Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some Things Never Change

In high school and college, I had a certain knack for falling for the wrong guys. There was Nick, the guy who broke up with me via the postal service over the summer. It was after I sent him a postcard of the "Hotel DeVille." I was so mad when I received his letter that I crumpled it and prepared to throw it in the trash, but couldn't. I opened it again and again, and re-crumpled it as many times. I showed it to all my friends. "Rude" was the verdict. There was Tom, the heavy metal/horror movie freak I kind of liked, but who embarrassed me. He was just so loud and showy, I couldn't stand to be seen with him outside his dorm room. George couldn't make up his mind about whether we should date or not, so he toyed with me all through junior year until finally, finally, I had had enough. There was Larry, so demanding of my attention but so stingy with his own.

Now that I'm married (to someone delightfully appropriate, I might add), I've found another inappropriate thing to fall for: TV shows. Sure, I watch some crap. But I think it's just a defense mechanism after years of heartbreak. I've built a wall around myself, and I don't let just any TV show work its way in.

It all began with "Relativity," starring the adorable Kimberly Williams as Isabella and David Conrad as her boyfriend, Leo. It's murky now, but I think it was about three sisters and their various dilemmas. One was messing around with a teacher, I think. Another one, who was married, was hooking up with Leo's best friend, played by Adam Goldberg. Sure, it was soap operatic, but it was smart. Midway through the season, it wasn't looking good for the show, so I tried to rally my friends around it. I was successful, but unfortunately, Nielsen doesn't care what four people in a tiny apartment in San Jose think. Adding insult to injury, the final episode ended with Leo proposing to Isabella and you don't get to see her answer. That might have been ruder than Nick's letter.

A few years later, I discovered "Cupid," starring Jeremy Piven as the brilliantly manic Trevor Hale and Paula Marshall as his cool, logical psychologist, Claire. The premise was that Trevor was really Cupid, banished from Mt. Olympus and sent to live among the mortals. He had to make 100 matches sans bow and arrow before he'd be allowed to return. Trevor was deemed mentally ill, and each episode featured Trevor and Claire duking it out over whether you should love with your head or your heart, or maybe a little of both. The show had it all: comedy, drama and occasionally, major tearjerking.

If you're able to watch "The Heart of the Matter" episode and not cry like a baby at the twist ending, well, I salute you, you robot. Cupid really could have been a major hit if the network hadn't changed its time slot every freaking week. When things began looking dire, I sent a letter of support to the powers that be begging and pleading with them to keep it on the air. Unfortunately, the network doesn't care what a 20-something no-name on the East Coast thinks and they axed it. And just to twist the knife into my heart a little harder, the final episode aired on Valentine's Day.

I was lucky to find someone online who had taped every episode, though. Every few years or so, I'll take out the tapes and watch the episodes back to back. And cry. A lot.

After that, the Mr. and I discovered the sitcom "It's Like...You Know," which was just a victim of unfortunate timing. It debuted right around the time "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" was going crazy, and the network cleared the schedule to air "Millionaire" 24 hours a day. It never had a chance.

Then, there was "Freaks and Geeks." Oh, that show. I'm getting a little choked up here. This was the saddest one of all. I have the geeked-out special edition DVD, which I watch periodically. Little Sam Weir, and his crush, Cindy Sanders. Lindsay and Nick. The giant, scary Norseman mascot head. Biff from "Back to the Future" as the P.E. instructor. Bill's disco dancing, which he thinks is totally going to get him the ladies. Millie, the tense nerd. I mean, when she sits down at the piano at the keg party after announcing to everyone that she can have more fun than anyone without drinking and plays "Jesus Is Just All Right With Me," I die laughing. I'm having trouble collecting my thoughts. I...I can't go on.

Finally, there's "Arrested Development," and we all know what's going on with that one. I'm really rooting for it to stick around, but I'm not getting my hopes up about it. History has not been kind. I knew I shouldn't get attached, but it's the price you pay for true love.