I was about 10 minutes into Dancing With the Stars: the Results Show when I started to wonder if I watch too much TV. I pondered that a bit, making a mental list of shows I might go without, things I might get done if I could just reclaim those hours. And then I realized it was almost time for Battlestar Galactica.
But now? I know I'm at the leading edge of a societal phenomenon: "Gathering in groups to watch favorite TV shows is the 'book club' of the new millennium." So says the Christian Science Monitor. So say we all.
"Those who study TV and pop culture say these gatherings...come out of two things: the desire for more shared experiences and the types of programs being produced today." Shared experiences? That sounds familiar. So maybe TV is the new movie house: "Anna McCarthy, author of 'Ambient Television: Visual Culture and Public Space' thinks in part these gatherings may happen because....TV may provide something more personal. 'The TV narrative is pitched more toward social groups, movies more toward demographics,' she says."
And I'd extend all this to include the online watching party, which itself has given rise to the two most exquisite literary forms known to man: live-blogging and the online recap. Really, Auntie Mame's Project Runway commentary was a revelation. It exponentially increased my enjoyment of the actual show, which is already pretty intense. And Althouse Idol blogging is a same-night must read. Again, like the movies, you don't have to be present to win. You enjoy it on your own time. Television Without Pity, a weary nation thanks you.
So after thinking it over a little more, I'm not backing off. All TV, all the time. It's what all the other kids are doing.