Confessions of an addict

I’ve never tried crack, or heroin, for that matter. Hell, I’m so straight-laced I’ve never even smoked a cigarette before. Last week though, I got a small taste of what addiction feels like when I started watching Heroes.

For those of you who don’t know yet, Heroes is the new blockbuster television show from the States, featuring a large cast of predictably beautiful people who begin to discover that they have superpowers. Think the ‘ooh I wish I could do that’-ness of X-Men meets the epic scale of Lost. Oh, and Heroes is actually good, whereas Lost is just frustratingly awful.
Heroes has only just started showing in the UK and can only be viewed on an obscure Sky channel, however it’s available in all its glory online at one of a multitude of websites that allow you to watch episodes of your favourite TV shows on the internet. My choice for Heroes is currently www.tv-links.co.uk.

I started to watch Heroes one evening after I’d heard about it in passing on the radio. It started off innocently enough – a quiet night when no one was going out and I had reached my limit with revision; why not check out what the buzz was about this new show? Fast-forward 24 hours: 13 episodes watched, an economics lecture missed and squat all other work done. I was a Heroes junkie, desperate for another fix. The gripping storyline and cunning use of cliff hangers, combined with the instant access provided by the internet, had just proved too much for my notoriously weak willpower to take. I had devoured episode after episode, immersing myself in a world of flying men and indestructible cheerleaders.

There are loads of other legally dubious sites springing up online allowing you to watch the back catalogue of your favourite TV shows and films. Try www.yourtvlinks.com or www.alluc.org, for example. A legal alternative well-worth checking out is Channel 4 On Demand (www.channel4.com/4od), which offers crucial student viewing, such as Hollyoaks and Peep Show, for free. It’s good to see Channel 4 taking the lead in this area.

A face you may remember from Channel 4’s past is that of Adam Buxton, one half of the Adam and Joe show. He has created quite a splash online with a number of his videos going viral over the past couple of months. Buxton’s clever manipulation of media clips, ranging from Songs of Praise to Richard and Judy to the Pope’s Funeral, clearly puts him at the forefront of internet comedy. You can see them all at www.youtube.com/adambuxton.

Another comedy talent embracing the internet is Will Ferrell, who has put his considerable clout behind the new website www.funnyordie.com. This video sharing site is solely for comedy, and was launched with quite a bit of hype recently thanks to a hilarious sketch from Ferrell himself, in which he clowns around at his very best and runs the full gambit of emotions, from aggressive to sad victim, in a matter of seconds during a confrontation with his unlikely landlord.

Anyway, I’d love to stay and tell you more, but – what can I say – there’s a new episode of Heroes to watch.