Maddie De Pree is a Junior, Vol. 9: Oh, God, Television

By: Maddie De Pree, Columnist

Growing up, I didn’t watch much television. For a brief time, my family didn’t own a TV. (This was not so much based in necessity as it was in choice. Seriously, my dad had a shirt that said “KILL YOUR TV.” The other dads probably thought he was kind of weird.) The anti-TV agenda didn’t last, though, and my sister and I ultimately grew up watching the same kids’ shows as everyone else. I didn’t watch much TV in high school, though, and when I started Furman, I didn’t make much time for television either. TV just wasn’t a big part of my life.

Recently, though, I’ve become a complete addict. This addiction started over winter break with the release of several Netflix shows (most notably the first season of the Netflix original series “You,” which I started and finished in the span of exactly twenty-four hours.) I always feel bereaved when I finish a series; when I finished Season 7 of “Mad Men,” I felt like I was going through a wicked breakup. (Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but you get the picture.) All endings pain me, including the end of a beloved TV show. Sure, I can always re-watch, but nothing compares to the heady feeling of the initial consumption. When the credits roll on the final episode, I have no choice but to confront that age-old, depressing question: “Well, what now?”

Because of this, I wanted to find a show that would sustain me for longer than a few days. At the beginning of January, I searched for a show that had adequate appeal and plenty of seasons. This week, I’ve finally found my new show, albeit one that is a few decades old: “The X-Files,” that crown jewel of 90’s programming.

For those that don’t know, “The X-Files” is an amazing science-fiction classic that centers around the paranormal investigations of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. To me, it is the ideal show — good pacing, quality costuming and a perfect mix of humor and depth. I also appreciate the quantity of content — there’s something comforting about a series that has 201 episodes. That’s a guaranteed 150 hours of programming (or, perhaps more importantly, 150 hours that I can fill with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s beautiful faces!)

My sudden affinity for television is, I suspect, heavily based in escapism. The news cycle is relentless, people are aggressively stupid, and by the end of the day, I’m dying to curl up and watch some of Mulder and Scully’s antics. It’s easy to tune into their scripted lives and forget about my own problems, even if only for 45 minutes.

The one catch with my new TV obsession? “The X-Files” is only on Hulu. This isn’t a problem for me, since I (for some reason) have access to some random person’s Hulu login, but Netflix-only folks will have to make other arrangements. But hey — if you ever want to escape into the world of 1990’s sci-fi, give me a call.

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