Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Me and TV

Here's an irony: Ever since I lost my job, I have actually watched less television, not more.

Crazy right?

There are a few reasons for this. One is the fact that sometimes during the week, I actually leave my house and do stuff. (I swear I do!) One would think that when I was working I was also "doing stuff," but the fact is I always had some kind of show playing while I was working, either at home on my TV or at the office on Hulu or the equivalent. Of course, most of the shows I was watching I was "watching." I wasn't devoting my complete attention to them, but treated them more like background music, paying enough attention to follow the plot, if not the intricacies. As such, most of the shows I would choose to watch this way weren't shows I was really invested in, but felt compelled to keep up with just because.

But TV is less of a background thing now, and actually something I make time to sit down and watch, and in doing so, I have become a lot less tolerant of shows that don't offer anything unique or aggressively entertaining. As a result, I have been deleting season passes left and right. Here's a list of shows I've recently given up on:

"The Bachelor"
"No Ordinary Family"
"Kitchen Nightmares"
"Blue Bloods"

This TV trimming has also resulted in me being a lot less willing to adopt new shows into my schedule. "The Chicago Code" has gotten some really good reviews, but I watched the pilot, and it really didn't give me anything that "Southland" or "Blue Bloods" wasn't giving me, and if I wasn't willing to watch those, I wasn't willing to watch this. Seriously, if you're going to bring a new cop show, or lawyer show, or medical show into the TV landscape, it had better be something incredible. That's why "Off the Map" is off my TiVo, and "Harry's Law" and "Fairly Legal" are in contempt of court. (Sorry.)

But even with these cuts, I still watch a lot of crap. I will admit that. Every night seems to bring me some set of Housewives, and "American Idol" continues its hold. For whatever reason, I still (kind of) watch "V." (Man. I need to stop with that. BUT I WANT TO SEE ALIEN BABIES.) I watch "Glee" just so I can hate it, and lord save me, but I actually kind of think "Mike & Molly" is funny.

The shows I actually look forward to, and will give my complete attention to, are few and far between. I'm glad I didn't give up on "Fringe" when I wanted to, during its first season, because it has become really, really good this year. I fear its Friday night fate. "Parenthood" is another show I could barely tolerate when it first started but has improved immensely. "Community" remains the funniest comedy on TV, and "An Idiot Abroad" is the best travel-related show EVER.

So, me and TV aren't through. Not nearly. But unless I get another job that requires me to sit in front of computer screen for eight hour stretches, I think my TV gluttony has come to an end...

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