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Return brings new appreciation of television

Stephanie Deprez | Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finally, the writers’ strike is coming to an end. The weekly worship of my television set will return.

On Saturday morning, while e-mails were zipping back and forth between the east and west coast guilds, I was dancing around my room, announcing to my roommates (asleep until that moment) that our favorite shows – “House,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gossip Girl” – will be returning. Tears glistened in my eyes as I read the words: “We’re telling everyone to come in on Monday.” All I can say is that it’s about time. I don’t think I can take another re-run.

The cause for celebration is not only that “The Office” is coming back, but also that the writers successfully brought about the change they were looking for.

They will be compensated for their work being viewed on what is called “new media” (basically the Internet). But even though Hollywood is going back to work this week, it is the first time in months that TV shows will be in production, and this means that we may not get new shows for weeks. My biggest fear is that some shows will be discontinued for the season.

These past few months throw into sharp relief just how much television is integrated into my life. Even though it may not be my sole reason for living – though that is still up for debate – not having a new “House” on Tuesday nights was painful. It was like having a friend go abroad. I knew the show would come back, but it was irksome to think that we wouldn’t have any rapport for a while.

My section would gather to watch “Gossip Girl” on Wednesday nights, but once it ran out of new episodes, our weekly gatherings stopped. Television in the dorm is a social thing for me, and the lack of new episodes meant that I saw less of the people I live with.

I only realized what television means to me after it disappeared for a while. The bombardment of reality TV that I have experienced is enough to make me swear off VH1. The thin amusement of “I Love New York” just isn’t that great when I can’t balance it out with the overwhelming sap of “Grey’s Anatomy.” It really is a part of my life, a subtle string of entertainment that winds its way in and out of my life. Movies are a one-two-punch, but television is a steady stream.

It’s awkward when I don’t get to slip into someone else’s life. So praise thee, WGA, for bringing this all to a conclusion. May the Lord bless you with unpredictable plot lines and unexpected twists for many years to come.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Stephanie DePrez at sdeprez@nd.edu