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TV Brings People Together

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College is, to many, the greatest time in one’s life. Characterized by the energy of campus and the fruitful endeavors of studying, learning, socializing, and self-realization, college is four years of freshly gained independence in a world of young, energetic, like-minded peers. It’s no mystery that between exams, assignments, and extra-curriculars college can also be one of the busiest times in one’s life. That’s why it is often necessary to have some sort of glue to keep you rooted and closely knit to those you care about. The glue in my case, as odd as it may sound, is television.

I live in a three-bedroom house with two of my best friends whom I've known since middle school. Though we went to separate high schools, we still hung out occasionally and kept in touch. And then, as if by fate, we were reunited in college when we all lived in the same dorm and joined the same fraternity. Now seniors, we have a nice little pad together right off campus.

Our day-to-day schedules are quite different from one another, one roommate having engineering classes all the way across campus, another working at the fraternity house kitchen, and another in and out of the business and journalism schools all day long. We usually see each other for a few minutes here and there during the day, but for the most part we’re all busy doing our own things. This is where the glue becomes so important to us.

Somehow, it has become an unspoken tradition that all of us TV together each night of the week. I don’t really know how the habit got started, but sure enough, every night you can find all three of us plopped in front of our old-school big screen TV watching our favorite shows.

On Monday night it’s Monday Night Football, followed by one of my favorites: Million Dollar Listing. It’s a great feeling knowing that after a long day of class and work you have your bros waiting for you to watch some football and reality TV. When I get home from my night class at around seven, my roommates and I either order some ‘za, or head out to a bar to eat some hot wings and watch the football game. After some wings, football, and smack-talk, my buddies and I head back to our crib where we settle in for a nice little evening of reality television at its best.

Million Dollar Listing is a new reality show on Bravo, which follows three young, high-profile real estate agents in Los Angeles in search of the next million dollar listing. However highly scripted the show may be, my roommates and I still get a kick out of the hilarious situations the three characters get into.

Tuesday night is a biggy —  MTV’s The Hills and The City. Now, most people would characterize this show as the equivalent of a “chick flick,” and they’re right. But, it’s like crack; once you’ve had it once, you want more. I’ve stopped trying to break the addiction and let it take its course. Plus, it gives me more time to spend with my homies to make fun of people from California on TV.

The Hills is just an aggrandized version of a soap opera with its plot revolving around finicky relationships that never seem to last more than a week. Interesting, you say? No, not really. But it’s pretty funny to watch.

Like The Hills, The City makes something out of nothing every week by following around a handful of young professionals (if you can call them that) in the fashion industry of New York.

Humpday marks the arrival of a brand new episode of one of the craziest shows ever put on TV: Nip/Tuck. FX’s Nip/Tuck is always a pleasant way to top off a hectic Wednesday and usher in the end of the week. My roommates and I watch, amazed, as the cast of Nip/Tuck manage to get themselves into the strangest, often deviant, situations. Whether it’s accidentally sleeping with a transsexual or having to perform some variety of strange plastic surgery on a crazy client, Nip/Tuck never fails to entertain. Maybe the reason we love to watch it so much is because it reveals the relative normality of our lives. Or maybe we’re just weird. Either way, it’s an awesome show.

After an hour of absolute absurdity with Nip/Tuck, we venture to the land of comical parody with South Park. As if the evening of TV couldn’t get any more ridiculous, we add the sarcastic bunch from South Park, CO to the mix. Let’s just say our brains are thoroughly ground to mush by the end of Wednesday night’s chaotic medley of programming.

When Thursday evening rolls around, my buddies and I are ready to dominate a fresh batch of quality programming including NBC’s The Office and FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. My roommates don’t have class on Fridays so we usually indulge in a cold brewski while we watch our double dose of Thursday night TV. Watching Pam and Jim’s love affair on The Office helps cultivate our softer side, and Michael and Dwight tickle our funny bones until beer spews out of our noses. A few beers and about a hundred laughs later, we watch the newly DVR-ed episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. FX got it right when they created this hilarious sitcom about a group of eccentric friends who run a bar in Philadelphia, and whose dysfunctional lives make the group from The Office seem normal.

Come Friday evening my roommates and I are rather pooped from all the TV we have watched, and would rather have a night on the town or watch football and eat pizza at a sports bar. Luckily there’s nothing good on TV on Friday anyway. When Sunday rolls around, however, we start our beloved tradition all over again by watching a brand-spanking new Family Guy together.

This may just sound like a few guys just sitting around watching TV every night, but to me it’s much more. It’s a bond. A bond that is held together by the noblest, most cultivated of forces: quality network television!

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