Jose Reyes or Tyrie from The Real World: Denver?
That was the question my housemates and I faced one night last spring. Two members of my house were anxiously awaiting their favorite MTV show, but another one of my housemates was already watching the Mets game. I was doing some work at the time, so I wasn’t involved in the discussion, but as a Mets fan who also likes The Real World, I was torn by the dilemma. On one hand, my housemates could always watch The Real World at another time. On the other hand, we get every single Mets game and one person should not hog the T.V. for three hours every single night (or else that person might suffocate under the weight of Mets’ announcer Gary Cohen’s vast baseball knowledge).
So after contemplating this incident all summer, I decided to create a Hierarchy of Television Watching (abbreviated HOTW). The HOTW will rank all TV events in order of what should have precedence in a television conflict, with the most important television events listed first. Therefore, the first category will have precedence over all subsequent categories and so on. With many Cornell students living with a lot of other people, the HOTW is crucial in sustaining amicable relations among housemates.
Priority 1: Super Bowl, NCAA Basketball championship, BCS championship, seventh game of the World Series or NBA championship — If someone wants to watch one of these games, and you instead want to watch Pants Off Dance Off on The Fuse Network, you need to have your head examined.
Priority 2: series finales of any huge show — If you are a Sopranos fan and missed the series finale, you better hope that you take more doses of Ambien than Billy Walsh on this week’s Entourage in order to avoid finding out what happened. The same goes for the series finales of shows like Seinfeld, MASH, and Cheers. These huge moments in TV history should take precedence over most sporting events.
Priority 3: NFL conference championships, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals (non-game seven), World Series (non-game seven), NCAA Tournament Elite Eight or Final Four — Even though these games may not be the absolute biggest of the year, they still are pretty important. For example, what if you missed Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” or Michael Jordan’s “The Shot” to instead watch The Hills?
Priority 4: series finales of lesser shows, season finales of top shows — If any 24 fan misses the season finale, that person would probably turn into Jack Nicholson’s character from The Shining and be a danger to all of their housemates, as well as to Scatman Crothers.
Priority 5: any playoffs not already mentioned, the final round of a golf major, NCAA basketball tournament rounds before the Elite Eight — If your housemates prefer My Super Sweet 16 to the actual Sweet 16, you might need to live with some new people.
Priority 6: Presidential elections or any other newsworthy events – This would be higher if it was 1992, but now anyone can find out information instantly on the internet.
Priority 7: Cornell sports on TV – Some of the best Cornell sporting events — like the triple overtime hockey game against Wisconsin two years ago or the Max Seibald lacrosse game against Syracuse last year — were televised. This is always exciting, especially when announcers mispronounce Cornell players’ names.
Priority 8: regular season special events — By this, I mean if Tom Glavine is recording his 300th win, Phillies’ journeyman J.D. Durbin is in the middle of pitching a perfect game or Yankees apologist Suzyn Waldman announces that she is quitting her job and moving to a deserted island to bear Julio Lugo’s children.
Priority 9: regular season NFL games — one of the best parts of being in college is sitting around and watching the NFL on Sundays, hoping that you won’t be stuck watching the Bills. Usually, the only counter programming to football is either figure skating or televangelism, so unless one of your housemates is a cross between Billy Graham and Oksana Baiul, you better watch the NFL.
Priority 10: regular episodes of solid TV shows — When I was a freshman, my friends and I made signs every week reserving the TV for Arrested Development. With this HOTW, that hopefully will never have to happen again.
Priority 11: regular season non-NFL games (see the Local Team Corollary) — Even though most baseball fans would prefer to listen to “Another Night” by Real McCoy on repeat than listen to Tim McCarver announce a game, they can still watch him broadcasting a game on FOX every week!
Priority 12: new episodes of bad or guilty pleasure TV shows — This includes all MTV shows, any show with a laugh track or any show starring Jim Belushi or Mike O’Malley. Usually, MTV repeats all their reality shows about 100 times per week, so you will get many opportunities to watch Trisha from The Real World: Sidney disparage Parissa with third-grade insults.
Priority 13: movies on TV — Even though it is a great movie, Dave gets more exposure on TV than the law firm of Alexander and Catalano. There are other ways to watch movies than on TV with commercials and seen in “pan and scan” mode.
Priority 14: The Local Team Corollary — By going to Cornell, we have access to every regular season game of the Mets, Yankees, Bills, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Sabres. If you are a fan of any of these teams, you are in an enviable position. If one of your housemates wants to watch anything else, you should let them. You can always watch the next game tomorrow.
Priority 15: Everything else — Repeats, game shows, Nick at Nite, poker and anything else I have missed should not have priority over anything else.
Well there you have it. If you want, tape this HOTW up in the room where you keep your TV in order to minimize conflicts. Unfortunately though, some of you might still have problems. My recommendation? Invest in a DVR.
Jose Reyes or Tyrie from The Real World: Denver?