I usually conjure these post titles as false leads, but in this instance, I could just write about the TV show Alias by JJ Abrams starring Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper, Michael Vartan and a few other faces you’ll recognize in every Bad Robot production made since. Premised on the idea of a young woman named Sydney (Jennifer Garner) pulling off an infinite dare of covert government capers manipulating increasingly improbably costumes and identities, Alias depends on a network of relationships Sydney develops to protect her secrets. These relationships require indefatigable trust. The trust is demonstrated by the sharing or protecting of secrets. For example, the secret that is: who is the real person under all those aliases.
The relationship between secrets and trust confuses me quite a bit but more on that elsewhere, at another time.
I have watched the entirety of Alias (which was a weekly network television show for YEARS), several times. The number of hours represented by this activity would meet matriculation requirements for an advanced degree.
We all know why we binge-watch shows like this. I used to believe it was important to unwind my brain with mindless tv entertainment. That’s how self-serious I was about the way I spent the rest of my day. And I am not trying to sound like a pretentious artist when I say this but it’s been a couple years since I’ve actually been able to watch television. I have had to lie about keeping up with most shows, until something like Mare of Easttown barrels through the region and even then I nibbled an episode at a time and lived to regret it.
Television is medicine I don’t need right now but I think fondly of the odd hours I used to spend supine on a sleeper couch insisting on staying up for another episode, watching midnight turn to 2, 3, 4am.
The only difference between the person 10-15 years ago who would watch Alias for hours on end and the person today who still stays up all hours of the night in front of a screen (now, a laptop or phone), is the state of my body. It has different needs now. It’s the lying flat that I can’t do anymore. So here I am, sometimes dancing sometimes flailing in the middle of the night, and I am close so close, to becoming the entertainment you can fall asleep to.