Being home all summer has brought about a realization about my time at MIT.
Man, I missed a lot of television while I was at college.
I mean, seriously. I don’t know if it was the abundance of time I had at home or the abundance of stimulation (and work) at MIT, but my standards for “must-see television” suddenly went way up during what would, in grade school, have been considered the heart of rerun season.
Sure, I just recently discovered that pain machine of the out-of-shape American “Wipeout,” and it certainly didn’t hurt that “Burn Notice” had something bizarre called a “summer season.” That still doesn’t mean I’ll have the liberty to tune in to much of anything this fall, no matter how interested I might be in ballroom-dancing celebrities, the many conquests of Barney (Stinson, not The Dinosaur), or the phoenix-like growth cycle of Adam Savage’s eyebrows.
There are a couple of obvious explanations for my having been de-potato-fied by the time the semester hits. For one thing, it’s MIT — if you’re not manically busy (or avoiding being so), you’re either in lecture, sleeping, or both. For another, it’s not exactly difficult to find surrogates for television in such a diversion-rich location. Dancing the samba yourself may not necessarily be as entertaining as watching Steve Wozniak try, but it’s better exercise and doesn’t haunt your dreams at night. Plus, if burning off facial hair isn’t already a daily occurrence at MIT, it wouldn’t exactly be hard to arrange with the right lab access (or a pyromaniacal do-it-yourselfer for a roommate).
Towards the end of the last semester, as I made more new friends (and as their video game consoles began to go into storage), the season finales of everything seemed to percolate to the top of everyone’s attention amidst the foaming and twitching of finals week. Who can resist the promise of drama and action unmatched during the regular season? Of course, I’d probably appreciate it more if the subsequent season premieres weren’t occasionally disappointing in comparison, but I suppose if they told us how he met their mother at the start of the next season (as the more optimistic among us might suppose they would), their ratings wouldn’t be nearly as awesome.
Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t feel too bad if I missed all of the shows that are on this semester. For one thing, Boston/Cambridge is a big city with plenty to do in the absence of electronics (if I could tear myself away long enough). And for another, my parents have off-brand TiVo. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some web surfing to do. Regardless of the state of America’s political climate and/or economy, exclusive Hulu is certainly something in its favor.