Guilty Pleasure: American Idle

13 Jan

I don’t watch much television. Generally, that’s because if I can catch an extra hour in the evening, I’m more inclined to spend it floating in my bathtub with a book or – shamefully – pissing it away on Facebook reading friends’ status updates and playing Scramble. So let’s be clear: I’m not taking a moral stance on television; there are simply other ways I prefer to waste my time.

One exception is American Idol. This show must have launched while I was living in France, because when I came back it was a full-on phenomenon, and I felt like the bus had left the station without me. Yet somehow, a few years later, I managed to stumble across it (or – more likely – was forced to sit through a couple episodes) and became hooked. I love little more than sitting on my couch and maintaining a running commentary of tweets during Idol, because *everyone* has an opinion.

Tonight is the much anticipated season premiere, in which Ellen Degeneres appears for the first time as Paula Abdul’s replacement. I hustled home from my swim to make a quick dinner, boot up my laptop and settle in for two hours of mindless fun. Only, the thing is, when I turned on my television, it wasn’t on. No. Apparently, when cable went digital, my TV stopped receiving Fox, even with a converter box.

Maybe *this* is why I don't get all the channels?

I know, I should’ve realized that months ago – after all, the digital conversion took place this fall. But would you believe me if I told you I’ve only turned my TV on twice since then, both times to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning? And besides, considering I now get not one, but *three* different channel options for the other major networks, it seems only logical that Fox would warrant at least one channel in the line-up. WTF?

Needless to say, I’m far from thrilled to realize that my plans for the evening have been completely dashed. I’ll have to resign myself to NOT being the first person to point out that Ellen doesn’t seem as loopy as Paula and that she seems to lack Paula’s trademark cleavage dent that looks like a golf ball lodged itself between her breasts. Other than that, it’s only the first episode so I’ll pretend I’m not missing much.

One friend suggested – via Facebook – that I, “head to the bar and be that girl watching American Idol alone at the bar.”  I would, but seriously, I’m not *that* addicted to it. Now, if I could kill two addictions with one stone – like, say, drinking wine while watching Idol, then – WAIT. Gotta run. Stroke of brilliance with that one, Shannon!

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