A few weeks ago my work friend invited my husband and I to eat with them. But she suggested a Saturday and that is Medium night. Or was, ‘cause in fact the season finale was that night, and in France they showed the last three episodes (we’re a season behind the US, mind you) in a row. So it was definitely not a night to miss. I reminded my friend of this, and being a fan herself, she didn’t seem to be offended.
Now if it had been another person who didn’t understand my TV “priorities” I don’t know what excuse I would have invented. But I probably would have found something. This may sound like I’m a junkie or value TV over social relations, but it’s not true. I’m a victim of France’s poor TV programming.
You’ve got to take good TV when you can in this country. First of all, unless you subscribe to cable or satellite, you get 5 and a half channels. Because one is scrambled half the day. And on these channels you mostly get dubbed versions of US shows or pale French imitations. Like the French take-off on CSI or Grey’s Anatomy which don’t seem to garner big ratings since the French, to their credit, prefer the originals. Or there are shows best described by the French word “pépère,” which means sort of slow and grandfatherly. These shows can sometimes be quite relaxing to watch but probably don’t have the fan base of Desperate Housewives.
And when the powers that be at the hippest station, that is, the one which shows more US shows, decide to show your favorite, you need to block out a few months. They often double or triple up the episodes at first, so for a few weeks they show three in a row, then trickle down to one new and two from a previous season. Add to this situation the fact that I’m too poor/stingy to buy a VCR and you’ll understand why I’m glued to my couch sometimes.
I already tried to get past this “addiction”. There was one Saturday when I arranged a dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. Let’s say I bit the bullet ‘cause it had been so hard to find a time when we could all get together, and I said, I can miss one episode. But in fact beforehand I’d emailed my coworkers to see if any of them could tape it for me, which was silly since I don’t have a VCR to watch said tape. My Canadian coworker told me about a website where you can watch streaming video (it’s legal!) and my hopes lifted. But it turns out my computer is too slow or finicky ‘cause it never completely worked for me. And on another occasion another friend stayed later than we expected on, yes, a Saturday night!, and we missed a second episode.
So two missed episodes out of 22 isn’t so bad. But I’ve learned my lesson. Either I’m gonna have to invest in a cheap VCR (or second-hand one) or I’ll just never go out when there’s must-see TV on.