By Sue Murphy
I cannot tell you how happy I was to see live golf broadcast on TV last weekend. It was like a cosmic sign that the universe had decided that life would indeed go on. Sure, the golfers had to stand six feet apart and schlep their own bags, but they stood at a real-time tee, took their swing, and a real-time ball lifted heavenward to land on the fairway … or in the bunker. It really didn’t matter. The point was that it was happening right that moment and wasn’t simply a re-airing of some tournament the network had dug out of the vault.
We’ve relied heavily on our TV’s these past few months. They brought us news updates and Zoom talk shows and glittering specials where celebrities went to great lengths to make themselves look unglittery like us, their adoring public.
Friends of mine took the opportunity to binge-watch TV series they had missed the first time around or revisit ones they had loved before, watching the episodes in straight succession until they could proudly (and breathlessly) announce that they had finished every last one.
Not me. I’m not a binge watcher. I’m more of a stingy watcher. If I really, really like something, I want it to last as long as possible, so I ration the episodes out, one every few days, to make sure that I do not reach the end too quickly. I started the quarantine with a medicinal rewatching of my stash of funny movies, airing one each night, and when I came to the end of the stack and a little bit of fear set in, I rented a few more.
After that, I moved on to my British mystery arsenal, which you’d think would undo those laughter endorphins, but I find the main characters solid and soothing and just vulnerable enough that I would love to meet them for fish and chips in a pub in Midsomer or Northumbria, if they truly existed.
Each series has seven back seasons, and I have been doling them out like fine Godiva chocolates. I’m the same with actual Godiva when I can get it; I allow myself one piece a day, savoring each one, even when all that is left is the maple cream, which I dislike as much as I can dislike any kind of chocolate, which is minimal.
I’m currently in the middle of season four on both mystery series, so I feel safe at the moment, but a part of me is already looking down the road to their inevitable ends and wondering where in the world I will go next. The struggle, albeit petty, is real.
I have tried very hard not to think about the loss of the 2020 Summer Olympics, my only binge-watch event. For two weeks every two years, I sit glued to the TV, happily watching skiing and luge in the winter years, swimming and running and gymnastics in the summer. Now the whole Olympics process is in suspended animation, the venues empty, the vendors trying to figure out what to do with all that leftover popcorn.
It will all work out. It will. Already, they’re talking about going ahead with the fall college football schedule. With fans? Without fans? Players tackling each other from six feet apart? I’m not sure how they’re going to manage it and I’m glad I’m not in charge. My job is to sit and patiently wait.
Until then, there will be golf. One guy, one club, one ball and the hole hundreds of yards away. Live. And I’m so grateful.