Remember in those old TV shows when the family would gather around the television for dinner? Well that's how it was in my house growing up. Every night, dinner would be ate in the living room with some show blearing and the kids -- all three of us -- trying not to choke while we either laughed or gasped at what was playing.
We had few traditions in our house, but dinner time TV was one of them. Thursday was reserved for NY Undercover and McDonald's. While everyone else in the world hated Monday's, my brother and I loved them. We had pizza, two wrestling programs, and Monday Night Football. What wasn't to love?
As we grew, we drifted a bit, as brothers do. But we were always home on Monday night to have our pepperoni and bacon pizza and watch grown men in tights beat what little sense they had left out of each other. My friends never understood why I would leave whatever we were doing and make sure I was home by 7:45 to be fully ready for the top of the hour. This was the Roszko boys' bonding time.
Over the years our tastes in shows changed and our lives have to match. I'm still living in New York, while my brother, Anthony, has gone on to join the military and live in Germany, Texas and Kentucky. With a few stints in Iraq and Afghanistan peppered in there somewhere. We still make sure we're home as soon as possible on Monday to catch wrestling and football though. Constant text messages and even a few quick phone calls are a given throughout the night.
I briefly lived with him and his wife in Kentucky, and it was a thrill watching her react to the inside jokes and old references we'd make to long ago canceled shows. We still did our Monday night thing of pizza, football and wrestling, but we added an equally amazing new tradition the lineup. How I Met Your Mother.
In my humble opinion, the greatest show ever made. What started out with me telling him "dude, you have to watch this. Doogie is a douche. It's awesome." And him telling me that it 'doesn't look that good,' soon became "Oh man! I'm sorry I ever doubted you. This is the best show in the history of the world!" One point for the gentleman with insanely large comic book collection.
Our Tuesdays were a countdown to Sons of Anarchy. Wednesday were usually the day we caught up on the DVR of shows we didn't get to catch, or we'd just play Madden or read comics. Thursday was pretty much the same. The real thrill came on Friday.
To start the weekend off correctly in the Roszko household, three things were needed; whiskey, Smallville and Supernatural. I always laughed when, as punctual as the annual JLA/JSA team-up, at 7:58pm, Anthony would say "it's not the comic book Superman. It's a different universe. In this one Clark is a whinny little brat and he doesn't fly."
You see, my brother is a huge Superman fan. So much so that the show broke his heart for ten long, long, painful years. Every time he thought it had a glimmer of hope, it would be snatched away by the "Red/blue blur." Yeah, that was Superman's name for about 4 years. It was pure torture for him to sit there and watch his favorite character's back story get slaughtered. Needless to say, for me, it was awesome.
Another, and I'll admit my favorite, family television tradition came every year at 8 o'clock on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Story would play for 24 straight hours. We would all gather around and watch the first showing, uninterrupted. Most years my brother and I would stay up and watch it another time or two. The next day, while we were giving out presents, just sitting around, and yes, eating, A Christmas Story was playing in the background.
The television was always on in our house. It was a staple in our living room. Whenever someone was sad, happy, or just bored, television was always a sure friend to match any mood we were in. I guess that's why I get kind of upset whenever I hear someone call it the 'dummybox.' But 'boobtube' is by far my favorite euphuism for it.