Blogversary contest winner & reflections on our earliest TV obsessions
On September 23rd, I celebrated HeroineTV.com’s two year birthday, and in honor of the blogversary, I sponsored a little give away. In reflecting on the origins of this blog, I started musing about some of my earliest TV obsessions, and invited the readers to do the same in the comments. The winner of the contest was promised the complete series of My So-Called Life on DVD, which sadly only includes one season. I will never forget you, Jordan Catalano, nor the way that you leaned.
In the interest of transparency, the selection method for determining the winner of the contest was to write the eligible names on slips of paper, fold them up, and then shake them up in a bag, before randomly selecting one. Yes, I am on the cutting edge of technology. The lucky winner was Lindsey (@LindseySaladbar), whose earliest TV obsession was Frasier, hooking her at the age of 9 or 10:
I’ve had, and still keep, many, many TV obsessions (many!), but my very first was Frasier. My mom, who loves movies, for some reason thought the television was a giant idiot box and wouldn’t let us watch much when we were little. But Frasier premiered in 1993 and it ended up being a show she would watch regularly for a decade. By the time I was 9 or 10, I started watching it with her, just happy to be allowed.
I’m sure I had no idea what they were talking about a lot of the time (pretty sure I thought they were British for half a season), but any kid can understand basic joke structure and sense a punchline, even if she doesn’t know what “hymenoptera” means, and unrequited love is never not compelling.
By the time I got into my teens, the Whedonverse made it onto the radar, and The West Wing, and Homicide, and countless others that continue to spiral off into other fandoms, but the first show I couldn’t bear missing was Frasier. (That just may be why I’m such a huge nerd in adulthood. (:
Her prize is on the way, but for the rest of you, here’s a round up of the fabulous comments I received, including some from my Canadian and British readers (who weren’t eligible due to shipping costs, but are still incredibly awesome).
Longtime reader Gabby (@GloryisBen), who happens to have one of the coolest Twitter handles ever, picked the long-running WB series Charmed:
Charmed. I *loved* that show. I could recite whole episodes line by line, pretended I was Phoebe Halliwell and could see the future by touching things and cried when Prue died or when the series ended. My romantic ideal was Piper and Leo, and by god I even named my cat Kit. This love of Charmed definitely sparked my interest for the genre, and has contributed a lot to the many shows I love today.
Another longtime reader, Ashley, picked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which makes me kind of jealous, because I didn’t discover Buffy until much later in life. If only I had watched that show as a teenager! Ashley can be found on Twitter (@Ash131618) or her blog, Confessions of a Teenage Fangirl.
As someone who’s still fairly new to the world of tv obsession I can still vividly remember the day I first watched the show that would catapult me into tv obsession, talking to strangers on the Internet, and knowing way to many facts about things my family has no interest in. And watching too much tv.
I was 16, on a fairly nice day in June when; after watching the very corny but entertaining movie a few weeks earlier, I put in the 1st disc of my dad’s copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1. I remember watching the first 2 episodes in the living room while riding an excircise bike and not being 100% totally sold till the wonderful bit at the Bronze at the end. From then on I was hooked. It was a defining moment for me, a moment when I figured out the true meaning of my existence and I was welcomed amoungst people who understood me. So yeah, I owe Joss & Buffy a lot. Without them I’d still be wondering around lost and trying to fit in with the cool kids. Thanks to them I’m now happier, geekier than ever and still trying to explain my obsession to other people.
Michael Neely also made a worthy selection with Lost. Not a shabby entry into the world of TV obsession.
My television obsession was LOST (which coincidentally ALSO had an anniversary!). I watched the pilot episode on September 22nd, 2004, the original air date, and it became a very big part of my life for the following six years. The communities that gathered around it, the suspense, the ever-anxious feeling of “oh my GOD what could happen NEXT WEEK!?” that came after every LOST ender, was all so new and real to me.
I have a scary amount of knowledge about the characters, episodes, anything you ask about the show I will probably know. I truly connect with the theme of T abula Rasa present ever since the first episode, the chance to have a clean slate, the theme of community, that the people you love and who love you are the most important parts of you, just everything about the show continues to amaze me, and I don’t think there will ever be a comparable experience.
Every time a major character was killed off, it felt like something major had been ripped from the show, rarely a “oh yeah, this guy just wants to quit so…..we’re gonna kill him….” moment, and it was heartbreaking. Moments of episodes still stay with me. My friends joke that LOST will be our Vietnam, and in twenty years we’ll randomly have PTSD flashbacks and start shouting about how The Others are coming out of the trees, or something ridiculous like that.
I’ve never been much of a TV freak, always more of a bookworm or some other kind of geek, but something about LOST really clicked with me.
Not eligible being in the UK but I’ll still post for the fun off it anyways … My first obsession was Buffy, I still vaguely remember watching S1 when it aired on BBC and a friend off mine stopping because the episode “The Pack” scared him too much when the head teacher was eaten. (Can you blame him? We were like 8.) As the years went on I wavered in and out but I still distinctly remember the overwhelming joy when my Dad told it was coming back on TV as I didn’t really know after the events of Season 5. Then a year or two latter seeing the promo for the final episode on Sky 1 where they showed Buffy getting stabbed and me telling my parents that Buffy died in the last episode, and then us all watching it together and me being proved wrong.
Emily, a Canadian reader, picked my other favorite show of all time: Gilmore Girls. Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows that if there’s one thing I can’t resist more than a Buffy reference, is a Gilmore Girls reference. Oy with the poodles, already! Thankfully, Emily is a Dean fan, or I might have had to censor her comment. Kidding! (Sort of.)
Hum, my first tv obsession was Gilmore Girls. I have all the dvd sets now and at this point I can pretty much finish the characters’ sentences. And on that show it’s quite an achievement because they talk so freaking fast!
Anyway, started watching because it was an assignment in my French speaking high school. We had to pick an English tv show and do a report. I picked this one and boy! What a good idea! I loved LOVED Lorelei and her relationship with Rory. I think I loved it so much because it was the first time I could actually see myself in a tv character. You know, I was a bit shy and studious like Rory. But I did not have a first boyfriend like cuteDean though!!!! Aw … Dean. He is basically what every first boyfriend should be. Period. I remember getting so mad when Jess came into the picture! lol I had to remind myself that it was only a tv show!
My very first and also favorite episode was “Rory’s dance”, in season 1. I think that if you had to pick an episode to show what Gilmore Girls is all about, this would be the one. CuteDean being perfect as always, great Lorelei and Emily interaction. You laugh, you cry, you wish you had Rory’s dress! I always watch this episode at least once a year now because it’s so great!
My fellow Scooby, Tara (@8arat on Twitter), listed Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, and The Mickey Mouse Club. While I never watched the latter, Saved by the Bell was totally MY show. I used to run home from the bus stop to make it home in time, during grade school. As for Beverly Hills 90210, that was a decade long addiction. But don’t let Tara sway you with her love for Brenda. Team Kelly!
My first real obsessions were Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, but I can’t really claim obsession with SBTB as I didn’t wall paper my entire room with photos of the cast like I did with BH. And when I say my entire room, I mean that literally. I had one wall dedicated to just Luke Perry as he was the man I was going to marry. (I even made up a Happy Birthday song that included lyrics of me marrying him). One wall had pictures of every cast member in order of how they appeared in the credits. So Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, Steve, etc. Giant cast posters. I had giant posters, which I put them next to one another of Dylan/Brenda vs. Dylan/Kelly (even though I HATED Dylan and Kelly… though not surprisingly, you Lucia loved). On my door I had almost a life size poster of Luke Perry that at night would always freak me out as I thought someone was standing in my room. (I seriously fell for it for almost a year straight. You’d think I’d eventually remember, but nope, every night). I still remember when my sister first introduced me to the show. It was the episode where Brenda found the lump. I was immediately hooked. (She coincidently never watched another episode again). I had a giant (and I do mean giant) pin of the gang that I put up on my desk in grade school. I didn’t care that people made fun of it. I wore a “I love Dylan McKay” bracelet until it wore so bad that it fell off. (I tried so hard to find another one but I never could). I look back and think sometimes I was too young for the show, but I loved it so much. It of course made me watch Melrose Place as well, which I definitely was too young for, but I made room on my walls for that show as well (I loved Grant Show).
I’m not even going to get into my obsession with MMC. You know, the Mickey Mouse Club, but way cooler. I may or may not have been completely obsessed with Keri Russell and Tony Lucca (whose music I still listen to) when they were like 13-14. I went to ridiculous bounds to try and find their album. What? You didn’t know they put out an album? They did. And I may or may not still own it. “Whose got the flava?” is a phenomal song.
Another one of my Twitter friends, Amysbp, also took a few pages from my childhood diary, with her choices of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Days of Our Lives:
I’ve had SO many tv obsessions over the years, it’s very hard to pinpoint where it all started. I think it all started with either Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman or Days of Our Lives. I used to make sure I was home on Sunday nights to watch it. And I remember setting the VCR if we were going to be out at the ripe old age of about 10 so I wouldn’t miss my beloved show.
With Days of Our Lives my friend got me hooked when I was in sixth grade. From there on out it was a lost cause. I’ve been watching ever since and even scheduled my classes around it in college. When I was still in high school and middle school I was the only one that knew how to work the vcr so I had it set every day for it so I wouldn’t miss it. I also used to obsessively stalk a few Days of Our Lives websites for spoilers, news, family trees, anything else I could get my hands on related to Days.
Do I have to pick just one? AHHHH!! When I think back on my TV history it’s almost impossible to pinpoint when ‘watching’ became ‘obsessing.’ I guess that would sorta coincide time-wise with the purchase of the 1st family vcr. I knew how to set the auto record before my parents had the thing hooked up. Let’s see … what did I set it to tape? Well, do you remember Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? River Phoenix, Drake Hogestyn, Peter Horton, Richard Dean Anderson … yup, that SBFSB. I recorded every ep and watched over and over … Also, Kids’ Incorporated certainly kept the vcr busy. We used to ‘play’ Kids’ Inc. Yes, omg. My sister always got to be Stacy Ferguson. Grrrr.
Long before that I do recall ‘playing’ CHiPS and Dukes of Hazard but the watching was just for fun … there was no dire need … yet.
BUT I do think what ultimately changed TV viewing for me was the 90′s era of AWESOME TV….there was ER (the Clooney ER!), Party of 5, 90210 … THOSE shows took my obsession to the NEXT level and shaped a span of 10 years of my TV life! To this day I LOVE Party of 5. It is amazingly written, the characters are so well crafted and so well performed. I remember the pilot … I was mad at the thought of it because it was eerily similar to a script I had been writing (mostly in my head) for years … but I tuned in. And it was the best TV experience of my life.
And finally, I brought up the contest on my podcast a couple weeks ago, and Fen gave his pick as Red Dwarf. So, there you have it. I have had so much fun reading every single comment, so I just had to share them all here. I hope that you enjoyed this blast from the past too, and if you missed the original contest post, feel free to add your picks to the comment section on this post. Is there such a thing as too much nostalgia? Maybe, but we’re not there yet. Thanks again for reading Heroine TV, and hopefully this blog will make it through another year.