Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Addiction to Reality TV Can Be Deadly...

This is where I admit to being one of those people. You know the ones I'm talking about. That girl who watches soap operas and is convinced that the people in her "stories" are not only real but her friends.

Okay. Maybe not that bad, but I do seem to have developed an unhealthy addiction to the Discovery Channel. Actually, that should be channels. Yes, plural, because I really don't know what I'd do without the programs on Discovery Health like Mystery Diagnosis and Anatomy of __insert lethal thing here__.

But nothing, I repeat, NOTHING has me as hooked as Deadliest Catch, a show I only just started watching a few weeks ago.

Now, I will admit that I was a little ambivalent about tuning in at first. In fact, one of my friends has been harassing me to watch it for the better part of three years now, but I always resisted. I mean, come on. I already watched so many documentaries that I'm really surprised I haven't become severely agoraphobic and refused all human contact by now. If you've ever marathoned National Geographic, the Science Channel, and Discovery before, you certainly know what I'm talking about. A girl can only watch so many shows about people getting struck by lightning, eaten by their own pets, tragic aftermaths of natural disasters before she's convinced that the only safe place is hiding in her closet, and even that can be dicey at times.

But, I finally broke...mostly because I was enjoying/suffering from a long bout of writer's block and there was nothing else on TV except for an Iron Chef marathon that was very tempting but I ended up forsaking Bobby Flay and Mario Batali for Capts. Johnathan, Andy, Sig, Phil, Keith, and Wild Bill.

And, I was hooked (ahem, pun intended!). The fishing was fast-paced, the conditions harsh, and the people were witty, wild, and unpredictable. Suffice it to say, I was enthralled by the ties that connected the crews and their captains. The overwhelming sense of family and the unspoken promises of risking their own lives to help any of their brothers, regardless of the circumstances.

Last night, I watched an episode from season three where Capt. Johnathan and the crew of the Time Bandit watched out their starboard side as a crew member of a neighboring vessel fell overboard. They immediately jumped into action and plucked the man out of the frigid waters, saving him from certain death. All the men were visibly shaken by the experience and unashamed of the swell of emotion pouring out of them as the man they saved thanked them profusely.

And then of course, I also watched the newest episode in which Capt Phil was in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke. Now, I know--as does any other fan of the show--that he doesn't make it, but still, I was a mess last night, all the while hoping against hope that he'd come out of it okay. And, it'll be worse next week as they previewed the two-hour final episode of Capt. Phil. I will surely be a blubbering mess. Because even though I've only known him for a short while, I feel as though Capt. Phil is a member of my family. :(

Which brings me to the point of this whole rant. Didn't think I had one, did you? We fall in love with people, whether they are really real or just some character on a television program or in a book. I can't tell you how many times I've read a book and cried over a heroine or hero who fell on hard times...how many times I was happy for them, sad for them, angry at them. We form strong attachments for whatever reason, and then when the end comes calling, as it most assuredly will, you don't want to let go, and you grieve for them.

How about all of you peeps? Is there any character/person in particular that you identify with so much so that you feel for them no matter what happens? I'd love to hear about it in the comments :)