CSI Las Vegas
My Television Addiction

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CSI Las Vegas - Television Addiction

By Suzanne MacNevin

Lately I've been on a CSI Las Vegas binge. I am halfway done downloading all the episodes on my computer. Some of the hard to find episodes may be trickier to find and I might end up buying the DVDs, but in the meantime its my way of relaxing after work (I teach chemistry in highschool).

There are a variety of reasons why I love the show itself. Let me try to compile a list for you:

#1. Its informative. I learn something new every episode and that information sticks in my brain.

#2. Its exciting/thrilling (so much better than the boredom of watching students goof off and chew gum all day).

#3. It has chemistry in it, including bio-chemistry which is my specialty.

#4. I like the behind the scenes romances going on. They don't get too much into it like a classic soap opera would, instead they only give us glimpses of what is going on in the lives of the characters. That way it doesn't distract from the rest of the show but at the same time tantalizes the viewer.

#5. Its a whodunnit, and frankly thats always fun. Usually there is 2 or 3 cases per episode as well, so there's technically a couple whodunnits. Twice/thrice the fun.

#6. Cinematically breathtaking. The setting of Las Vegas brings together some of America's best scenery and they capture it well with some amazing photo angles. Give the cameraman a raise.

#7. The setting of Las Vegas also provides for dramatic social commentary. It combines the best and worst of American culture. Poverty, wealth, greed, vices galore, but also the virtues of American freedom. Las Vegas is a metaphor for America as a whole.

#8. Stereotypes broken. I love it when a show breaks stereotypes. The dominatrix with a daughter, the rich old man who likes dressing up like a baby, etc.

#9. The cast: William Petersen (Gil Grissom), George Eads (Nick Stokes), Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown), Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows), Paul Guilfoyle (Captain Jim Brass), Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle), Robert David Hall (Dr. Al Robbins), Louise Lombard (Sofia Curtis), Eric Szmanda (Greg Sanders), David Berman (David Phillips). They all have their quirks and specialties. I especially like David Phillips' "nose that knows", which really isn't a personality trait but just an useful ability to sniff out scents.

#10. Pushing the limits. The weirdness. Strange events. The knowledge that this stuff almost never happens in my home city. Its fantasy to some extent, but thats another thing I like about it. If I was watching "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" or a similar Law & Order show I would get all bummed out and depressed when a murderer/rapist goes free due to lack of evidence. True, Law & Order is more accurate and realistic, but I don't want to watch things that make me depressed. I want a show that will make me happy, entertain me and even educate me.

Unfortunately my TV addiction is coming at a cost. I'm behind on marking my students and I've been gaining weight and I don't have enough time to devote to my website designing or my writing. Lack of exercise, not keeping up on my marking or my writing are all things that matter to me.

I hope however that if I can go on a binge and watch say... 20 episodes in one weekend (and try to get all my marking done while watching them) that perhaps at least I will satisfy my urge for CSI enough that I can stop watching it.

Which is a bit like saying I want to stop eating chocolate. I know its not going to happen. I'm a complete chocolate whore.

And weight wise, what am I supposed to do? Exercise while watching CSI? Perhaps. I can certainly start doing that.

Presumably I will eventually watch every episode and stop feeling the urge to watch it all the time. Its the first thing I do when I get home from work, collapse on the couch and watch CSI. Sometimes with chocolate. Eventually I'll start making supper, but I'll still be watching the show from the kitchen through the open space above the counter.

When I was in university I got really fat from eating fast food all the time. I eventually countered that with a strictly regimented diet of fried rice, vegetables and meat. It tastes wonderful and its nice to eat the same thing regularly.

Coping with my television (and internet) addiction should be easy to solve the same way. I just need to regiment it. Calculate it. Get into a system in which I only use it less a couple hours/day. Perhaps 30 mins in the morning and a couple hours at night.

Afterall I am not going cold turkey on it. But I can at least try to regiment it.

Of course the weight issue MUST be combined with exercise. No way about it. Thankfully I already exercise regularly (as part of my post fatty university years) so thats not so much of a problem. Other people with television/internet addiction may have different difficulties trying to exercise regularly.

And don't blame it on genes. That's utter nonsense. Being lazy is not genetic.

Addiction is about satisfying a want so much that it becomes a need.

Yes, I love CSI, but I don't need it.

Yes, I love chocolate and junk food, but I don't need that either.

People have gone for millenia since the last ice age without chocolate/television and all the things we take for granted. Our inner caveman may like storing up fat for the winter, and yes that is genetics, but the caveman also got a lot of exercise and wasn't pigging out on chocolate and being lazy in front of the tv.

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