Sudden Waning Interest Syndrome

Teeter Totter In our local paper, Ruben Navarette Jr. writes with fair weather passion about “Judging the ‘Idol’ judges.” In a recent post in Parenting Teens, an overly-protective author writes about the “courage, commitment, and determination” of the “plucky” teenage performer, Sanjaya. In “Chinks in the ‘Idol’ armor?” Verne Gay puts on a spin worth considering about the change in AI’s rankings. It doesn’t matter, because as the television world turns…

…the RT, MoH and I have reached the tipping point — that funny intangible place in our house where, after a couple of years of watching something together on television to unwind, the fascination is suddenly gone. We don’t need to know what happens next because Elvis has left the building.

We’re the oblivious types who are usually late to the really popular bandwagons others jump quickly on — and not fashionably. We have been known to smack-talk in our small circles with smug comments of, “Don’t people have anything better to do?” Ahem — I currently fall into the category of those previously judged as not having anything better to do, because I’ve been at home all day and have most likely done “it” already. Or, have decided that I’ll put it off until tomorrow — which is more accurate.

Our habit of perpetual tardiness to pop culture raves must have something to do with needing to resist status quo, retain individuality, or simply fly the bird at lemmings in general. Remember that unfortunate student who stood in front of the line of tanks in Tiananmen Square to demonstrate against the Chinese government? Well, okay, maybe not a fair analogy, because his act took real, live, unbelievable courage, and flat-lining about a television show doesn’t come close.

Actually, our malaise is most likely about television in general, because we’re good for about two or three hours a week, and then we’re done. I’ve seen one episode of Survivor, maybe four years ago, have never seen Desperate Housewives, or The OC, and am not really sure about what Lost is. Maybe I’m lost. We just got on to the 24 bandwagon and spend entire evenings saying, Huh? because we can’t figure out who some of the characters are or where they came from. My television revolves around What Not to Wear, but that’s because I should be their poster child. And since I’m caught up on the reruns, I have a great deal of time on my hands to clean toilets and stuff.

Great television shows such as ER and The West Wing have fallen victim to my family’s Sudden Waning Interest Syndrome. As for music, I’ve noticed that it happens when someone gets a new CD or discovers a new singer, listens constantly, and then stops. Just like that. Or, what about riding the wave of a new author who strings you willingly along for three or four books until you realize the next one will be essentially the same. Do you keep reading her books? You like them, but aren’t there so many different authors you are interested in reading? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends, right? So do we persist out of true interest, or complacency?

The elusive tipping point was reached last night at our house when the MoH stated, after watching the DVR’d version of American Idol, that it wouldn’t bother him if he never watched the show again. I nodded and drew a shallow comparison to how we’ve felt when, after rooting for the home football team in the playoffs, they lose unexpectedly after a terrific season– and to a team that was not as good. You can have many reactions to this event:

  1. You’re blase. The team is now out of the running, so you couldn’t watch them if you wanted to — whatever;
  2. Or, you’re let down that your team lost and now there won’t be anything to look forward to except March Madness and then baseball season!
  3. Or, you’re disgruntled, because the other team just wasn’t that good. And hopefully you’ll get over this one, because in the grander scheme of things, it doesn’t matter, right? I mean, really.

So why have we — my family and I — reached the tipping point with American Idol? It’s just a television show. You can think about the spunk and tenacity of the performers, you can imagine what it might be like to be in their shoes, you can snark about or defend a particular singer, or not. It’s entertainment. That’s all. And when it isn’t entertaining any more, you can switch the channel, catch up on your DVR list, or…turn off the television.

Even Shirley Bassey says The Party’s Over…until next week when Ryan Seacrest says, “It’zzz…..Ahhhhh……MER……ican…. IDOL!!!!!!





8 responses to “Sudden Waning Interest Syndrome”

  1. Yeah, I kinda feel the same way…but yet I’m still drawn to AI. I think it’s because for some reason, AI is still the number one show on TV. Even higher than my Greys Anatomy.

    I like your book analogy. I think Mitch Albom fits the bill on that one.

  2. Hi Cherann,

    Sigh. I know. It always feels a bit bad leaving the party before everyone else has gone home. It’s probably genetic. And Grey’s Anatomy? I’ve seen it once and liked it–the one about the ferry sinking — but can never remember to turn it on. See? Losers! And as far as the authors go, I was thinking Anita Shreve. I’ll have to take a look at Albom.

  3. I couldn’t even get myself to watch AI last night – everyone in my family is bugging me to get on the bandwagon because my sisters love to have AI parties (have a few beers and yell at the TV). I was so into it 1 year but then I had the “waning interest syndrome”. House is another show I’ve been told is awesome but I can never be bothered to turn it on or tivo it. Oh well, since I’m on the computer WAY too much I’m sure I’ll get carpel tunnel syndrome soon enough and have to move away from my computer then I’ll be searching for some good ‘ole TV shows 😉

  4. Yeah, I pretty much feel the same way. Especially with IA. I couldn’t have been more excited in the weeks prior to the first show (and by that I mean the first show when they get the, what is it? 32 contestants? I can’t stand the tryout shows anymore) in anticipation of this year’s hopefuls.

    And then Sanjaya cried on his sister’s shoulder after he got in and she did not. So I rolled my eyes and just hoped he wasn’t going to be a big blubbery cry baby the whole time he was on.

    Color me surprised when it became apparent that either America is smoking crack and/or the show is fixed. I’m so over Sanjaya and that creepy 1,000 watt smile of his that I just don’t care about what happens anymore. I already know that Latisha, Ms. Doolittle (I also don’t believe she’s as sincerely modest as she tries to come off) and Jordan Sparks will get into the business in some way, be it an album deal or broadway – so what else is there to know?

    Oh wait, I know! The burning question.. when Blake (is that his name?) gets his recording deal (be it just because he can sing or because he wins the whole thing) will he continue the ridiculous beat boxing or will he grow the fuck up and just sing with his pretty, pretty voice?


  5. Uhhh less than my first cup of joe.. not dyslexia.. AI not IA. *sigh*

  6. Hi Deb, I like the whole concept of “partying” over AI, because screaming at the television like the MoH does when watching sports would be something new for me. Plus food and booze is involved. Where do I sign up?

    And Lisa, I think you’re on to something with IA — “Inert Avengers?” It could work here… And the RT loves that beat box thing Blake does, so he’s got that age group wrapped up. If Blake wins, he’ll be set, because all those kids will buy his stuff —

  7. Ugg. This looks like a really interesting post, but I am so tired I cannot focus well enough to read! I did see that you do not watch Survivor. There must be something wrong with you >giggle>

    I watch AI, and I actually am beginning to like Sanjaya and I wonder what is wrong with me.

  8. Hi Hummie,
    Sorry about the long post. I have lots of words — hahah! But I’ll be back tomorrow in rare form to talk about AI….and other things about our society! Thanks for stopping by!

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