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Caitlin Sweeny Headshot

A Fan's Ode to Television

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There's nothing better than a good story, especially one you can obsess over with a friend. Whether it's freaking out over the musical number at the end of How I Met Your Mother while in Paris when you should probably be sightseeing instead, sobbing when The Doctor says goodbye to his companion at the end of series two, or having heart palpitations over the latest twist on The Vampire Diaries (which is a weekly occurrence in my life) -- good TV makes life better. It makes me want to go to there.

I convinced my best friend to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time when we were 15. Having been a loyal fan since Buffy first rode into Sunnydale in 1997, I was offended that Kristen had never watched it and seemed to have no interest. Challenge accepted.

Luckily, DVD boxed sets were still new and cool in the days before blu-ray or video on demand and I was an avid collector. We popped the first disc in one Friday night with a fellow Buffy enthusiast and, about five or six episodes and 'NO COMMERCIALS' dances later, Kristen was hooked.*

After Buffy, marathoning movies and TV shows became our thing. Whether it was That 70s Show, The Vampire Diaries or the ultimate marathon, The Lord of The Rings Extended Editions with commentary, we would sit there, eat our candy and watch the hell out of whatever was on the TV. The only show I haven't been able to get her into over the years is Doctor Who, which is obviously her fault and not mine because Doctor Who is fantastic and she has bad taste.

Without TV, I don't know if Kristen and I would still be such good friends. She transferred to a fancy schmancy private school when we started high school and we saw less and less of each other until something nerdy was brought up at some mutual gathering and we began our marathoning ways. TV saves lives and friendships, true story.

Not only did TV save my friendship to lifelong BFFL Kristen, it also introduced me to my college BFF and TV soulmate. We both worked at the student newspaper and, being cut from the same creepy cloth, had internet-stalked the other writers to see who was friend material and discovered that we both had awesome taste in everything, TV especially. One casual Firefly mention at a news meeting and a staff party later, we were best buds.

Those aren't my only examples of TV's healing influence on my life but they're the highlights. There are more over the course of my twenty-something geeky years -- many Veronica Mars themed, involving 'OMG THAT SO WASN'T JUST A MOMENTARY THING' and 'I saw you commented on a picture of me with Kristen Bell on this website. I found your AIM through Facebook. Hi.'

I guess my point is that, while I certainly don't think everyone who likes Buffy or Battlestar Galactica is for me -- seriously, I've been to Comic con and those people frighten me -- some of the best TV has helped me make the best of friends.

So thank you, TV. Not only do I have friends because of you but also I will not be ashamed of my inner Liz Lemon, I will do my best to be as sassy as Veronica Mars and I will always strive to be at least half the intergalactic space president that Laura Roslin was.

*Before DVR, watching any TV show without having to sit through the commercials was effing cool. We still do the 'NO COMMERCIALS' dance on occasion. It's best described as a combination of the Hokey Poky and a cat spazzing out after getting too close to water.

Around the Web

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series 1997–2003) - IMDb

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - TV.com