Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Going to There

San Remo & Reservoir
Last hurrahs of autumn leaves (Reservoir, Central Park)

Ok, guys, it's confession time: I seem to have become addicted to Reno 911!.

Netflix, that nefarious pusher, has made Seasons 1-5 available to me online, and each time one episode ends I have a hard time resisting the pull of the "Play Next Episode" button.  I. Just. Keep. Watching.  I'm losing sleep.  And humming the theme song while walking down the street.  It's getting serious.

Now, I'm no stranger to TV show addiction.  I was mildly addicted to Soap earlier this year, until the demon-possession/alien-abduction story arcs made me lose interest a little.  And close friends will remember the dark days of '07, when I consumed five seasons of The Sopranos in one summer, and walked away a bit emotionally beat-up from the experience. (Remember what Richie Aprille does to Beansie in the pizza parlor at the beginning of Season 2?  Kinda like that.  But emotionally.)

So I've been down this addiction road before. Soap, however, is a classic piece of television history, and The Sopranos was brilliant story-telling (in my opinion), and both were ground-breaking in their own ways.  I didn't mind admitting I was hooked on them.  I've had a harder time justifying my Reno 911! obsession.

Yes, Reno 911! is fairly low-brow comedy - a mockumentary-style send-up of TV's Cops, packed with potty humor, bleeped f-bombs, and numerous instances of Dep. Travis Junior getting kicked in the crotch.  And it's fairly predictable: Lt. Jim Dangle's bike will get stolen.  Dep. Trudy Weigel will say something offensive.  And roller-skating Terry will get arrested for turning cheap tricks at a local taco stand.

But it makes me laugh (I'm a sucker for a mockumentary) and I tell myself that it's a useful study of character (the cops are all kooky but consistent), which could help me later in Improv.  Right?  Right?

I don't know.  I was thinking about it on the subway today (while carefully avoiding eye contact with the potentially-crazy lady sitting opposite me) and I realized that another aspect of Reno 911!'s appeal for me right now is that it shows a world where things routinely go horribly, badly wrong.  Again and again and again.  But at the end of each 21-minute installment, wrongs are rightened, injuries healed, grievances forgotten.  I hit the "Play Next Episode" button and we get to start all over again.  Clean slate.

And I think I just want/need to live in a world like that this week.  I want/need to hang out in a reality where hurts heal fast, and fights don't last long.

So, I think I'll forgive myself (temporarily) for such a low-brow addiction. Here's hoping you'll forgive me for such a stinkin' long blog post on the topic of Reno 911!.

Fall folliage at the Reservoir

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