This column is for Sam.
And for Burt.For Paige and Lauren.
Gavin and Patrick.
Heather, Lucas, Cherie, Kate, Steve and Hillery - e-mailers, letter writers, phone callers, fellow TV zealots all.
Season's over. Reruns till August. Be bold. Be radical. Not a bad time to try new things.
Like sleeping. Like eating. Like cleaning that disgusting mess in front of you.
Reintroduce yourself to society. Date. Play with your kid. He's a year older, you know.
Go to work.
Laugh with a real person.
Salivate over someone other than Dylan McDermott. He doesn't know you're alive.
Stop dressing like Ally McBeal. You don't have the legs, sweetie.
Unchain that remote from your wrist. It looks ridiculous.
Brandon and Kelly from "Beverly Hills, 90210?" Got hitched.
Angel and Buffy from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer?" She took the dude out.
Jamie and Paul of "Mad About You?" It's a girl.
Why sit through another episode of that creepy dancing baby? Ally jiggled with him, right?
You know. You were there. You laughed, you cried, you cheered when Renee kung-fu'ed that guy into submission.
We know who gets slugged, mangled and shot, but we watch anyway. We know the joke but laugh anyway. We know how the love matches end, but it's nerve-racking nevertheless.
Where's the anticipation, the suspense, the shock? We know everything that comes, when it comes, why. We know what Jerry will say, what Kramer will do, what George can't say, what Elaine won't take. We know they end up behind bars.
We know Charlie lives.
We know Urkel dies. Canceled, anyway.
We know Ellen's gay.
We know that Sipowitz recovers, that Diane and Bobby wed, that Lt. Fancy will inquire, "Is everything OK?"
It's annoying when our friends repeat stories, or tell the same joke twice. But let a rerun pop up, and we're zombies. Glued to the tube. Eh, didn't you see this before, bud?
Sure you did. Twice, probably.
So find the will power. Dig deep. Reach back. Don't fall into the TV trap, even though the flashback marriage episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was a hoot.
Even though the episode where Carol tells Doug right there in the "ER" to wait, to hold off, you chase me for a change, was a delicious delight.
Even though Bailey and that cute little Sarah play a romantic game of will-they-or-won't-they on "Party of Five."
Even though "Frasier" is, day in and day out, an utter joy.
Even though I loved the episode of "The Practice" about sucking elbows. And the one where they bowl over the egotistical suits representing the tobacco companies.
And the one where the kid looks at his lawyer dad and proudly says, "You get guilty people off, don't ya, dad."
Been there, done that.
Hang in there. Be tough. Be strong. Don't watch. They're reruns. You've seen 'em.
Just three months. Just three.