The flickering light of a TV set has a power unlike any other.
Its magnetic force sucks you in with its tractor beam pull, much like the Millennium Falcon being drawn into the bowels of the Death Star.
Once caught, the audience is held captive regardless of whats actually unfolding on the screen.
Case in point. I was totally glued to the screen at a friends house about three weeks ago gripped in a fevered anticipation watching... a logrolling contest.
I couldnt help it. My eyes just zoned and fixed in a catatonic stare.
Whether we like it or not TV is the prime source of "entertainment" in todays society, which is why I was a little hesitant about opting out of getting cable in my new house.
Ill willingly admit that Ive logged my fair share of hours in front of a TV set throughout my life.
Start singing "Come and knock on our door" and immediately Im 10 years old again, sitting next to my brother in the family room, giggling hysterically along with the stilted laugh track. Every sexual double-entendre between Jack, Janet and Chrissy went right over our heads but we still loved it.
And we never really understood all the family antics at South Fork the cheating, the lies, the family bickering over Ewing Oil. Or, more importantly, how Bobby Ewing could step out of the shower, miraculously back from the dead, after a whole season had gone by.
It didnt matter that producers had the gall to explain away the season as a dream, Dallas remained a regularly scheduled Friday night event for the whole family.
It was an institution, much like roast beef dinner on a Sunday night.
Growing up in the 80s, with my neon socks and feathered hair, I watched the Cosby kids, Keaton kids, Seaver kids, grow up with me.
Remember when Theo got an earring? Or when Alex was hopped up on speed to study for his exams?
Strangely enough, their parents always seemed to be so understanding about all of their mistakes.
By the time I had moved on to high school we were all effectively participating in mass hysteria and creating cultural icons out of the stars of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.
Everyone was glued to the screens.
It was the Dallas of our time. The same intrigues and power struggles, the same backstabbing and love affairs. Instead of a wealthy, Stetson-wearing, Texas-drawling clan, this time it was spoiled, selfish, beautiful kids tearing through Beverly Hills and of course, hanging out at the Peach Pit.