The percussion of African drums slowly grows from a faint murmur.
As it gets louder, you think it might just be Jumanji, but the Elton John-penned ballad that starts to play confirms this isn’t the case. Soon, the noise is all around you, and things become clear ... There’s more to be seen, than can ever be seen. … an unavoidable stampede, a media blitz. Get out your remotes, it’s ...
The ciiiiiiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiife!
September’s here, which can mean only one thing (Actually, that couldn’t be less true. September means so many things. Among them: Labor Day; football; people deciding that yeah, it’s OK to eat pumpkin-flavored stuff again; kids in school; long-sleeved shirts; it’s the ninth month of the year; the birthdays of both Dan Marino and Tyler Perry.): the new television season.
Summer reality fare wraps up, spring cliffhangers unhang and DVRs fill up again. Old favorites return, but there’s an entire new swath of shows to take in. And man, do the networks want to make sure we know about it.
Magazines, radio, television, newspapers, billboards, cereal boxes (even ones not for kids) — the promos are everywhere. And, much like the trailers that come before movies, they’re good at what they set out to do: I end up wanting to watch everything. For example, “Animal Practice” is a new show about a veterinarian with a sidekick monkey in a doctor’s coat. Really. I can tell it’s probably not going to be good, but gosh darn am I curious after seeing a commercial or two.
So with interest piqued in the new crop of shows and an anticipation for ones returning, I have to budget my limited time to consume all this media. Unfortunately, there’s no Potter-esque television Sorting Hat that can decide what new shows are worth watching (“You like ‘Lost,’ westerns and dry humor … poof … you will watch ‘Vegas,’ ‘Revolution,’ ‘The Mindy Project’ and hate-watch ‘Animal Practice.’ Stay away from ‘Nashville.’ ”). So it becomes a competition of the fittest — a pack of wildebeest charging, my lack of interest being the hyenas picking off what’s too old or tired to keep up (ahem ... “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) or what is evident can’t hang after an episode or two.
It’s an exciting time. There’s a certain crush when you realize there’s too much to watch, a certain thrill to finding a new show you really like and a certain empowerment to saying, “You know what, old show? I don’t need you anymore.” (And suddenly I am weirded out that I’ve clearly been dating too many television shows.) September is the beginning and end of the circle of television life — which is probably the top of the circle because basic geometry states circles don’t really have a beginning or an end, but the top is where people usually start — and it should be celebrated as such with parties on the savanna and baboon priests.
Or celebrate with just a bowl of popcorn on the couch — while pretending to be a hyena, of course.
Andy promises to stop putting “The Lion King” into his columns.