I want my HBO

Now we’re in April, and winter looms (winter is coming…?), so too does the premium TV offerings. The summer of sport and less than great TV has passed. The sun sets earlier, the days are chillier, and the common folk are more inclined to snuggle down in their loungeroom to watch some good TV than they are to sip on a wine spritzer in a beer garden.

Much as I resist being a follower of lifestyle, I’m into this with bells on. I love my quality stuff, and it’s now returned to the small screen.

Last week it was The Game of Thrones. Judging by the media and conversation around town this was an event of cultural note. The build-up and anticipation was both hyperbolic and breathless. This is the world we comfy western types live in now, and while I share the anticipation its the stuff I least favour: too first world entitlement. I don’t want to bang on about it, but great as this TV may be it’s entertainment that passes as lifestyle these days, and there is much more important stuff out there.

Having said that I sat down last week with pleasurable anticipation myself. For an hour I could escape into a fascinating world I had grown familiar with. I was not disappointed.

Last night Mad Men returned to our screens. There was less hyperbole about this, probably because it’s been a constant for a few years now. For me this is really what I looked forward to. This is the program I love, this is the world that reverberates in me whenever I venture into it. It was the same again last nigh. It opened months after the close of last series, the late sixties with Nixon in power and sunshine in California, and Don in exile.

All that is missing for me in sitting to watch these favourite programs is my own space. You relish these special hours. It’s pure indulgence. In a perfect world, in the world of before, I would prepare myself leading up to start time. Clear the decks, get myself well settled on the couch, and lie back and enjoy.

That’s not the go anymore. I have to compete for the TV. There’s bombastic noise in the background. People wander in and out. It’s not ideal, but I focus on the screen in front of me, blocking everything else. More than ever I need this hour of me time, and lifestyle be damned.


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