Since a wee child, I have parked myself pretty much nightly in front of gleaming boxes of various sorts and sizes – snacks and sodas at the ready – and gotten lost in the joys of television.
It’s as much a part of who I am at this point as my very genetic makeup, in many regards. Judge that as you’d like, but I am more than comfortable with it. And I know I’m not alone.
For several months now, however, that gleaming box in the family room – which has morphed, over the years, into a flat rectangle – has become sort of a secondary nightly home. Instead of settling on the couch for two or three or four hours, I might watch one can’t-put-off show before moving to the bedroom to crawl into bed and get cozy under the covers with ye olde tablet, the sounds of my favorite shows beaming into my brain via ear buds.
The joys of television have converged with the joys of streaming.
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Aside from a few months in my 20s when sharing a house with a roommate I barely knew, I’ve not had a television in my bedroom. I’ve had TVs in bedrooms, but not the ones where I sleep.
I might be an anomaly there; a lot of people always have had TVs near their beds. They nightly catch the 11 p.m. news, maybe part of a late-night talk show, before switching off the box and slipping into dreamland. It’s as American as apple pie and Johnny Carson.
But if I’d had a television in my bedroom all these years – particularly since 24-hour cable fare has become the norm – I’d be a sleep-deprived zombie, walking around on three or four hours of REM sleep a night, throwing back espresso shots and falling face-first into my keyboard at work. My TV addiction is just that bad.
Oh, wait: Thanks to the above-mentioned joys of soft sheets, blankets and streaming, that’s pretty much what I’ve become. With great joy comes great crashing.
I’m tired. Really, really tired. I haven’t gone to sleep before 2 a.m. in ... well, I’m not really sure how long; most nights it’s been 3 or 4. Last night, I was awake until 2:30 watching a pair of Iliza Shlesinger comedy specials on Netflix.
Shlesinger is a past “Last Comic Standing” winner and kind of hysterical. But there was zero reason to stay up so late watching her be funny on a work night; the shows will be there anytime. I could have shut down the pad, turned out the light and gotten a decent amount of sleep.
But, nooooooooo, I got lost in the comedy and lost track of time.
Today, I write before you a zombie on her third cup of coffee with droopy eyelids and the impending doom of a serious brain power outage.
It’s ridiculous, but tonight odds are high that the same thing will happen, as I inexplicably find myself refreshed and begin streaming whatever the fare du jour will be.
Yes, I blame Netflix. Who else am I going to blame? Myself? It is to laugh. (That’s an old Diane Chambers line from “Cheers,” which I stayed up watching old episodes of until 4 a.m. a few weeks ago. It’s an illness, people.)
And it’s not going to get any better. Netflix, that evil, sleep-depriving torture device, has a handful of new series getting ready to air, not the least of which is a fresh comedy from the mind of Tina Fey.
Cruel, just cruel.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” will be available for streaming beginning March 6. The series, co-created by Fey, stars Ellie Kemper as Kimmy, who moves to New York City after living underground with a doomsday cult for 15 years.
“Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, Kimmy’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore,” according to Netflix. The show also stars Fey’s former “30 Rock” co-star Jane Krakowski.
And that’s not all. Netflix has more new series for 2015, along with the return of its signature hits like “House of Cards” (Feb. 27, and I still haven’t found time to watch) and “Orange Is the New Black” (probably not until summer – oh, hurry up already).
The first of four Marvel series, “Daredevil,” will premiere April 10 (not my cup of tea). The comedy “Grace and Frankie,” starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, is due May 8 (mmmm, maybe, maybe not).
Also coming is the drama “Bloodline” on March 20. This one is from the producers of the superior drama “Damages,” an intriguing pedigree. It stars Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) in the story of a black sheep brother who returns home to the Florida Keys, where his arrival threatens to break up his family.
So much to stream, so little time to sleep. Point me in the direction of the nearest barista and push.
Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.