To say that I obsessively consume stories is no empty boast. In just a little more than a year I have watched the entirety of Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, Party Down, Supernatural, Nikita, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Merlin, Freaks and Geeks, Archer, Firefly (and Serenity, of course), Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, Dawson’s Creek, Friends with Benefits, Dollhouse, Dance Academy, Twin Peaks and several seasons of Sliders.
I also work some and go outside almost every day.
Stories are addictive, and once I get my teeth in one, I don’t let go until the painful end. I read voraciously, too — so much that I couldn’t even begin to compile a list of books I’ve spent time with this year. And actually, I had to rely on Netflix to remind me of half of those shows.
I’ve always had this obsessive zeal when it comes to a good tale, but my particular fondness for watching every episode of a whole series in as few sittings as possible didn’t reveal itself until sometime in 2001 when, for a couple of days, nothing at all mattered to me other than finding out the fate of Special Agent Dale Cooper. So I think it’s only fitting that I begin this blogging adventure with the first time I watched Twin Peaks.
My roommates and I were living in squalor in a trashy 3-bedroom apartment in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which was kind of dangerous then and is extremely gentrified now. We had garbage taped to the walls and people sleeping on our floors. I’m not sure where the videos came from, but one day VHS copies of Twin Peaks arrived in our home. From the moment the iconic opening sequence introduced us to the pilot until the credits rolled on quite possibly the least satisfying ending of any show ever, the four of us who lived there sat enraptured. I’m pretty sure we didn’t sleep. The people on the floor probably did, but we didn’t care as long as they didn’t interrupt. We brewed pot after pot of coffee and only paused the tapes briefly so someone could go on a donut run.
There have been so many series to capture my fancy since — streaming is like the best invention since words — but Twin Peaks will always hold that special place in my heart.
A couple months ago, I finally convinced a friend that he couldn’t continue his life without seeing this masterpiece. It had probably been 10 years since I’d watched it myself, so I realized I was well overdue for another visit to the bucolic mountain town where, with each pine-scented breath and every slice of cherry pie, our hero is wound more and more tightly into a web of supernaturally murderous intrigue. Knowing how it ends, I didn’t feel the same fervor to get through it I once had, so I was only beginning the second season a few days later when my friend sent a late-night text asking why I hated him so much. I laughed. I had been expecting this. I texted back, reminding him that at least he knew who killed Laura Palmer. That didn’t seem to help, so I assured him that it would feel better soon and someday he would even be glad to have seen it. It was week or so later when I experienced the pain of that horribly frustrating final scene and all I could do was take a deep breath, shake my fist at the heavens and thank the gods for the genius that is David Lynch. Twin Peaks was even better and even worse than I’d remembered.
With that said, this is a blog for people who are obsessed with their stories. It’s for folks who use the words “shiny” or “frack” in the context of their daily lives, who order their coffee “black as midnight on a moonless night” and who repeatedly email Warner Brothers insisting that it is criminal to continue to deny us a Veronica Mars movie. I guess in some circles these qualifications might be considered “uncool,” but at least we’ll never run out of things to talk about. So please feel free to comment. What are you watching and reading? What are you trying not to watch and read?
Things I’m watching right now: Dr. Who (though, to be honest, I’ve been trying for a while and I’m having a tough time getting into it). Also, as they happen, Once Upon A Time, Arrow, Supernatural, Nashville, Project Runway, Nikita
Things I’m reading right now: Anything involving Arthurian legend I can get my hands on — specifically John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, Deepak Chopra’s The Way of the Wizard and The 21 Lessons of Merlyn by Douglas Monroe — and The Sandman (which I was told is like the gateway comic. Apparently I’m in need of another habit. I was also told I would be naming future pets after these characters.)
Things I’m trying not to watch right now: Buffy again (it’s a constant struggle), Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Call the Midwife
Things I’m trying not to read right now: A Game of Thrones, The Mortal Instrument Series, Harry Potter again (like Buffy, constant struggle), all the trashy romance novels I got at the library book sale last week