One of the perks of living in France is that you get exposed to American pop culture in much smaller doses that you do, say, living in an apartment on the Upper East Side with subscriptions to the New York Post, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, and Tivo (Actually, I’m a little nostalgic for the last few items on the list). Believe it or not, I used to be fairly in the know!! but over the last two years I’ve found I can no longer quote the Queer Eyes by heart, I don’t know who Ashton Kutcher is Punking these days, and I have no idea who half the actors are in the American movies we get over here. I’m free from the barrage of must-knows and must-haves, and though I went through a slight period of withdrawal at the beginning, now I just feel much more peaceful.
Every time I fly home, whn I get off the plane at JFK and stand in that line waiting to get through passport control, they always have a bunch of TVs hanging from the ceiling, all turned to CNN or Fox News, and I stare at them gape-mouthed as I wind my way through the line, amazed at all the colors and moving pictures and the scroll-thingy at the bottom. It takes a real thirty seconds or so of adjustment before I slip back into my old "savvy New Yorker" skin, and it usually takes several days before I stop saying "Pardon, excusez-moi" when I bump into someone, and a few more days before I stop saying anything at all (we New Yorkers are far ruder than the French in this respect, it’s true!).
One of the downsides of being out of the US is that I really do miss certain aspects of our culture– for example, certain television shows. Listen to this: I’ve been out of the country for the entire duration of the Desperate Housewives obsession. I’ve never seen an episode in my life! I don’t know who these women are, or why they’re so desperate! I’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy, though it does sound like a hoot! and worst of all, there’s a new season of 24 and The Sopranos and I’m missing them! The agony!
For awhile there I was catching episodes of Gilmore Girls by downloading fuzzy episodes on Limewire. I’ve stopped doing that, though, because of the questionable quality and, um, legality. My old roommate Rémy [not to be confused with friend Remy] got me into Lost through his downloaded episodes from seasons one and two. But he moved out right after Shannon got killed and I’ve been in limbo every since.
However, I have just discovered to my unending joy that you can now download television shows on iTunes! It’s two bucks an episode but who cares! it’s legal! and the quality is good! and now there’s always something to watch on my computer, anywhere there’s wifi access! I’ve been sick in bed all week, but I haven’t minded because I’ve caught up on Lost! I’m right there with you, USA!
So now, I’ve turned my attention to Desperate Housewives on iTunes. I’m going to start watching them this weekend with a friend who has the DVD box set, but I’ll probably need to watch a few on my own… and guess what I’ve learned.
All of the titles of the episodes are taken from Stephen Sondheim songs. Ok, not all, but most: "Pretty Little Picture," "Anything You Can Do," "Move On," "Every Day a Little Death," "Your Fault," "The Ladies Who Lunch," "There Won’t Be Trumpets," "Children Will Listen," "Live Alone and Like It," "Fear No More" (from the quite obscrure The Frogs!) and my favorite, as you well know– "Sunday in the Park With George."
Oh my god. Writers of Housewives, I salute you. From across the pond, you have won my allegiance. Can’t wait to start downloading!