“If you ain’t on the Infamation Superhighway, baby, then whey is you?”
— Coolio, to MTV sometime around 1995 and below, around the :50 mark.
Kurt Loder was right. At least, he was right back then. In 1995, the Internet was fairly new, and the very fact that it existed was a social network on its own. You could e-mail the people you knew and maybe find some random fan nerd’s Geocities page, but other than that, your interactions with the outside world were still fairly limited. There were certainly no ways to speak to people who were famous, and if you wanted to know what they were doing on a minute-by-minute basis, you either had to have cable or you were just fucked, and probably settled for BOP magazine to come every month so that you could be reminded about some teenage boy’s favorite color. In those days, there was no Dlisted, TMZ, or Perez Hilton (is that guy still alive?). The only way you maintained a connection to the object of your affection was to watch whatever show or movie they were in, read that raggedy issue of BOP again, and maybe (if you were lame, because even I didn’t do this) write a letter to their fan club. To develop that savage, consuming, truly obsessive teengirlcrush was to live in a wasteland where information was rare and actual human contact was not something to which you could even remotely aspire.
I’m saying this because I hope it explains the reaction I had the other night when I discovered that SeaQuest DSV was on Netflix Instant.
I cannot adequately express how much I loved this awful, awful show. Yes, it was basically a low-rent underwater Star Trek and yes, Roy Scheider looked like he wanted to kill himself for being a part of it (“I was in JAWS, goddammit”), and yes, it was, as my friend Chris put it, “one of those sci-fi abortions from 1993-1995” that featured a talking fucking dolphin, for chrissakes, but Jonathan Brandis was in it, and that was good enough for me.
SeaQuest DSV aired on Sunday nights at 7:00pm. I didn’t realize it then, but now I know this as a supersweet timeslot (at least it was in the Midwest, where people eat early on Sunday evenings). Whatever network aired SeaQuest – maybe NBC? – had pretty high hopes for something that ended up sucking big time. Because the show aired at 7:00pm, there was always the risk of not being done with dinner in time for it to start. We weren’t allowed to watch TV during dinner, so although I was normally a slow eater, I’d do my best to power through my food in order to be done by the time SeaQuest came on, while at the same time praying that my parents wouldn’t say “no” just because they felt like being spiteful that day. And if the basketball playoffs were on, delaying regular programming with their interminable timeouts and stupid boy bullshit that I didn’t care about? Oh, I was apoplectic. I was furious with basketball for the longest time because it dared to delay SeaQuest in the days when the show was my only fix for the only boy I liked.
But I’m an adult now, and Jonathan Brandis committed suicide long after I grew up and stopped caring. Plus I saw an old SeaQuest episode on Syfy awhile back and it was terrible. A talking dolphin? Are you shitting me? A talking fucking dolphin? I mean, clearly I know better now. Right?
Wrong. I fucking love SeaQuest. I’ve been watching it for an hour and a half now and I’m drinking beers and I love this stupid show. I feel like an 11-year-old girl again, except this time I have better hair and my own apartment.