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Interrupting these programs for a Lenten intervention

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Laura Lewis

The cartoon in my New Yorker desk diary this week is supposed to be funny, as are most New Yorker cartoons.

“I’m giving up Google for Lent,” a woman announces to her husband as he’s cruising the computer in the depiction.

Actually, it is funny. But it also correlates with what I’m seriously trying to do this week by giving up television.

There really hasn’t been anything good to watch on the boob-tube since Captain Kangaroo and I went our separate ways in 1962. He and Mr. Green Jeans had a younger, up-and-coming crowd of preschoolers to entertain, and I needed to move on and start learning “Dick, Jane and Sally” books in first grade.

It’s taken me this long to realize that reading—something more advanced than “see Spot run,” preferably—is superior to TV.

That still hasn’t stopped me from channel-surfing in a futile attempt to discover something worth watching. (The Discovery Channel, by the way, is pretty good, which is probably why I rarely watch.)

Even with the invention of the remote control and a passel of new channels, it’s difficult.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to watch. I’m saying there’s too much. Hence, my latest Lenten resolution.

Before Ash Wednesday and the 40 days and nights of self-imposed deprivation, however, there was Fat/Shrove Tuesday and the long weekend before that.

This past weekend, I started “cramming” in the craziest shows before the reformation officially arrived Wednesday. I almost made myself sick.

How many episodes of “Real Housewives”—Orange County, New York or Atlanta editions—can a body digest?

Even if it is the new season, it still has that nauseating Simon and Alex and their pushy Brooklyn selves on the NYC/Hamptons social circuit. It’s déjà vu and hurl-time all over again.

Those two alone are enough to make anyone give up TV-watching forever. So why do I keep tuning in?

It’s a clear-cut case of I-know-it’s-bad-for-me-but-I-can’t-help-myself television addiction. And I’m doing research.

“Millionaire Matchmaker” is even worse. Bravo keeps airing reruns of that know-it-all Patti Stanger, whose “expert” matches never seem to stick. When she asked a redheaded candidate if she was willing to dye herself into a more appealing brunette, my offended self changed the channel in a huff.

Monday, while most of TV-land intelligentsia was dialed into “24,” a highly lauded show I have yet to watch, I was absorbed in “the women tell all” on “The Bachelor.” How disgusting is that?

Fat TV-Tuesday gave me one more day of excuses for tuning in, starting early with the news and weather, which at least still have some credibility, maybe, then the Today Show.

Tuesday night, if we met newspaper deadline early enough and there’s any spare time, I might catch one more glimpse of “American Idol,” which I need to give up after too many seasons of TV overload.

I’m tuning in one last time, just to see what I’ll be missing.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or e-mail llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.