I live alone (sort of, but that is a long story) and I have a tendency to talk to myself, so to curb that habit (because it makes people think your crazy when you accidentally do it in public) I usually have either music or the TV on. The default TV station varies, I go in phases: for months the Cooking Channel and the Food Network accompanied me as I washed dishes and (attempted) to edit papers; a couple of weeks balancing my checkbook and paying bills with Fox News and CNN in the background just about gave me a stroke; you would be surprised how much you can get done to the sound of Benson and Stabler (thank you TNT and/or USA).
My current obsession is turning into an actual one, and it kind of concerns me. I cannot stop watching Top Gear. This is particularly strange and disquieting, because I do not have a driver's license, don't own a car, don't come from a family of mechanics, don't date a Volvo salesman, am constitutionally unable to understand the existence of NASCAR, and did not have a hand in legislating Cash for Clunkers. I am about as far from being a car person as it is possible to be without being Amish.
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, Top Gear is a talk show from the UK (there are franchises in other countries, but I watch it on BBC America, so they show the original) in which hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond (so listed by me in order of descending height) test drive new cars, discuss automotive current events, participate in challenges (like races, building their own cars, and deciding what is the best car to own if you're in the mafia) both a home and abroad, and take a timed lap with celebrities in a segment called "Put a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car."
This show from start to finish is purely joyful, and that joy is infectious, even if, like me, you have no clue what they are talking about at certain points. The dialogue is all British snarkiness, and the product reviews are honest sometimes to the point of brutal, so there is nothing sweet or cloying going on. But there is a genuine love at the core of this show; a love of craftsmanship and engineering, of spirited competition, of beautiful creations that push the boundaries of possibility. The added bonus for me is that it's really fun to watch people who enjoy their jobs so much, considering that all one hears this side of the pond is doom and gloom about the employment environment.
I think that a part of the reason I like this show so much is my friend Charlie. He is a car guy plain and simple. He love cars, knows all about them, participates and places in races, and just before Christmas I was privileged to be a passenger in the car that he drove from Leominster to Boston (about 60 miles) in SIGNIFICANTLY less time than Google Maps suggested. In general his personality is very childlike and innocent, so watching a show where grown men make a living having Hardy Boy type adventures and driving really fast gives me a strange hope that Charlie too will get to be an adult without having to grow up.
Jason told me the other day that there are seasons available on Netflix Watch Instantly. I did not know this. I am a tiny bit afraid that if I allow myself to go down that road I will never return.
The TV Girl
|I don't know yet how this picture came about, but I intend to find out.|