Dressing gowns could have been invented just for watching TV.
This week, having seen just two episodes of The Americans in the UK, I bought and downloaded the other 11 in LA and, over two days, watched the lot. In my dressing gown.
A couple of weeks ago, I bumped into one of its stars, Matthew Rhys, on a Virgin flight from London to LA. Matthew’s family lives just a couple of miles from me in Cardiff, yet it was only in LA three years ago that I finally got to meet him.
He is an extraordinary actor. His performance as gay lawyer Kevin in Brothers and Sisters was genius; no less so is his undercover Russian spy, Phillip Jennings, in The Americans. And he's always getting his kit off. Always in the name of is art, of course.
While The Americans is not yet a box set, increasingly viewers have turned to these packages to view shows they have missed. More than anything, it saves time. No ads, no having to remember to set your Sky Plus or TIVO – you just slob out on the sofa for 12 hours with an Indian takeaway and a bottle of Rioja and forget to shower as you become immersed in the story.
I watch way too much TV. There are episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case I have seen several times over. My daytime fix, the courtroom show, Judge Alex, at 2pm, is programmed into my Record list, and I am currently watching repeats of shows I first saw just weeks ago.
Judge Alex is like a favourite cartoon: no matter how many times you see it, it’s still funny. I was hugely entertained this week by a case involving heavy discussions about rims, which means something entirely different in the US (think cars, rather than body parts). Call me easily amused, but hearing Judge Alex say “rims” just made me giggle. A lot. Like I said. Easily amused.
On Tuesday, two of my favourite shows, Suits and Covert Affairs return to the USA Network. Now, here’s my dilemma: do I watch them live on the night because I would not be able to bear waiting (nor everyone telling me on Twitter what has happened before I have seen them), or do I wait a few weeks for a dressing down day when I can watch non-stop (and, in the meantime, totally avoid Twitter)?
At least if I opt for the latter, I will avoid the American ads, which are many. I always lose weight when in the States because these ads make me feel so ill with their surfeit of food – all of it orange. Orange prawns, orange chicken, orange bread – no amount of colour adjustment on my set transforms these disgusting beds of fat into anything other than a floating sea of orange cholesterol.
I imagine that men are as put off sex as I am food, with ads that put the fear of God into you with the products’ side effects.
You can get your sex drive back, but be warned: this product may cause sweating, palpitations, liver damage, kidney damage, headaches, nausea, brain tumours, blood clots. Then there’s the dastardly warning; please see your doctor if you have an erection lasting longer than eight hours. I imagine after hearing about the possible side effects, you’d be lucky to get one at all.
The box set saves you from the side effects of consuming too many commercials, and if you download them, they also save you from having your shelves cluttered up with these monstrous cardboard bricks.
Practically the whole of my life runs through the computer now. I have systems that enable me to watch UK TV in the US and vice versa. My laptop is plugged into my TV so I can run everything through my 50 inch screen. I suspect that in a few generations, nobody will have legs, as humans will have lost their need ever to use them.
But as it’s Sunday and there’s not much on the TV, I’m going to do something revolutionary and take a hike up Runyon Canyon. I may take my iPad with me, just in case I get withdrawal symptoms and need to watch repeats of The Americans when I’m there.
Then it’ll be back home for supper and taking my dressing gown out of the wash ready to start another TV viewing week.
Tomorrow, on Judge Alex, the defendant Richard says he took his Bengal cat to Kismet for breeding and to sell Bengal kittens, but was devastated when Kismet told him his kittens had died.
Oh, please say pussy, Judge Alex. Just for me.