I’ve watched a lot of television these past months. Lots. And not documentaries (though “My Octopus Teacher” was the exception and well worth it). Basically, my viewing habits are focused on a combination of what I watched in the eighties plus anything else that helps me forget about reality for twenty-two minutes at a time.
For some months, instead of reading before I fall asleep, I’ve watched “Cheers”. Then my iPad stopped facilitating access, so I was forced back to books, which hold my attention for approximately seven minutes, regardless what time of day or caliber of book.
I’ve steamrolled through “Community” and “The Good Wife” (though that got too serious for me around Pandemic Month Four and I had to step back). I’ve seen every episode of “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce” and am strangely into Dave Chapelle.
My parameters for viewing have one basic requirement; funny, good writing and total escape.
Some shows don’t work, even though they qualify. For example, “Taxi”, which I viewed consistently when it came on air, or “Mash”. It’s like they don’t have the right combination of frustrated romance and/or brilliant, non-stop quips. (I would be watching “Friends again but that got me through taking care of my mother over several years and I get PTSD when I see it pop up on screen.)
I may revisit “Freaks and Geeks” though. I’m trying to pace myself.
I understand that other people are equally engaged in such mindless viewing, though I’d have to bet that my habits are heavier dosed than most. In fact, something has occurred that makes me think I may need to step back from the pandemic pacing.
Here’s the conundrum: on an episode of “Community,” the gang tries to grow potatoes in their science class, and, of course, someone sabotages their efforts. There’s a guy on the episode that had a bit role once or twice over the years the series ran but that’s it. I know that for a fact. (Remember, this is not the first time I’ve seen the whole series.)
The actor is an unusual looking guy. Cute, but awkward. The one who likely is cast as the dork whenever he is cast, which can’t be that much because I’ve never seen him since that episode. Until recently.
Community ran from 2009 – 2015. Let’s say that the potato episode occurred around 2012, nearly nine years ago. And remember, I haven’t seen the kid on anything else since, and, I can’t emphasize this enough, I WATCH A LOT OF TELEVISION.
Then, a month or so again, he was on a commercial. A national commercial. The one with Flo and Progressive Insurance. So there, in late 2020, is our guy. Same curly hair, same clueless dorky look. He’s in that one called “The Upper Hands” where they try to emulate a game show comparing hands. He looks exactly the same.
Now, I’m trying to not be obsessed about a lot of things these days. How to get to Biden’s swearing in without a mini-nervous breakdown. How to help my kids and grandkids even if I can’t see them during the winter months, and then only outside with masks. How to limit my wine consumption to a reasonable amount. (Reasonable being a relative term.)
However, I’m obsessed with cute dorky guy. What has he been doing in these nine years? Has he had a day job and now that he’s scored a national commercial with Flo he’s finally on the career trajectory he’s always wanted? Will I see him in a movie with Tom Cruise next year?
If anyone knows the answer, please email me. I’d like to return to my regular obsessions as soon as possible because they seem healthier, in a strange way. Maybe not.
But email me anyway.