The Great Escape

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Who hasn’t done their fair share of experimenting with escapism over the years? Sometimes, it’s veered towards the not so wholesome for me, while other times I became so fixated on being fit and healthy that my form of escapism involved pushing myself (too) hard and didn’t end up feeling like escapism at all. I’m not so much escaping into exercise and yoga lately, even though I really do want to get back into that groove. But nope, these days I’m mostly escaping into my books (reading those I’ve got and researching those I want to read next), there’s a bit of drawing that gets done, and then (and it feels strange to admit it): there’s night time television. I’m absolutely obsessed with cop shows and doctor shows. Not all of them mind you, I’ve got my favourites but whichever one it may be, there’s something irresistible with that whole formula — the show always starts with people either dead or on the brink of a horrible death, and they always always manage to resolve things within 50 minutes. While it’s not like everybody lives happily ever after, at least you know who the bad guys are, or what strain of horrible bacteria paralyzed the patient this week. The sense of closure is addictive — because let’s face it, how many big problems get solved like that in real life? — I can even coast on that closure sensation several minutes after the show has ended, sometimes even more. It’s a good high.

The whole nighttime television thing started at my grandmother Sonia’s. We’d sit the three of us in a row, my grandmother, me and my father on her couch at her flat near Haifa, watching cop shows which had Hebrew and Arabic subtitles at the bottom of the screen. I specifically remember being all of ten years old and watching Charlie’s Angel, and how grown-up it made me feel that I was allowed to watch it, even though it was a little bit scary for a naive young girl, and even though it would always finish well past my bedtime. Now, fast forward to nearly three decades later and I still feel like I’m just a kid. And somehow watching Law & Order, House and CSI New York still gives me that feeling that I’m doing something slightly naughty — since of course I haven’t asked for anyone’s permission — but that’s precisely what makes the whole thing just a little bit more fun.

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