So it’s 2012 now, which seems like a date out of science fiction more than a year I’m actually living in. I’m thinking that’s a sign that this year should entail a Battlestar Galactica rewatch, or maybe diving into some literary sci-fi, which has never called to me in the same ways that science fiction television has. It’s probably time I read Ender’s Game, for example.
But this isn’t my only resolution for 2012. I made my list of personal resolutions earlier this week, the usual things like GO TO THE GYM and KEEP MY BEDROOM CLEAN. But I thought some pop culture resolutions were in order as well, and what better place to record them than here?
- Catch up on Breaking Bad and Louie. A few months ago, as you may remember, I was tearing my way through Breaking Bad, gulping down episodes as fast as my Netflix account would load them, but I stalled out when I started season 4. I’m not sure why–maybe as a defense against all the months I’d have to wait for season 5, or because Jesse Pinkman just kept breaking my heart–but I’m determined to get the rest of season 4 under my belt before the new season starts up.
I also worked through the first season of Louie in 2011, and as much as I loved it (and found myself, oddly, falling in love with Louis C.K. in the process), it somehow took me 5 months to watch 13 22-minute episodes of the show. I won’t let season 2 take another 5 months.
- Read 100 Books. This is a resolution I’ve set for the past 4 or 5 years, and the closest I’ve ever come was in 2008 when I hit 81 books by December 31st, but 2011 was kind of a dud year for me at 56 books (I recognize that this is still a pretty high number, but I know I can do better). I am also, as I did last year, going to make an effort to read more books for the first time, rather than going back to those that I’ve read before (while making allowances for my annual rereads of the Harry Potter series and Ella Enchanted), and I’ll be attempting more non-fiction, more science fiction, and at least one challenge (will this be the year I finally read Anna Karenina? Or Infinite Jest?)
- Rewatch some of the shows I’ve been putting off. I’m already 8 episodes into The O.C. (though I did find myself side-tracked this weekend by the fourth season of Wizards of Waverly Place–no regrets!), and my friend Bex and I are planning to go back to The West Wing after that. I’ve been taking on Friday Night Lights a few episodes at a time, because more than that is too much for my tear ducts to take, and now that I’ve got most of Everwood on DVD it might be time to revisit the Browns–and finally see the chunk of seasons 2 and 3 that I missed the first time around.
- Think more critically about what I watch, rather than giving in to my usual kneejerk hyperbole. As much as I, to quote Abed Nadir, “just like liking things,” and as much as that is the mission statement of this blog, I also know that if I want to pursue this passion I need to gain a little objectivity. My default reaction to TV is generally something along the lines of “OH MY GOD I LOVE IT THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER CAN I GIVE YOU ALL MY !!!!!!s” But that’s not how criticism works. This is going to be a year about taking a step back, not from loving things, but from my initial reactions.The other thing this means it that I’m going to try to respect my own opinions more. I have an inclination to trust the opinions of others over my own and I need to stop doing that. I don’t always have to agree with everyone.
- Listen to more podcasts. I’m a huge fan of Pop Culture Happy Hour, and when I can get past Nathan Rabin’s not-meant-for-earbuds voice I tend to enjoy Reasonable Discussions, but I don’t listen to that many podcasts overall. With the new year I have a new gym membership, and a new iPhone to fill with things to occupy my brain while at the gym. I’d love some recommendations for what else I should be listening to.
- See all of the Best Picture nominees. I managed this last year with a combination of good taste, Netflix and free tickets to a 24-hour screening, and it made the actual experience of the Oscars a lot more fun. I’d love to make that happen again.But probably my most important resolution is this one:
- Post to East Cupcake more often. I’m shooting for at least once a week (shh, pretend it’s not the eighth). I think that’s manageable. I’m hoping to start including more reviews, either for individual episodes as I did for Vampire Diaries‘ “The Reckoning” or for new series as they premiere or for seasons of things I’m rewatching. I’m also planning to expand East Cupcake’s scope to include pop culture in general, instead of focusing exclusively on television. You may see more about what I’m reading or what movies I’m watching, or, as I start to listen to more podcasts, you may hear about those. I would really love to see this blog flourish this year and I think expanding its focus will help with that.
I love television. The whole experience of it. I love that crackle the TV makes when you push the power button, and the fuzz of the screen coming to life. I love flipping channels and pulling up the guide to see what’s on. I love finding a rerun I want to watch, or a movie I haven’t seen in years, or a Law and Order marathon. More than that, I love the anticipation of a new episode. I love turning the TV on with a specific purpose. I can associate that feeling all the way back to elementary school and the knowledge that I could find an episode of Clarissa Explains it All on Nickelodeon at 6 (5 Central) every weekday afternoon.