The other day I woke up with a terrible flu-like thing that basically rendered me unable to get out of bed. It really sucked. But, after I had begged off work for the day and dragged myself downstairs for a cup of tea, I curled back up in bed with my laptop and began streaming some Girls, where no matter how terrible or how out-of-control I feel, it’s never worse than what’s happening with Hannah and co.
I think Girls is one of my favourite sick day binge shows. Everyone is flawed and terrible and they don’t look super-polished, which is nice when you’re a walking zombie.
I was very quickly distracted by the angst-ridden growing pains on display and started to feel a little less sorry for myself. I felt my mood lift as I watched other people adulting terribly, and I even managed to laugh a little. As I ploughed through the fourth episode in a row, it occurred to me that I am maybe just a little dependent on TV, almost like it is a person in my life.
"No matter how terrible I feel...it’s never worse than what’s happening with Hannah and co." Image: HBO.
When I’m sick I lean on it for comfort, familiarity and to make me feel better, just like I might a partner or a friend. Which led to think about all the other ways I’ve subtly begun to substitute my favourite characters for real human beings.
Sometimes, after work when I’ve had a long or stressful day, I like to come home, pour a glass of red wine and watch The Good Wife, where Alicia will keep me company while I nurse my drink, and where all my problems will pale into insignificance when I remember she’s the estranged wife of a corrupt governor who works at the world’s most take-over obsessed law firm.
If I need to really relax, and not have think about anything (and really, sometimes that is the best way to spend an evening) I turn to Nashville and its glorious soapy intrigue. Also Connie Britton’s hair is amazing.
Who would think that a bunch of country music stars could make for a relatable cast of characters? But Juliette Barnes, Rayna James and Deacon Claybourne actually manage it. I am pretty sure Connie Britton and her fabulous hair can do no wrong, and she is just so full of reassuring parenting advice that it makes the distance between my family in Brisbane and my home in Sydney seem significantly less. (My Mum has pretty great hair too, come to think of it.)