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When I was about twelve years old, my school initiated a TV-Free Week campaign. Now, you guys already know from past posts that I’m a TV Fiend, and extremely prone to crippling obsession. So, one who assume that this TV-Free Week would be my bitter end.

But hey, I was twelve and thought it was cool. Plus, they had a TV-Free Week on Arthur once. (Yup, I was twelve and still watched Arthur every day after school…so sue me).

I signed the waivers and sold my soul to the TV-Free Week Gods and went on my way. Things were peachy—this wasn’t so hard, right?—until about eight o’clock on Thursday evening.

From her second floor bedroom, Mom calls down to me in the living room.

“Ash! It’s about to start!”

I rushed upstairs without evening thinking, and only remember as I pass through her doorway and see the lackluster flashes of the television reflecting off objects around the room.

And I debated.

Mom and I watched Survivor every single Thursday night for about 4 years. It was ‘our thing’. We’d cuddle up under the blankets in her bed and discuss who we thought deserved to win, which contestants were just assholes, how awesome my brother would be on the show, and how the two of us—without a shadow of a doubt—would be voted off the first week.

It wasn’t that we adored the show or the concept. It wasn’t that we were obsessed (believe me, I’ve been obsessed with television, and this was not it).

It was that we did it together. It was our show.

And yes, I do mean our show in the sense that it is not just a weekly tradition, but also a weekly event.

So I broke the contract I signed and threw TV-Free Week out the window. It was a sacred ritual, after all.

I’ve had a number of ‘shows’ over the years—meaning, shows I would follow religiously, week after week, and sort of…kind of become obsessed about. And it is no strange thing for me to force said TV shows upon others and demand discussion as they plow their way through.

And it’s always fun to theorize and chat with others who watch the same ones you do, but it’s not the same as the ritual of watching a show together.

When I was in high school, I watched new episodes of 24 with my neighbours and ‘second family’. We once even made cupcakes with our favourite quotes on them to commemorate a new season.

In University, a roommate and I watched The Amazing Race even week. It was a show I had never watched before, and a roommate that was only there for a single semester, but still it was custom in our dorm every Sunday night.

(Remember in the past when I’ve lamented change, and talked about clinging to everything familiar in a desperate need to combat said change? I strongly suspect this deep love for having a show falls somewhere along that spectrum of crazy…but let’s not think about that too hard, yeah?)

This summer, Keely and I have started watching—of all things—So You Think You Can Dance? It’s something Keely so-you-think-you-can-dancehas watched for years, and that I have only caught episodes here and there of.

For those of you who know me, my newfound and crazy obsession with this show probably seems extremely uncharacteristic…I mean, I was the one in kid’s summer theatre school who had to stay late in order to get the dance steps right.

But… It’s creative. And fun…and imaginative. Guys, they tell stories.

I just love it.

I spend the episodes theorizing what the producers are planning somewhere beyond the stage, and judging routines and techniques that I have no business judging at all.

And basically Keely just laughs at everything I say the entire way through.

But guys… we have a show. And it’s the best thing ever!!!!

(Please note that this unabridged enthusiasm is not my unemployment and utter lack of purpose talking. Okay, maybe it is…but only a little).

Oh and also…all of things I used to find annoying—Cat Deely, Mary Murphy—I don’t anymore. Guess that’s the power of ritual, huh?

Some people go to baseball games, or art classes, or…I don’t know, climb rocks or something.

But we have a show!

Quick! Go watch this fun little routine by my favourite couple Amy and Fik-Shun. And seriously, watch their others, too. They’re awesome!!

What shows are you watching this summer?

Ta-Ta for now!

-A

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