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TV On DVD Has Canceled My Real Life For the Summer

4 Jul, 2003 By: Thomas K. Arnold

On our nation's birthday, I must issue a call, a plea, a request. To all the studios and suppliers who are releasing TV shows on DVD, please STOP. You are killing me.

I've had friends who have been hooked on booze. I've known people who were addicted to drugs.

I've stood by their side, held their hands and whispered words of encouragement as they tried to exorcise their demons — and I've felt their pain at the futility of battling their addictions, those wicked, tantalizing cravings that lure you in and then refuse to let you go.

Now, I'm at the edge of the abyss myself. I'm bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, and yet I can't get enough. I stay up until midnight, which means I'm only getting six hours of sleep — and that's during the week. On the weekends, forget it.

Curse you, Paramount, for “CSI.” This one's got the added bedevilment of making me want to search for clues, for trace evidence, of any kind. Who ate the last handful of popcorn? Who stole my Hot Body DVD? Who took the last chocolate chip cookie? Ah, let's see, there are crumbs right outside Don Rosenberg's office.

I've just come off a two-week bender in which I watched all episodes of “NYPD Blue: The Complete First Season” — two dozen hourlong shows, crammed into 14 days and nights.

Now I'm on a “CSI” binge — and as if that wasn't bad enough, I just received the complete series — not season, mind you, but series — of “The Twilight Zone,” one of my all-time favorite television programs. That's five years of shows, probably more than 80 hours in all, and I'm going to run with it. Right now, I'm watching two “Twilight Zones” and then capping off the night with a “CSI”

But I tell you, that pace is hard to keep up. I've got movies stacking up all over the place — good ones, too, like The Pianist, Gangs of New York, The Hours.

I won't even pretend to have time to watch them, but I have established a “play pile” and put them in it.

They're right there by the bookcase, underneath “24 Hours,” “Buffy Season 4” and God knows what else has come in this past week.

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