We had forgotten all about the catalyst that made us stop watching TV, but my wife, Shelly, had a conversation with Dan at HipDiggs and it triggered the memory.
It was 2004. My wife and I settled into our ever-so-comfortable reclining sofa. We turned on the TV and started flipping channels. I flipped high. I flipped low. Nothing seemed to grab us. A home improvement show here. A sitcom there. A show on how stuff is made. Nothing we felt like watching. I flipped a few more channels. Then…it happened.
AL: Hey, isn’t that Party of Five
SHELLY: You mean Matthew Fox.
AL: Yeah, he was the guy on Party of Five.
SHELLY: Yeah, his name is Matthew Fox.
AL: Whatever, you want to watch this?
A plane has crashed on a tropical beach. The fuselage is on fire, the engine is making terrible noises. People are walking around shocked and confused. Matthew Fox, a doctor, tends to survivors, heroically.
SHELLY: Hey, that’s that Hobbit from Lord of the Rings!
AL: You mean Dominic Monaghan?
SHELLY: No, Pip. Or was he Merry?
AL: No clue. Shhhhh.
And with that, we were hooked on the TV show known as…LOST.
The first season we were glued to the TV when it was on. And when we couldn’t watch it live, we recorded it to watch later, as many people still do with their favorite show.
After a few episodes into season one I started reading some forums online. Everybody wanted to chime in and say “It’s a purgatory”. Then you had these uber-smart people citing scientific and historical references beyond my comprehension and stating that the directors have vehemently denied there’s any possibility of it being a purgatory. Most likely because if they said “yep, it’s a purgatory, wow, you guys were quick”, then LOST probably wouldn’t have lasted the rest of the first season, let alone six.
We felt so invested in the show and never missed an episode.
And each episode provided more questions needing answering. Why is Walt special? What’s the significance of the numbers? Why don’t Jack and Kate just do it already? Hey, is that Jeff Fahey from The Lawnmower Man?
But as the episodes and subsequent seasons added up, the questions were rarely, if ever, getting answered. “Surely they’ll tie up all these loose ends”. Or so we thought.
And then came the final season in which they tried, and failed miserably, to tie up some of those loose ends. After the final episode it became quite clear that it had originally started out as a show about a purgatory, but because everyone figured it out after three (or less) episodes, and became a show about the following: A hatch with some Australian guy in it that pushed numbers. An escaped Polar Bear. Some weird Black Smoke monster. Hallucinations of childhood horses and dead parents. Science projects on remote and moveable islands that people can teleport to and from. And many, many, MANY more story lines that in hindsight we should have realized was just a way of stringing us bunnies along with a carrot.
So, doing the math we have…
Season One – 24 episodes X 1 Hour = 24 hours
Season Two – 23 episodes X 1 Hour = 23 hours
Season Three – 22 episodes X 1 Hour = 22 hours
Season Four – 14 episodes X 1 Hour = 14 hours
Season Five – 17 episodes X 1 Hour = 17 hours
Season Six – 17 episodes X 1 Hour = 17 hours
Total = 117 LOST hours – pun totally intended.
Fast forward to 2010 and after the show completed, we felt nothing but complete and utter disappointment. Shortly thereafter we called our cable provider and down-graded to basic cable (this is a package they don’t even advertise – we had to ask for it). And a few months after that we found we were streaming things on YouTube more often than watching TV. So we called the cable company to cancel entirely. Oh sure, they tried to give us deals to stay; “What if we give you all the specialty channels for the same price for basic cable?”. No thanks. Fool me once, shame on you…Fool me twice…nope, not gonna happen cable dudes! We had decided to stop watching TV entirely.
I must say, once you stop watching TV you gain SO much more time back. People sit and watch hours upon hours of TV every night! We don’t become obsessed with TV shows anymore.
Sorry TV, but you LOST your control over us!
Now stop watching TV and go sell all your stuff!