My favorite poem of the year is a toss-up between Lao Tzu or this Ron Padgett gem, from his Collected Poems. It’s unfashionable to admit it, but I do own a television, two of them, in fact: one is our old 40″ that lives in our living room, so my boys can watch Daniel Tiger or whatever and leave me and their mother alone for half an hour so we can actually accomplish a simple task like a shower or dinner or just staring into a coffee cup for five minutes, and the other TV is a gigantic 4K monster that I went out and bought at Costco on a whim. It lives in our bedroom, connected to a $5 antenna, and it is beloved. Last night we lied in bed with bourbon and watched My Man Godfrey and Rockford Files and Star Trek and fell asleep. It was heavenly and I am unashamed to admit it.
My fiction teacher in undergrad bugged me for almost three years about 24. He would pound on the table during lunch and say, “If you’re not watching 24 you’re missing the best show on television!” And then, after reading twenty or so plotless workshop stories written about drinking and vampires, he passed out photocopied reviews of the show and said, “You want to learn about plot? Watch 24!”
We’ll, I’m hooked now. Two weeks ago, Meg and I watched the whole set of season one in a week (that’s something like four episodes a night). Knowing there would be no time to watch all the rest of the seasons before the fifth season started, and knowing that my blood pressure couldn’t survive another marathon, we devised an ingenious strategy to get up to speed:
First, skip season 2. (Don told us there was too much annoying crap about Kim in there, anyways.) Just read the episode guides. Then, get ahold of season 3 and season 4. Watch the first couple of episodes of season 3, then skip the rest by watching the “Previously on 24” clips before the rest of the episodes. (Watching all the “Previously on 24” clips in a row is ALMOST as stressful as watching the actual shows, because you’ve got all these plot twists crammed into 2 or 3 minute segments…) Then watch the finale. Rinse and repeat for Season Four. Throw the season five prequel in there, and you’re good to go.
The four-hour premiere of season five starts at 8 o’clock Sunday, and continues on Monday at the same time.