ™‚

    I haven’t watched TV regularly in 20 years, no time for that! Hubby and I like to watch movies, but there aren’t that many that fit our criteria, or we do a lot of fast-forwarding. We read a lot, play games alot and spend a lot of time with friends.

    Not meaning to be judgemental, just use good discretion and know when to turn it off.

  • Dana, yeah somewhat πŸ˜€

    Lina, yeah…30 hour days…thats exactly what my life needs right now πŸ˜€

    those activities require getting cold πŸ˜€ but seriously i actually have no time for many of those things that i would love to do and that i’ve done in the past. its one of those situations where you only an hour or two to spare and you’re never on a timetable so those hours are not set. as for everything else, well i do use my discretion and the programs I’ve never seen anything that goes against my religious character in any of the shows i watch. of course there’s plenty that does and that is why i pick and choose. and all of this is network tv…if it was cable…well that’d be something different πŸ˜‰

  • “And I like my senses to be numb at least an hour everyday; itÒ??s time off for the brain. ItÒ??s being awake, but not really awake.”
    I totally agree with you on that.
    Boston Legal is a good show, specially because the great Denny CraneÒ?¦

  • LOOL yes u r a freak nas. A chicken soup and and a TV freak.

    This blog should keep u busy somehow too. In march, the Soprano’s will be out and too bad u can not watch it yet, unless u get HBO. I don’t know what to tell ya dude. U read books always so i can not suggest that. You blog, so I can’t sugest that. You watch movies, so I can’t suggest that. I guess it is the price to pay for not liking argeeleh and for simply being in Canada. πŸ™‚

  • Now, what you need to have efficient TV viewing is the TiVO. My household went in for it and we are now very efficient TV addicts. Especially because it can search for you and find all the reruns of Family Guy that are on. And you can search for old movies. It’s amazing. Also you can fastforward through commercials.

    Our Sunday nights are similarly busy–West Wing, Desperate Housewives (one of my roommates is addicted), Gray’s Anatomy, then Boondocks. Our eyes always hurt at the end of it.


  • bilotee, denny crane! michael j. fox is doing 3 episodes now.

    Bo3Bo3, I think you’re right

    Emily, I don’t they they have tivo in canada, and it would probably be beyond my budget. i do have a primative vcr and record stuff all the time for saturday evenings when i have nothing to do, or for general background noise. Now many west wing fans anymore.

  • I almost never watch TV except during long vacations like summer vacation and the two-week break between fall and spring semester. Of course now I have none of these vacations, and when I’m in Jordan I also almost never watch TV, I’m either out or in a family gathering.

    But I honestly miss those long unidentifiable days and nights I used to spend watching TV and going on a strict diet for the heck of it. Well, don’t miss them that much but I dont mind taking a week or two off.

  • Oh my oh my:p

    Well I used to be a T.V. freak ages ago but my folks were nagging what a waste of time it is and the nagging got worse that i really got it out of my system. Now they begg me to watch some T.V with

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