Not that long ago my football-watching had become more jaded than an aside from Miranda Hart - but that was before the Premier League got interesting.
We've become used to the Champions League dog-fight. You know - the one in which wannabes still wallowing in increasingly distant past glories get all edgy about scraping into a Chumps League qualifier in a far-flung town where they still point at aeroplanes.
The usual suspects are: Arsenal (invariably successful), Tottenham (always deprived by a distracted manager and a side-order of listeria lasagne) and Liverpool - not exactly walking alone but certainly jogging some way back from everyone else.
Occasionally Everton might loom in the distance, defying the relative evils of a small squad and a lack of funds to quite possibly out-perform the others - and still finish 7th.
Now a quick - and undoubtedly premature - glance at the table reveals a great deal of optimism for the perennial scramblers.
Arsenal, pilloried after losing to Villa first-up, have clambered neatly to the peak like a crack squad of Sherpas. Good stuff they've played too. Ozil is a delight and Ramsey a revelation. Flamini has stiffened up the middle of the park too.
Tottenham have been mighty entertaining too, without really steamrollering anyone. Paulinho and Erikson are terrific players and optimism at White Hart Lane is growing almost as alarmingly as the AVB comb-over. (There's still something a tad unconvincing about the Villas-Boas fist-pump, mind you. It's a bit, well how can I put this without sounding cruel... it's a bit Tim Henman.)
And of course Liverpool look way sharper with more teeth in their attack now the ungrateful little (extremely talented) shit has returned to their front-line. Suarez looked good even if he was up against the Sunderland defence. UN resolutions get passed quicker than Carlos Cuellar.
This is of course good news. All three of these teams could win the League this season. The Gunners are still a worry given that they have centre-back pairing of headless chicken and bumbling beanpole. Spurs might be the better bet - the squad looks stronger. And Liverpool's good health will depend entirely on Sturridge's hamstrings and whether Suarez can remain vegetarian. It seems unthinkable that Luis will be available for selection for the rest of the season but if he is... hmmm.
Of course, none of these teams have been impeccable, it's just that the usual top tier have looked pretty bleeding average. For all Mourinho's personal swagger he can't half put a dull team onto a football pitch. Quite what Juan Mata has done to upset El Uno Especialo is beyond everyone. Perhaps it's those goals he creates and scores with such regularity.
Chelsea's best centre-forward is at Everton. And it'll be back to Ba after Torres's nonsensical sending-off. Then again the girls' playground assault on the thespian Vertonghen - 'I'll scratch your eyes out!' - was so demeaning that the great Jessie shouldn't have been on the park anyway.
Manchester City oscillate from the sublime to the preposterous. It's like complacency is inbuilt there now. A Benteke-less Villa were a piece of piss - until they weren't. And the post-match comments stank of more conceit - we were brilliant, it was a joke we lost it, etc.
But the most life-affirmingly poor start belongs to Manchester United. Now I like Moyes. Who doesn't, really? But he's not only filling the biggest boots in football, he's doing it with the weakest squad United have had since Ferguson arrived there.
In fact if you want to know how good a manager the Govan Beetroot was you only have to look at United's current first team and remind yourself that they are the current champions. That's right SAF won the league with a creaking back four, no midfield creativity whatsoever and one of the club's highest-ever goalscorers in a permanent sulk.
Of course Moyes can be held accountable for his lack of purchases. You don't want to be in a position where you're grateful that Nani has renewed his contract. He's an inflatable doll of a footballer - nothing like the real thing. Fergie papered over the midfield cracks with a bit of Scholesy here and a bit of Giggsy there and the odd Ashley Young plummet. The only thing Marouane Fellaini has ever created is a roaring trade in afro wigs. They needed a Cesc, or a Sneijder.
United have not scored a goal in open play since the opening fixture of the season. Were it not for Rooney's much-improved form they could be rubbing shoulders with Holloway and Kevin Ball. It's pretty dire.
Some will say it's too early to worry about whether they'll miss out on Champions League footy next season. I dunno. If I were the average United fan, I'd be worrying my little Malaysian socks off .
In the meantime a small thought for Paulo Di Canio. The knob.
Is it any surprise that a man so interested in fascism should run the club like a latter-day Il Duce? The only thing to be said in his defence is that Ellis Short must have known this already when he hired him. Everyone else did. There are poisoned chalices in football right now the SFC job is more like a hot steaming bowl of plutonium-enriched effluent.
And the candidates aren't exactly jostling for position. Mark Hughes should be top of the list but Gawd help us if he hasn't actually got a job. Steve McClaren looks like he's off to replace the pitilessly sacked Nigel Clough (and seriously who else would've managed all that on no budget? Ri-bloody-diculous.)
You could imagine Alan Curbishley coming in - and let's face it, Alan, it's better than George Osborne forcing you to pick up litter every day.
There is one bloke who's not been mentioned but relishes a challenge. At the moment he's busy looking for his eyebrows down the back of the sofa, but don't put it past ol' Colin Wanker to emerge from the managerial scrapheap. Even Warnock's got a tad more subtlety than Di Canio.
Whoever gets the job, I hope he starts planning for the Tees-Wear derby for next season. (That's if we stay up of course.) Cos Sunderland look more than somewhat doooooommmed.
PS No I haven't mentioned Southampton. Someone always punches above their weight and this season it's you. What do you want? A medal?