Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oooh, Baby, Baby, It's a Wild World

I work in medical publishing, so I have seen photographic evidence of the many bizarre diseases one can contract that will make your bones bendy or your face blotchy, your hair patchy or else grow with abandon from an inappropriate place. There are diseases that will make you forget your name and there are diseases that will make you think your wife is a hat, but until Monday I was not aware there was a rhinovirus that could be cured with British TV.

I felt tired on Friday, achy on the train up to Yorktown on Friday evening, downright miserable on the couch with my mom watching "The Next Great American Band" on Friday night, slightly woozy driving to Rhode Island to see my brother at U.R.I. on Saturday, and consumptive for the rest of the weekend trip. I arrived home on Sunday night still sick and exhausted despite all the fun family New England activities like eating on a wharf and then eating on another wharf.

I had no choice but to stay home on Monday and Tuesday with several blankets, the remnants of my parents' Halloween candy, cheery Tylenol Cold Daytime and its moodier cousin, Tylenol Cold PM, and the remote.

I was afraid another fruitless fight with Tyra might kill me, so I decided to go the opposite way through my cable channels, which, as it turns out, start at like 1,918 or something like that. I pay for two thousand channels and all I ever, ever, EVER watch is Law and Order: SVU. I don't get the exciting ones, all the good shit on demand and crap, but I do get something like four incarnations of BBC America.

I had no idea that watching a stodgy old British guy sell his belongings at auction and react to any possible outcome with a sort of half-chuckle, was enough to make me feel UNBRIDLED JOY. I watched British auctions for something like two hours. Then I watched British flea markets (followed by British auctions) for another hour. Then I watched British nutritionists talk about the quality, color, and character of a woman's "poo." I got involved. It was important to me whether or not her poo floated, and when she reported that she was having regular bowel movements and her cold had cleared up thanks to all the pumpkin seeds she was eating (high in zinc, people, high in zinc!) I wanted to text someone to report that she was was going to be okay.

And then, even better, on sick day number two, I downloaded the first episode of some show I'd never heard of that I basically only knew was about kids in England. Oh Jesus god, was I right. "Skins" is The Greatest Show Ever To Be On Television, and if it were possible to make a TV show a Miss USA-style sash that said so, I would already be embroidering. It's basically no different than the O.C. or Dawson's Creek or even, like, The Breakfast Club in its premise (kids, pining, issues) but you know how you watch something teen-related and you're always a little bit, like, "Ha, what if the hot straight guy made out with the gay guy?"


Like, every time! You're all "That kid should hook up with that teacher," and he does, and then you're all like "Oh, I wish the staunch muslim kid would accept his gay best friend," and then they're hugging, and then you're all like "Wouldn't it be funny if there were boobs and or boners in this show?" and then there are like 700 boobs and a fifteen minute boner scene, and then you're all "Oh yeah, well I bet they won't slow-motion pan past every character singing along to 'Wild World'" and then you are wrong again, and then you're like "Haha, I dare them to have a nu-rave incest scene," and then there IS.

There is also anorexia, drugs, the naked butts of twenty-year-old British boys, terrible acting, "hot girls" so funny-looking it is a very good thing they keep pointing out how hot they are because I would've had no idea otherwise, plot lines that get dropped entirely when they get boring, and a remix of "Standing in the Way of Control" as the previous episode recap music.

What I'm saying here is that it's basically the best thing that's ever been filmed in all of film history.

I don't know where I'm going with this really, besides the fact that watching British television made me feel far better than my Tylenol Cold & Sinus. U.S. TV has got nothing on a country whose entertainment can, in the span of two days, make me feel confident about my poop, make me feel good about getting old and having to auction everything I own to buy a scooter, and give me the kind of daring teenage years my town just did not offer. Plus, I went back to work on Wednesday feeling much healthier. British TV cures colds. Beat that, Tyra.

Beat it with your BIG FLAT HEAD.


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