Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Portrait of a TV Geek

It's ten thirtyish on a Tuesday night in May. What are you doing?

Me . . . well, I'm blogging (obviously) but that's not all.

I've got a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting chilling in the refrigerator to my right. Further to my right, the first stages of my inaugural potato-leek-shrimp soup is beginning to cook and meld flavors.

Why do this on a Tuesday night when most people are done cooking and are relaxing?

Well, tomorrow is the season two finale of LOST and I've been invited to a finale party. Food will be served and I am bringing soup and dessert. The attempt to make it an island theme was tossed about, but not truly expected that people will follow through very assiduously. (I doubt that mango--the Island's food of choice--will make an appearance.) Even my own dishes aren't strictly island-issue (though who knows what DHARMA drops in their hot-air balloon pallets?).

But my cake has yet to be fully decorated, so don't count me out yet. And my soup DOES have seafood in it. I bet Jin could catch some shrimp if he put his mind to it.


TV-related parties and I go back a ways. My first real commitment to total TV geekdom came in 1990 and 1991, when Twin Peaks hit the ABC airwaves. Thought the two shows are very, very different in subject, style, director, etc. there are some similarities between Twin Peaks and LOST. Both are cultish, inspiring zealots to put aside their more rational natures to suss out the clues and mysteries presented by the weekly drama.

TP had the Black Lodge, mysterious owls, BOB, and "damn fine coffee." LOST has the Swan Hatch, Lostzilla (a.k.a. the smoke monster), Alvar Hanso, and mangos.

My high schools friends and I embraced Twin Peaks with a fervor that we has hitherto reserved only for Batman, Science Olympiad, and early Coen Brothers movies. But embrace it we did, holding weekly Twin Peaks parties at each other's houses. These parties often featured some (often me) dressed up in costumes--usually a simple suit to designate F.B.I. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaughlin), and ALWAYS featured hot coffee and various flavors of pie. (Pie and coffee, if you didn't know, was a central food item in the small, tortured town of Twin Peaks.)

So, while my older sister looked on in bemused disgust, my geektastic friends and I would bliss out on the crazy, unexplained, thing that was David Lynch television.

These days, we've got LOST podcasts, mysterious websites, odd commercials and 1-800 phone numbers. Heck, we've even had ads in the New York Times and all sorts of mysterious clues surrounding the so-called "LOST Experience" game. I shudder to think what might have been done if we'd had the internet when Twin Peaks was on the air.

But it's the rabbit holes of mystery that keep me interested, both then and now. I'll be enjoying myself tomorrow night, eating good food, geeking out with my friends. What's wrong with any of that?

1 comment:

flipper said...

Whaddya mean, "no one will follow through very assidiously"? Oh ye of little faith. You're giving up pretty quickly for a self-professed theme-following, costume-wearing geek!

By the way, I might need some training in "geeking out"--not sure I've done that before. Or if I have, I was unaware that that's what I was doing. Come to think of it, that's far more likely.