Last week I found this on my computer, and decided to spruce it up for posting, whereupon I realized it would make a great game for the party.
Except maybe for a bit of fic or message board activity, none of you knew me me prior to two years ago. Since then you've watched me fall in love with all sorts of shows - some enduring, some not - in great detail. But from the beginning, I came armed with a pack of staple series, many of which I still discuss on a regular basis. Have you ever wondered where my attachment to those came from?
Today, I thought we would wander through time with the Wayback Machine (the TARDIS was busy elsewhere) and talk about the origins of the older shows in my stable (mixed metaphors, I have them). I may have mentioned some of this before, but this time it's both comprehensive and detailed. And you can do it too! By copying and pasting the following form.
Directions: Tell us, if you would, for as many fandoms as you feel like doing...
a) When/why you started watching the show - or saw the movie(s), or read the book(s), or (insert other applicable statement here)
b) What episode, event, or influential person flipped you from a casual viewer to venturing into the fandom and/or being obsessed? And if you're not really in the fandom, what's holding you back?
* Listed in the order I started watching (but not necessarily fangirling); premiere year listed merely for easy reference
* My list consists solely of TV shows I started watching between 2000 and 2007 that are still on the air.
Important Reference Point: My first experience in fandom was X-Files, the online component of which I was involved with from 2000 until my enthusiasm petered out somewhere in 2003, briefly replaced with Lord of the Rings fever. Then I had an actual life for a couple of years, and fandom might have been just a phase in the past, until...well, all of the following:
1. CSI: 2000
a) I arrived somewhere near the end of season 1, because I loved watching Survivor with Mom (also in its first year), and she would always stick around and watch the show that came after it. Eventually she convinced me to sit still and watch it too, even though I thought the previews looked boring...and thus was born my interest in crime drama. I still like to tease her about getting me addicted, never dreaming what she'd started. She claims not to remember this at all.
b) 4 years later, "Grave Danger" blew my mind with its high-stakes energy. I wanted to know what Nick said to Grissom that we couldn't hear, so the next day I went online to find the answer, reasoning that the #1 show in the country must have at least as many fans as X-Files had. What I found was 8 pages of episode discussion on Talk CSI, and by the time I finished reading them all, I was irrevocably hooked. Thus was born my interest in internet fandom, take II.
2. Law & Order: SVU: 1999
[edit: dear God, I've known this show a ridiculously long time]
a) 2002, the summer between seasons 3 and 4: I was bored, and summer had always been my time to skip around and watch "new" shows that were timeslot-blocked the rest of the year. I had never been much for Law and Order, finding it drier and much less exciting than CSI, but I was going through a serious dearth of crime-solving, and this was better than nothing. Also better than the other two versions available, and thus became my go-to rerun in times of drought. I'm sure it was '05 or '06 before I began to watch it regularly, though.
b) I have no idea when this was, but with the random guy stabbing Olivia in the throat, my Elliot/Olivia shipping sense was activated (and since been put into suspended animation), and I realized I suddenly cared a great deal about the both of them - this wasn't just cut-and-dried crimesolving, these were characters to love!
3. ER: 1994
a) I'd grown up with friends watching it but never been especially interested myself - until summer 2002 (between seasons 8 and 9), when I was channel-surfing and it turned out to be my other summer find. Amy Jo Johnson was a patient of the week, you see, and that was that. I was already loyal to Without a Trace, but rerun and summer weeks, this became my Thursday show. Also, occasionally, my "found a random late-night rerun" show.
b) Fast-forward to fall 2005: I discover that cable airs 10 chronological reruns a week, and with my ample tape space, I consume them all, establishing my adoration for seasons 6-11 in fairly short order.
b1) The current season that year (12) was actually rather shaky and I didn't watch much of it, but the season 13 premiere, with the birth of Abby & Luka's son? That ship opened the door to Present-Day-Fandom-Love. Swiftly aided by everything in Gates' storyline (which soon enough became SARAH, SARAH, SARAH).
4. CSI: Miami: 2002
a) I started watching with the premiere (well, technically the crossover episode), because I was all giddy about seeing TWO crimes solved per week! And then Horatio's rapport with children kept me coming back.
b) It started with the fact that "From the Grave" was so jaw-droppingly good that I couldn't bear to erase it from my tape for almost two months, even though in those days I only had two tapes at a time and so *everything* got erased as soon as I finished watching. Throughout the course of the year (season 4), I gradually looked forward more to Mondays than Thursdays.
The arrival of Marisol made me sit up and take notice, but the ultimate flipper was "Driven," in which I suddenly not only fell love with the 'ship, but immediately began taping the series to save (later replaced with my first DVD sets ever), and hunting down all the canon and fan sites and everything else important there was to know.
5. Without a Trace: 2002
a) Also from the premiere - being giddy about seeing multiple crimes solved per week, I saw previews for this and figured even if CSI: Miami fell through, this one would work out.
b) There is a flipper, I just can't think of it. It might have been when Samantha got shot (season 1 finale?), or it might have been when she started dating Martin. It's always been about Miss Spade, though. Even if I would like to redact my feelings of fandomy-level love given the shape the show's been in for the past few years.
6. Cold Case: 2003
a) Been watching this from the beginning, too, because Bruckheimer did good work and I was quite addicted to crime drama.
b) My switch seems incapable of being flipped*, but I keep watching because they tell really good stories, the sountrack element is unique, and the banter between the characters is fantastic - these are very realistic people.
* = although there are rumors that it happened when Lily briefly started dating Joseph, the guy with the CATS!, whom I still miss.
7. CSI: NY: 2004
a) I started watching with the crossover/premiere, because Bruckheimer hadn't let me down yet, and I was ready for still more crime. In fact, that yearning for seeing crimes solved was the only thing that kept me there for the better part of two years, so bored was I by the characters.
b) The 1-2 punch of "Run Silent, Run Deep" (crying scene!) immediately followed by "All Access" (attack on Stella + MUSICAL ENDING MONTAGE) shocked me stupid with unprecedented quality, and I paid a little more attention for the rest of the year. In the fall, there was another 1-2 punch of "People With Money" (Mac/Peyton!) and "Not What It Looks Like" (D/L hug!), and by the time the camera froze on Danny and Lindsay, my jaw was somewhere on the floor while I was busy trying not to explode from the sheer brilliance of the 'ship fest. It had just become my favorite of the franchise.
8. Grey's Anatomy: spring 2005
a) I watched haphazardly throughout the pint-sized season 1 (missed at least the first few - I kept forgetting it was on; it'd been a while since I'd had more than one show to watch on Sunday and I never watched ABC at all), but I locked in by the season finale. To be honest, I was just looking for a medical drama, since ER was still timeslot-blocked by Without a Trace during the school year.
b) Cristina's ectopic pregnancy - or more specifically, Burke ignoring Mama Yang's warning and climbing into the bed to hold her at episode's end. Oh, I will never forget the loveliness of that moment.
9. Numb3rs: spring 2005
a) I think I watched it from the beginning, for no real reason other than "sure, let's throw another CBS crime show on the block!"
b) I don't remember being flipped, though I obviously have been, so it's a good thing I orginially wrote this document 2+ years ago. Turns out the answer is...SPY'S RECAPS! No, seriously. I don't know if there was a specific one, but according to Past Me, I was reading a number of series recaps at Fandom Talk, and the Numb3rs ones actually made me more excited to watch the show. Must have been in the first part of season 2, as in my ACTUAL HANDWRITTEN JOURNAL I also made an excitedly flaily mention of Amita abruptly kissing Charlie on the lips. I don't think that was The Moment, because I was interested by the brothers' dynamic (in a non-slashy way, thank you) first, but it's a timeline event.
10. House: 2004
a) Somewhere near the end of March in season the first, out of boredom, because my parents were totally obsessed with this show due to its high content of Hugh Laurie. I figured more medical drama was a good thing. I distinctly remember my first episode being "Heavy," and how grossed out I was by Chase's attitude about the overweight girl.
b) Upon digging into the annals of my archives, I have reason to suspect that it was the episode after Stacey kisses him - yeah, sue me, I FELL FOR SHIPPY REASONS - the whole thing was golden, but especially that wonderfully emotionally intense shouting/psychoanalyzing between House and Wilson on the roof at the end.
This in turn reminded me that that originally, the biggest draw of the show was Wilson - because Robert Sean Leonard had made such an impression on me a few years back, when we watched "Swing Kids" in history, and the character of Peter haunted me for ages.
The short answer to this question, in other words, is "Wilson." Which is still true today!
11. NCIS: 2003
a) I was bored in late April, near the end of season 2. I didn't want to watch American Idol, I wanted to see crimes solved! So I decided to watch NCIS. All I knew was that it was a spinoff of JAG, and watching JAG was like hitting myself in the head with a hammer, but...crime was crime.
b) "Red Cell" wasn't that great, but on the lure of previews, "SWAK" was the second episode I saw - Tony gets the plague! - and it was all "DAMN, THIS IS GOOD." I proceeded to watch reruns all summer, and then came the season 3 premiere, "Kill Ari." As with CSI: Miami mentioned so far above, I couldn't erase this episode for months - it was all so incredible, especially Gibbs/Abby - and I declared myself well and truly hooked. OK, it took me another three episodes to like Ziva, but once she killed that blonde woman with a knife, we were golden.
12. Lost: 2004
a) Take 1: I tried to watch from the beginning for Dominic Monaghan (LotR obsession, remember?), but I kept getting back late and missing episodes, and getting bored when I did catch it in time (Michael, Jack, Hurley. These are not winning backstories).
Take 2: The last few episodes of season 1: at the time we were getting a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, which kept running articles about it. Since school was over I was incredibly bored, so I finally gave in at "What Kate Did."
b) As summer slipped into reruns shortly afterwards, I saw the 2-hour pilot for the first time. By the end of it, with the French transmission and the polar bear and yes, the Dominic Monaghan - in addition to the Shannon/Sayid I'd glimpsed in the season finale that made me interested in watching the summer reruns - I was all "hell yes!"
IRONIC FACTOID: Although it's at the very bottom of this list, it pretty much walked hand-in-hand with CSI as I catapulted myself back into internet fandom that summer. CSI & Lost: such an integral part of 2005 that I actually dedicated a page in my college scrapbook to each one.
13. Bones: 2005
a) I came in with the second episode of season 2, having wanted to add it to my plate from the beginning but been unable to fit in season 1 due to timeslot conflicts in the days before online streaming. My only rationale was that I was still in my "I never see enough crimes solved per week!" mode.
b) After a few weeks of failing to live up to my expectations, "Aliens in a Spaceship" caused me to 1) catapult onto the good ship Hodgins/Angela and bolt myself to it, and 2) declare my everlasting and unwavering allegiance to the show.
14. How I Met Your Mother: 2005
a) I saw scattered episodes throughout the first season, mostly out of Monday night boredom when I watched the comedy block to rev up for CSI: Miami
b) *skims through archives* I guess I don't have a precise moment, but once Marshall and LIly got back together in season 2, the combination of the humor and my love for the couple turned it into my favorite show of the night.
Is that it? I think that's it! The next one after that (that's still on, anyway, and not a reality show) is The Office, and we all know that story, don't we?
There, wasn't that fun? If not, the next party will take place in four months. See you there! *waves cheerfully*