GW at the millennium: Television shows make their way into students’ planners

I don’t have a television obsession. I have TV commitments. On Sundays, it’s Felicity and The Practice. Ally McBeal takes the 9 p.m. slot on Mondays. I’ll even admit to watching Beverly Hills, 90210 on Wednesdays. And of course, it’s Must See TV on NBC on Thursdays.

Perhaps it’s the ideal form of procrastination. Or maybe it’s just nice to sit and relax in front of the boob tube after an exhausting day of classes or work. But my guess is that I’ve been sucked into the lives of the characters. I need to know if Felicity still has a thing for Noal or if she’s into the new unattractive David. I need to be sure everything’s OK with Chandler and Monica on Friends. And I don’t want to know what is going on with David and Donna in 90210-land through one of my friend’s recollections of the show – I want to see it first-hand.

And I’m not alone.

Sophomore Sarah Lazzaro is a fan of Felicity, The X-Files, Ally McBeal and The West Wing. She doesn’t rearrange her schedule to watch the shows. She makes sure to tape them.

People know not to call me during certain shows, Lazzaro said. I answer my phone and tell them to call back at the end of the hour. I do answer my door, but preferably during commercials.

It’s not a girl thing either. Guys are closet watchers of Ally McBeal, even when Ling and Ally aren’t kissing. And don’t let them pretend they don’t know about Brenda and Dylan, then Kelly and Dylan and now Gina and Dylan.

I’ve watched `Beverly Hills, 90210′ since the beginning, and for some reason I’ve just kept watching it. It’s kind of addictive, senior Jon Doroshow said.

In the days of Ward and the Beav, problems started at 8 p.m. and were solved by 8:30. You even could miss an episode of Seinfeld and watch the next week without feeling like you’ve missed an entire season. But those days are gone. It’s impossible to understand the importance of the car-wash guy who returns on Ally McBeal Monday night if you didn’t watch the season premiere. (In case you didn’t catch it, Ally had sex with him in a car wash, and he ended up being the groom in a wedding where she was a bridesmaid. Needless to say, Ally put a stop to that wedding.)

My television commitments have not incapacitated me. I have mastered the art of doing two or more things simultaneously. I can type and watch, exercise and watch and even talk on the phone and watch. And I read faster now than ever before. After all, commercial breaks are only two to three minutes.

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