Television is a fascinating thing. While it’s always played a central role in society in my lifetime, it only seems to have become bigger (is that possible?). It’s so seemingly essential today that time has been spent developing technology that allows us to watch all of our favorite shows anytime we want. And then, if you somehow — gasp — miss an episode, or you just have to watch season three again and again, the follow-up DVDs are available for purchase (whew!).

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been a big television watcher.

In our morning meetings, everyone talks about the shows they saw the night before, and I’m often left out in the cold.

Yes, I realize this isn’t necessarily something to be proud of, and so I’m trying to get to know my TV and its contents a little better. I can’t say that I’m a changed girl, but there have been baby successes.

For example, I have a friend who I’m certain watches or has watched every single show they throw on TV. The latest one he explained to me was ­Unan1mous, the one where people are locked somewhere together and can’t leave until they all vote to give one person $1.5 million. I didn’t understand how this could be the least bit interesting when he explained it, and I was still in the dark after watching it.

However, because of him, I’m hooked (and I use that word in its mildest form possible) on The Amazing Race. Now that’s interaction between people! In fact, it’s even creeped into my lexicon. When I travel with friends or family and someone begins to have a bit of a meltdown, we like to remind each other exactly how it would look on national TV.

In another example, I had dinner with a friend who tried to have a discussion with me about Desperate Housewives. But for all the press that show has gotten, it just hadn’t made it onto my list of Worthwhile Things to Do with My Time. But she begged me to give it a chance. “Please,” she said. “Then we’ll be able to talk about it!” Just what we need, I thought. Yet another topic to squeeze into our too-rare dinners.

But I bit, and I watched, and I liked. I won’t say loved, but it was good enough to keep me coming back.

Then one Monday morning, when I thought I was all cool by talking about last night’s episode, one of the girls said, “But have you watched the show that comes on right after it? Grey’s Anatomy? I really think you’ll like it.”

Aw geez. I could see the beginnings of a monster I couldn’t control. But she didn’t give up. Every week or two she’d nudge me. “Did you watch Grey’s Anatomy yet?” So finally I caved.

And I’m guessing you know the ending to this sad tale. Although Sunday used to be my favorite night to grab a bite to eat and a half-price bottle of wine at Cru, one of my favorite little restaurants, those days are long gone.

Now, my Sunday evening ends (or begins, depending on how you look at it) at six p.m. with 60 Minutes. Then I have an hour reprieve to find something to eat. After that, I’m on the couch for the next two hours, caught up in the goings-on of the desperate girls on Wisteria Lane, and then entranced by the endless drama at that hospital in Seattle.

What can I say? I’ll know I’ve gone too far when I start telling myself I need TiVo. But who ever thought I’d come this far? Never say never.

Picture of Sheri Burns