I know it's just a crazily unfair coincidence (though sometimes I do feel like the target of some colossally unfunny punking by the universe), but with few exceptions, I seem to spend every television season fretting over the fate of my favorite shows.
There I am, week after week, checking the numbers, clinging to some futile dream that this will be the week my shows bounce back like Rocky in the third act, only to be disappointed time and time again.
As absurd as it sounds, it often has me feeling a bit like Luke Skywalker on a mission to Endor, in a stolen Imperial shuttle, saying: "I'm endangering the mission; I shouldn't have come."
But then, this week, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the cable box.Like the single blip of a heart-monitor flatline, five of my favorite shows showed signs of life, as they each produced ratings gains for the week. Chuck, No Ordinary Family, Community, Parks and Recreation and my personal favorite, Fringe, all improved this week, and you know what? I'll take it!
Forget what the naysayers say about this being a fluke, or that I should just wait until competing shows return for the tides to turn back. This is about being able to bask in the glory of triumph for a change. It's about the ability to unclench for the first time in weeks, and the belief that rooting for the underdog is not necessarily as delusive as it may often seem.
False or not, this week, it's all about hope.
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Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.