Monday, October 29, 2012

My Adventures in TV Land : Part II

And so there I was in a hotel room half way across the world in a city notorious for its ridiculous crime rate with no option but to park myself in my hotel room after getting back from work every day. Now I’ve always been a TV guy and settled back for what I expected to be television heaven for a guy like me. Well it wasn’t quite what I expected.

For some inexplicable reason, the TV show 2 1/2 Men has been a monster hit just about everywhere. The premise is fairly simple - take one rich jingle making alcoholic womanizer Charlie (Charlie Sheen supposedly playing himself) and a broke, down on his luck, twice divorced brother Alan and his son Jake who somehow grows dumber and slimmer as the seasons go on. Add a few assorted characters, throw in the same old woman jokes, subtract any premise of an actual story line and proceed to shoot season after season after season and then get TV channel to pick up the show. Except for the news and sports channels, every single channel aired 2 1/2 Men at some time or the other every single day. Which really gets annoying as you switch channels after watching an episode of the show only to find another episode playing on the next channel.

Now I’ve seen much much more than the average person’s dose of crime shows over the years but things went to a whole different level in St Louis. Ive been a massive fan of shows like Law & Order (especially their Special Victims Unit series), CSI (to a much lesser extent), Criminal Minds, law shows like the Practice etc. It’s difficult to explain but there is something wonderful about watching a well scripted crime show that highlights the extremes of the human mind. Well who ever said birds of a feather flock together was wrong ....

My landing in the US coincided with the start of the academic year and for some reason Law & Order:SVU was airing multiple episodes every day as part of its Back to School program. Seriously? Back in the day TV channels coincided the beginning of a new series of cartoons with the start of the Indian academic year. All said and done, I enjoyed sitting back and watching a couple of hours of L&O:SVU every evening after a long day at work.

I guess a large part of why these shows are so big in the US is because the American people seem to be inherently more trusting and hence don’t expect crimes to happen to them. We were out for a stroll and my colleague left his pram by the steps of the Gateway arch for over 45 minutes and we found it there untouched when we returned. In India one wouldn’t even dream of turning away for more than 2 minutes. Ok I think Ive said a little too much about my massive fascination for crime and have scared off most of my female audience ....

No comments: