Column: Missing out on reality in life.

I may have been watching too much television lately. HBO to be more specific.

I may have been watching too much television lately. HBO to be more specific.

The recent drab days of summer found me lazing on the couch in front of the TV, remote in one hand, bag of cheezies in the other, stretchy yoga pants on, cup of tea by my side, fluffy pillow under one elbow, hair firmly planted in a sloppy bun atop my head. I was ready to take on the PVR (personal video recorder).

For those of you without one of these revolutionary devices, may I say you are living in the dark ages, deprived of the ability to watch TV and movies at your leisure.

With a PVR there is no more missing a word of what “Erica” said to “Adam,” or missing the end of the Movie of the Week because you fell asleep in your chair before 11.

A world of mind-boggling “entertainment” awaits your command. Whenever you desire, your program of choice can be found, played, rewound and viewed again. It’s a bit too much, actually.

Round and round the dial you go (although in the new reality of TV viewing, there is no dial with which to go around) until you find the amusement of your choice. Mine was the demon HBO.

From funny to gory, that channel has it all, in starkly realistic terms. Well, maybe not quite so realistic. After a few episodes of Game of Thrones, I still couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Or, more accurately, who the fuss was about – there were kings and kids and kids of kings, knights and knaves and knaves with knives. But after a half-dozen episodes I was still trying to figure out who the real king was and why I should care.

So off I flicked to find Veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emmy award winner for Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine, should be funny, I thought. And it was.

Veep follows Louis-Dreyfus as the vice-president of the United States, a hurried, harried, harassed character who buzzes through her days in sleek suits and Prada pumps. Her aides, communications people and assistants pop in and out, throwing verbal zingers and helping her put out political fires – most of which she starts herself.

Around the dial again and we come to Girls, the HBO version of the early days of Friends – but with a lot more sex. A lot more. A lot. Really.

If young 20-somethings are engaging in as much sex as this group of four friends, I don’t know how they manage to keep a job, let alone find time to grocery shop or pay the electric bill.

And again with the verbal sparring. One witty remark is returned with another and almost every other word is blue. Navy blue if you know what I mean: vulgar, naughty, dirty, filthy, coarse, x-rated, off-colour, profane … you name it, they say it.

On Veep too.

If you’re looking for funny Elaine from Seinfeld – you’re in for a shock.

In the new no-holds barred arena of subscription programming, there is plenty of nudity, sleazy talk and good old fashioned cursing.

Television has come a long way since Desi and Lucy slept in twin beds.

But it’s not the nature of the shows that stuck with me. It was the attitude they conveyed. These programs that are exclusive to the cable channels have the liberty to show life in a more realistic manner.

But how realistic is it?

Sure we swear occasionally, we use the bathroom, we take off our clothes and if we are lucky, we have sex too. But do we talk about it in the office afterward?

Do we share all the dirty details of our personal lives with our friends or co-workers?

I don’t remember ever doing that, let alone the last time I had a screaming match at work or ran down the hallway with my shoes in my hand to get to a meeting I was late for.

Watching the adrenaline rush of vice-president Selina Meyer’s office in Veep is addictive. Lines such as “I don’t have time to ignore you,” “Hey, hey it’s the flunkies,” and “OK kittens, time to get drowned,” leave my office feeling dull, flat and boring.

Just once I’d like to hear some snappy rejoinders or be witness to a nasty dust-up between co-workers. Just as long as they make up before the next episode. Or maybe I’ll just start watching The Newsroom.

Laura Lavin is the editor of the Oak Bay News.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

A lift on marine border restrictions by next summer would bring an economic gain to Greater Victoria through the cruise industry. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for opening of marine borders by summer 2022

Council to ask feds to end restrictions in time to allow planning for next cruise ship season

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Camper was found on Hollywood Crescent Wednesday night

Brooke Morneau, a previous participant in car parades, will watch one she has organized for this weekend from her Sidney workplace. (Courtesy Brooke Morneau)
Rolling show and shine ready to cruise Sidney through Saanich

Car parade past senior care homes set for Saturday, June 19

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A float plane crashed into the waters near Painters Lodge in Campbell River on Thursday morning. Photo by Alistair Taylor / Campbell River Mirror
Float plane crashes into water near Campbell River

Pilot uninjured, plane hit sandbar while landing

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Most Read