All I want to do is just watch TV. Is that so wrong? I even wanna watch so much TV that the blood vessels in my eyes burst from the strain. Why is that crazy?
If you tried to tell me I was wasting my time then I would have thought YOU were the crazy one, that is, until last week.
You see, last week the TV starting talking to me!
Admittedly, sometimes I’m forced to yell at the TV when I’m watching a show like 24, because, you know, like why does everyone doubt Jack Bauer after everything he’s done? It’s very frustrating. But of course I know they can’t hear me (just like no one in that damn government is hearing Jack when he tells them he has a hunch… he’s always right? Don’t you all remember!), so when the TV actually talked back to me I was shocked to say the least.
It all seemed to start when I got a Netflix account. My first order of business was to tear through all the past episodes of Arrested Development so I could finally see that new Netflix–exclusive season that was produced last year. This time though I noticed something that I didn’t remember being there from the first time I watched the series: a voice-over. All of a sudden, there is now this Ron Howard–like narrator who humorously describes what’s going on. Clearly I haven’t watched Arrested Development since it went off the air years ago, but I have no recollection of this being part of the show. Perhaps this narrator was an addition to the Netflix version, I’m not sure.
Next I started to watch another big Netflix original series, House of Cards. I already knew that the main character played by Kevin Spacey breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, so I wasn’t surprised when he started doing just that. However, I have to ask anyone else who’s watched this show, does he actually use your name when addressing the screen? That’s what’s happening to me! Does Netflix have some way of personalising these shows for subscribers? What is going on here?
Since both shows were weirding me out and also feature some pretty evil characters, I felt like I needed something to clean my palate of all the debauchery, nihilism and direct address. Therefore, I decided to watch through all the seasons of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. What better place to find strongly defined values of right and wrong? And one that would in no way have characters that would speak to the screen. Right?
On this show everyone was talking to me, it was like I was in a 3-D movie and sitting in on a Jedi council meeting on Coruscant or fighting in some sprawling battle across Naboo. Then it just got straight up creepy when one particular character, principle star Ashoka Tano started to kind of stalk me!
Ashoka will ask me how I’m doing, want to talk about my day, compliment me, fawn over me, fight Sith Lords in my honour, it’s all very awkward. I want to tell her to just focus on the action and forget about me, but then I’m nervous that I might distract her too much and she’ll get killed or something. That would completely change the show and I don’t want that to happen, I love this show! So I just nod to placate her and hope everything will just get back to normal soon.
I’m not sure where exactly all this is coming from, but I won’t let it dissuade me from my quest. These eyes will bleed damn it, because this is TV and there is nothing better!