I know I'm embarrassingly late to the party on this one, but after months and months of threatening to do so, I finally watched the pilot episode of "Breaking Bad," and I gotta admit, I was sucked in from the opening scene. So sucked in that I understand the overused statement "glued to the television." (Or in my case, glued to my computer screen).
I'm just glad my sleeping children weren't in need of attention from me because I don't think I would have heard them. I was far, far away in TV Land. I mean, do you remember? Walter White driving an RV through the desert – with a masked, unconscious passenger – and the drone of sirens in the background. He then stops, films a brief message for his family, and pulls out a gun. And did I mention he's not wearing any pants?
After watching the pilot, and yes, I plan to watch more, I started thinking about other shows that sucked me in that swiftly. It usually takes a few episodes for me to really get hooked. I realize, however, there have been only three other programs, if memory serves, that hit me like this.
1. Twin Peaks. I still can't believe this show was on network television. It was so eerie, melodramatic and absurd. But from the very beginning, I knew I had to see every single minute of this show. Particularly the scenes featuring Kyle MacLachlan eating cherry pie or drinking a "damn fine cup of coffee."
2. Freaks and Geeks. From the moment I "met" this group of nerds and burn-outs I was smitten, and the first episode covers so many experiences I had in public high school that I felt like I had written the show with Judd Apatow. Awkward school dances, the humiliation of being totally uncoordinated in gym class, cutting class, mean bullies ... All of these things resonated with me even though I had long graduated high school. And best of all, it wasn't contrived. It was truthful, painful and – maybe because I had long graduated – so very, very funny.
3. Six Feet Under. A man gets smushed by a bus while driving his brand new hearse. An attractive male (Peter Krause) has a racy sexual affair with an attractive woman (Rachel Griffiths). Plus, throw in a little crystal meth, a closeted gay man and a likable-but-chilly disturbed mother and you could have signed me up for another five seasons within the first 15 minutes.
I would add Nurse Jackie and Big Bang Theory to this list! There is a book circulating the ER by a local doc that is like the love-child of Nurse Jackie and Walter Matthau on an episode of Six Feet Under, not to mix too many metpahors, haha. "Room Four" by AJ Knauss. Its crazy funny and we love it in the ER.
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