Television Jet Lag

It would be a short argument if someone were to say America wasn’t the leader in television. We produce most of today’s top running shows that many watch around the world. So, as a freshman, when I was told that I would spend my junior year abroad in London, England, it was extremely exciting, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “How am I going to keep up with all of my series?” Shallow, I know.

I’m in London. I’m spending the year here studying at a great school and all I can think about is if Kate said yes on Castle or if American Horror Story is going to succeed with it’s new “Coven” line. How will I know if Nick and Jess on New Girl stay in their relationship?

At Westminster University, my day consists of talking about, discussing, and watching everything that there is to do with film and television. However, this is the mind of a television addict talking. After a few days without my returning series, I turned 16 again and went wild on Google trying to find a link to anything regarding American television. Someone out there had to be that one person to gratefully upload the episodes to the Internet.

When I was at home, my ritual was different. I would come home from work or school and head straight to my DVR to see what I had missed. My series were all recorded for me and I always had at least two or three different shows per night. I’d watch along with the people on Twitter and be a part of many conversations about how the hour would pan out. However, I don’t even have a television in my dorm now. I don’t have anything but my computer and my not-so-savvy Internet skills to get me around. But, with help from a few friends on Twitter and Tumblr, and some across the pond, I’m able to see all my series – just a day behind everyone else.

The most irritating experience was when it came to not being able to watch the Holy Grail of shows, the mecca of the small screen: The Primetime Emmy Awards. All the stars were getting ready and Instagram was going wild. Celebrities were posting pictures of dresses, red carpets, fellow actors, – my television senses were going off the charts. And it was painful. And annoying. And depressing. Just to go to bed because class was early the next day and the time difference meant that I couldn’t stay up to watch it. (And then to wake up and to Google to find that this year was just as disappointing and repetitive as last year).

When it comes to watching shows in London, I have to wait for it to air, so that means I have to stay away from most social media if it is a popular, spoiler-exposed show. Over here, the most talked about show is Breaking Bad, and if you spoil that for any brit they might just have to kill you. Although, now I have the power to spoil Downton Abbey for the true fans over in America, but that’s it. Aside from having that one upper hand, the rest of my TV viewing has me feeling “late to the party.”

However, I’ve adapted. I’m on a different schedule than my American friends and I’m able to see most of the show before anyone has actually woken up the next day. Do I want to get up in the middle of the night when there’s an answer to some insane cliff hanger, two-parter conundrum? Of course. I see Tumblr. I know the spoilers. It’s not easy. But, with furthering your education comes different rituals, and if it means being that crazy, overly dramatic, small screen fanatic, then so be it.

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