TV Guilt


As always, I find myself looking forward to this Friday evening. It’s the start of the weekend, of course, and everyone, husband and kids, will be in a good mood. Plus it’s carry-out night, so I don’t even need to think of what to cook for dinner. These are all good Friday things. But I know I’ll be looking forward to ten o’clock with special excitement. Why?

Because my daughter will be in bed, my sons either out or ensconced where I can’t hear them, the pup should have flaked out for the night at last, and my husband will have just fallen asleep on the sofa after a hard week’s work, a few glasses of wine and a very large Chinese meal; and I can watch The Blacklist on TV :-)

The Blacklist is my current guilty pleasure – though I’m not quite sure why I should feel guilty about it. In my opinion, it’s a well made, well-written drama full of fascinating characters and the sort of complicated if unlikely on-going storyline that you can’t stop thinking about. I think the guilt comes from the fact it’s totally selfish “me” time, and nothing to do with my writing or selling books or any of the many other things I should be doing. Just for that hour, I don’t want to be interrupted by husband or kids or that long-awaited email I’ve been so desperate for all day. I want to escape to this other world and be entertained by characters who’re not mine and over whom I have no control.

I confess I do this periodically. Although I don’t watch a great deal of television – there’s too much competition for the remote control in our house as it is! – I do occasionally latch on to something, usually in box sets late at night, that sends me scrabbling to find the follow-up series on television. I did this with Hannibal, and Game of Thrones earlier this year, and one way or another I watched all of Penny Dreadful and the BBC’s Musketeers. And I’m looking forward to the guilty pleasures of all these new series when they come out!

I particularly love the shows with great and unusual characters – the BBC’s Sherlock for one, which is infuriatingly slow to make! Game of Thrones’ fascination, I think, stems from the moments of goodness and vulnerability in otherwise pretty villainous people – and vice versa, of course. Red in The Blacklist, Dr. Lecter and Will in Hannibal, just about everyone in Penny Dreadful, are all larger than life, ambiguous, hugely complicated characters that keep dragging me in, and I love it.

So, Friday night, guilty or not, I have a date with the television. Do you have television obsessions and/or guilts? What are they? Because I’m always open to recommendations :-)

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