We don’t watch much television in our house. I don’t mean that in a bohemian ‘we don’t own a television, we’d rather sit around the piano’ kind of way. What I mean is that we don’t just mindlessly watch television all evening regardless of what is on and I don’t remember the last time I watch something on ITV (I’ve considered uninstalling it).
But what we do is get obsessed with a certain programme and watch whole series of it on DVD. It probably started with the Sopranos, but to date has taken in The Wire, 24 (just Seasons 1 & 2), Law & Order (in all its forms), Homocide Life on the Streets, Spaced, some West Wing, Black Books, The Mighty Boosh, Waking the Dead and Prison Break.
It has also involved watching the first three series of The Shield. This wasn’t by choice – the OH loaned The Wire to someone at his work who in turn gave us The Shield. Hardly a fair swap, but we watch it anyway.
The Shield, make no mistake, is dreadful. Especially after the intricate plots, sharp dialogue and general believability of The Sopranos and The Wire, it is pretty puerile stuff. But, it is addictive (like many things that are bad for you – like smack and Haribos as Pete Docherty will tell you). Yes, the main character looks like a baked bean , a very angry baked bean wearing a too-tight t-shirt, the plot is full of holes, the dialogue usually laughable, but I’ve found myself wanting more of it, if only because we’ve ran out of other things to watch.
So today, I bought Season 4 on DVD. I had considered buying a stack of arthouse films to hide it amongst to save my shame at the checkout but in the end just made sure there was nobody else in the queue when I bought it. But now I'm looking forward to getting home, curling up on our cosy sofa and shouting at the television about how rubbish The Shield is, what a dreadful actor Michael Chiklis and how unbelieveable the latest plot turn is.