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Monday, June 4, 2012

197

I Love TV

When Kim and I first moved in together, in 2006, we decided to give up television and begin an experimental year of culture and activities, a year that would theoretically be filled with painting, harpsichord, and hiking in linen tunics.

Kim had experimented with giving up her television before, and she had stories she just loved to tell and tell, of nights spent painting cyclopes and early mornings spent watching the sunrise from the roof. Kim spoke about her negative-TV experiement with nostalgic affection and a sort of superiority that I couldn’t understand no matter how much I squinted.

Frankly, her anecdotes about feeling alive and productive had annoyed me from the get-go, but I made the mistake in the beginning of our relationship of pretending that I, too, was insufferable in that TV-hating way, and it was too late to back out of my better dating persona. Statistically, one of us had to be the more stoic one, and I was determined it would be me.

When Kim had first started spending the night at my place, though, we’d watch a little TV together, maybe Charlie Rose or the Food Network (a mere amuse bouche of my complete Comcast package), and we always acted like it was an accident that the TV was on. Every time we turned it on, we’d be astonished at how bright and life-like it was. “It’s so … three-dimensional,” Kim would say. “I always forget how colorful it is,” I would add cheerfully, trying to one-up her.

Back then, in the beginning of our relationship, Kim always talked about how she hoped to not have a TV one day, and that, when we moved in together, our merged life would be so much more interesting than our individual lives that we wouldn’t need to do things like watch TV. I always agreed quickly, but only in the patronizing way that one agrees with a baby who accidentally says a real word. It didn’t matter what Kim wanted, because I adored TV and would never go without it, no matter how much smarter I could be and how many paintings I could paint in my free time.

So on our moving day, we were standing around in our new living room, trying to find the perfect non-TV spot (you know, the one off to the side that you see in some people’s houses when they don’t want you to know that in reality they think of it as an uncle and talk to it aloud when no one’s around) for our TV.

“Well,” said Kim, “how about we put it on that plant stand and let the plant droop over it.”

“We should put it behind the couch,” I said, one-upping her once again.

“Yeah.” Kim studied me with a curious expression on her face, as if she believed I wouldn’t last much longer.

“I guess we should see if it even works, huh,” I said, trying not to squeal, grab a bag of pretzels, and jump on the couch, ready for what I knew would be the first bead in my delicious rosary of shows.

So after being in the new apartment for about seven minutes, we switched on the TV. Turns out we got one free basic channel, and it was shaky, black-and-white, and snowy. It was upsetting, especially since over the next two weeks we continued to watch it every night. Each time, it took at least 25 minutes to find the channel with the bunny ears, then 45 for our eyes to adjust to the poor reception. Without discussing our year of no-television too much, every night we sat on the edge of the couch with our dinner plates on our knees, chewing silently on cheese crackers and squinting to make out the latest rerun of Cheaters.

Despite the nightly habit, we decided we still absolutely did not want cable, but that having one free channel to relax to would be nice.

“We could just turn it on a couple of times a week,” Kim gave in.

“Totally,” I said in a high pitch, “like when we’re really tired from all the exercising and museum-going.”

That’s when we bought a more expensive antenna. This one had two dials and was very heavy. Despite buttons and weight being two of the most evident indicators of quality, this antenna didn’t actually get us any more channels, but it did get us our one channel in semi-color. It still took a long time to find the picture, although if Kim stood by the window and held the bunny ears up high above her head, I could almost enjoy a full half hour of The Bachelor. Eventually, we lengthened the bunny ears with aluminum foil and duct-taped them to the thickest cable we could find running outside our window. This brought us television of crystal-level clarity. The only problem now was that the image went out every six minutes or so. And that’s when, in the pre-digital era, we discovered the human antenna effect: when your TV goes out, you raise your arms and legs as high as you can to bring it back. (Remember that?)

And so we did. For the next week, Kim and I sat on the couch and every few minutes the screen would go bright blue and we would instantly put our arms and legs as high above our heads as possible. After a while, we didn’t even notice we were doing it (or that we were watching TV). We’d be talking about, say, how lame our upstairs neighbors were, and then in a split second, we’d both be doing leg lifts. After a few days, I discovered you didn’t even have to be too meticulous about it, and I downgraded my leg lift to a bent-knee doggie leg raise, and my arm raise to a static ear-level high five.

In the end, defeating Kim’s plan to give up television was easy. I’m not even proud. There was no year of self-improvement, and now that Kim and I are seven years into our relationship, I know that there never will be one. Today, we subscribe to all the TV, Netflix, HBOGo, and most of Hulu. Sometimes I wonder how much better we would be if we had practiced the harpsichord and hiked those mountains that first year of our life together. I don’t know what kind of people we’d be today, but the kind of people that we ended up being is the kind that at the end of the day, after the work, and the baby, and the house, and the stuff, sit together in the same room, share the same beer, and laugh at the same people on TV.

L.A. Pintea is a jewelry designer at below 14th studio in New Haven, Connecticut.

Photo by R. Gino Santa Maria via Shutterstock



197 Comments / Post A Comment

Nicole Cliffe

I love TV too. Any time I dated someone who said they never wanted to have a TV in their bedroom, I thought: "I didn't claw my way out of childhood and into adulthood to sleep in a room without a TV in it. Enjoy your life, robot-man."

fondue with cheddar

@Nicole Cliffe I can't stand having a TV in the bedroom. I can understand the appeal, but I have a hard time falling asleep as it is, so I don't like to use the bedroom for anything but sleep and sex. The last time I had a TV in the bedroom was in the mid-90's when I lived with an old boyfriend and we didn't have a living room. I would always stay awake a few hours later than he did because everything on the Discovery Channel was so damn interesting and I couldn't fall asleep while watching like he did.

glitterary

@jen325 My absolute dream is to have a bedroom just for sleeping and sex. At the moment it still has my desk in, but I can work on the kitchen table or the living room sofa as well, so I'm nearly there. It just seems so luxurious!

ETA: I actually don't own a TV now, nor does my housemate--our house is TV-free! But that's more because we have good internet and can stream all the shows we really want to watch. It's sort of a good thing--I don't waste ages watching shows I don't really care about--but I do just spend longer on the internet as well, and occasionally it would be nice to be able to come home and watch rubbish. Or to watch a film on a bigger screen than my laptop, but I live in the UK so I'm not spending £120 on a TV license every year just so I can watch DVDs more comfortably.

fondue with cheddar

@glitterary My absolute dream is to have a bedroom for sleeping and another for sex. That way, when we wreck the bed we don't have to remake it or sleep in a wet spot!

j.cruel

@jen325 So Strange story: I'm 31 and have been a chronic insomniac for around 17 of those years. I'm mean going weeks without sleeping more than two or three hours a night. Then a year ago I moved in with my now-husband and he started bringing his laptop to bed with us. He'd watch the Simpsons or Lost reruns or Antiques Road Show--Now EVERY night I fall asleep within thirty minutes of my head hitting the pillow. It's so weird. All these years I've been avoiding TV before bed because "science" says it's terrible for you. It turns out it's a total pacifier for me. The show comes on and my crazy, whirring brain actually turns off. It's awesome.

anachronistique

@Nicole Cliffe If there's a TV in your room then the girl from The Ring can crawl through and kill you in your sleep.

sceps yarx

@anachronistique oh my god, that's exactly why I don't have one!!! After I watched the Ring I had to fall asleep with the tv at the foot of the bed and I swear to god I almost woke up looking like the girl they find in the closet at the beginning of the movie. Ghaaaargggg....

fondue with cheddar

@j.cruel Wow, that's great! Two or three hours a night is NOT ENOUGH. You must feel great now! I can't imagine how you functioned on so little sleep. I probably get 4-5 hours a night (usually interrupted). That's not enough either (for me, anyway) but it's not terrible.

I know that science says it's bad, but TV really works for some people (my boyfriend included—he has trouble staying awake through a whole movie). For me, light is key. I like to keep the lights off after the sun goes down. Watching TV or playing a video game is fine as long as that's the only light in the room. When I go up to bed, I use the light from my cell phone to navigate the stairs and illuminate the bathroom. If there's a light on upstairs, my boyfriend turns it off before I come up, and if he's not around I walk up the stairs with my eyes closed and feel around for the switch. Bright light before bed makes it really hard for me to wind down.

beatrix

Very Clever and the message is great!@l

Heat Signature

This reminds me of an Onion article entitled "Area Man Constantly Reminding Everyone He Knows That He Doesn't Own A TV" (or something along those lines). Pretty sure I was friends with "Area Man" in college.

carolita

@Heat Signature When I was a student, I couldn't NOT have a TV. Anytime I told someone I didn't have a TV because I couldn't afford one, I'd get the "WHAAAA? No TV?", and someone would pop up on my doorstep with one. I didn't buy a TV for twenty years!

Heat Signature

@carolita I wish that'd happen to me, only with other things, like iPads or gold bullion.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Heat Signature

You mean them little cubes you put in hot water to make soup?

Heat Signature

@Reginal T. Squirge Love a good bullion cube.

PistolPackinMama

@Reginal T. Squirge The chicken ones look eerily like something you could use to cast gold doubloons, not gonna lie. It could be the great Wylers Fraud of 2012.

maybe partying will help

I love TV as well. I came to it kind of late; growing up we had three fuzzy local channels which I was not supposed to watch (even though they were only playing things like Soul Train reruns and 3rd Rock from the Sun), and then for a year we had cable which I was also not supposed to watch (why are you paying for it then, parents?) but which I did watch and discovered Stargate and Angel and VH1 Behind the Music and all sorts of things, and now even though I've never had cable since, I love Netflix and Hulu and other things which allow me to watch the teevee.

Ophelia

@maybe partying will help Pop-Up Video was the beginning of the end for any non-tv-watching ways I might have had.

maybe partying will help

@Ophelia

A year of access to cable in high school coinciding with burgeoning musical obsession...yep. MTV2! Fuse! All The VH1 Shows Ever!

My mother is just horrified by how much TV I watch now. And I don't even REALLY watch that much.

saythatscool

I find this post and this couple to be annoying. I'm off to enjoy some snuff now.

carolita

Next: a year without putting the heat on! I tried it. Amazing results. Couldn't bring myself to do it again, though.

PistolPackinMama

@carolita I am having daydreams of living somewhere where you could do that, no matter how uncomfortable you would be. In my town, you'd either die of hypothermia, burn your house down with an area heater, or bust your pipes when they froze.

But big wooly sweaters, tea, and many floofy duvets would be an interesting experiment. Also reaquired... garret.

PatatasBravas

@PistolPackinMama I've done this for years in the temperate rainforest of the PNW! It helps that the weather is between 40-60 for ten months of the year. Never snows in the valley, either... my childhood mourns the lack of snow.

But I am all about the SWEATERS OVER SWEATERS OVER SWEATERS AND TEA.

SuperGogo

@carolita I spent two winters in a town nicknamed "Little Siberia" during Peace Corps, where my only heat came from a wood stove that I had to maintain constantly throughout the day. At night, I slept in long johns in a sleeping bag and under a down comforter and I was still cold. NEVER AGAIN!

Ophelia

@carolita My mom has an annual game with herself where she sees whether she can wait until Thanksgiving (in MA) to turn the heat on. She usually succeeds, but with a lot of sweaters/wool socks.

carolita

@Ophelia I did it in Paris, after hearing a piece on the radio about how kids in Japan did better in school and caught less colds when they had no heat in the schools. They actually didn't wear coats, either. I wore sweaters, built a mini-tent for the dog, made a lot of tea, did plenty of exercise, and didn't catch a cold all winter. But faced with the opportunity to do it again the next winter, I balked. I also got nicknamed "Jeremiah Johnson" for a year.
:)

PistolPackinMama

@carolita I am not an immunologist/ pathologist, obvs. So, grain if salt and all that. But, I would bet money that some of that has to do with the fact that you and Japanese school children were/aren't immunocompromised like others might be. (If you are, my apologies for making assumptions.)

I'd also guess some of that has to do with not living in a place where the heated air is kept inside at all costs, one of those costs eing efficient ventilation to get grody diseased air out and fresh air in.

Did the study say WHY they didn't catch cold, or just THAT they didn't?

PatatasBravas

@Ophelia haha my mom in MA nestles directly against the radiator to read. It's really, really cute, to see her wrapped in a blanket with one hand extended to clutch at the latest book for her book group. I've inherited her complete inability to maintain body heat on my own, hence my delight in the PNW!

carolita

@PistolPackinMama Hmmm. I don't know. They just said they caught less colds, as far as I remember. But as an allergy sufferer, technically my immune system is slightly compromised, in that it overreacts to stuff. And my garrets were pretty drafty, even with the heat on, and I did catch several colds every winter. I think it's just about making your body a little hardier. But like I said, I never had the guts to try it again! I shiver just to think of it!

Ophelia

@carolita It is not a coincidence that Jeremiah Johnson is my mom's favorite movie...

sceps yarx

@PatatasBravas how cold does it have to be before your houseplants start dying?

PatatasBravas

@sceps yarx the real trouble is the extreme moisture! So no cactuses, because they get sad with all the air moisture, nothing to do with the temperature. But I've found that my house is insulated enough that even on the freakish nights where it gets to low 40s, the house stays 60 without moderation, so the houseplants are all quite well.

(I talk to them a lot, that may help?)

Bobloblaw

@carolita I pretty much have done this for the past two years. My fiance's house was built in the 1800's and has many of the original windows which means pretty much no insulation. You can stand inside behind a window and feel the breeze coming through it. We have oil heat but it mostly escapes out the windows and is obviously SUPER expensive. This becomes a big problem because we have A LOT of house plants that don't do so well when it's 40 degrees inside. So for the winter we bring all of the plants into our living room and keep a space heater going in there. Then we put on 3 layers of clothes, a blanket, blast the heat and the dogs and us huddle in our semi-warm room which, if we're lucky, gets to be around 62 degrees.

kinbarichan

@carolita: Oh! I know how the Japanese kids game the system - they wear their winter P.E. strip (full polyester tracksuits)under their uniforms, and they have long underwear on under their tracksuits, and they have those little catalytic handwarmers in their pockets to warm their freezing fingers. It's not really fair to say that the kids thrive in their cold classrooms if you (Not you, but the radio person) don't mention the 'overpants' (that's the special superthick winter underwear that everyone wears) and other innovations that the Japanese use to keep as warm as they can under adverse conditions.

olivebee

TV addict here, chiming in to say: my love for TV knows no bounds (except like, the 700 Club and hunting/fishing shows). Also, my user image is eerily similar to the post image, so good choice, Hairpin!

My husband and I often go through that conversation that's like "Man, I wish we were more adventurous/productive/worldly." "Yeah, me too." And then we flip on the TV or Netflix Instant and veg out all night.

wharrgarbl

@olivebee Feh. I've never really watched tv as a boredom thing, so I've got very little patience for people who get pushy about the "oh, if you weren't wasting your life watching tv!" line. If I'm watching tv, it's because I'm very interested in what's on it, or the person I'm watching it with, and you'd best step aside, mammal, because if I weren't watching this, I'd be very annoyed for having missed it.

PistolPackinMama

@wharrgarbl Yeah, I always see people who can quote really good, apt stuff from TV like Dorothy Sayers and other Old Timey Writers whose characters are always chucking in French proverbs or appropriate poetic quotes from literature. Like, it's a sign of having read widely and thought things through.

My interject it here source is NPR, but since everyone I know listens to it, it's not like I sound original or anything.

olivebee

@wharrgarbl Totally agree. I watch a ton of TV (often with my husband) because I am utterly enthralled by most of it. I find a show I like (be it currently airing or a few years old or whatever), and then I watch the hell out of it and talk about it with whoever else I can find that is also a fan. I could talk about TV for hours on end.

Aspiriationally Natalie

@olivebee I LOVE ALL THE TELEVISIONS AS WELL. How are we not friends?

PistolPackinMama

@olivebee Also, how is there a problem with TV when some of the really long, really interesting comment sections around here are about books. No matter how much TV Pinners watch, they have to be making time to read a lot, too. I love how well (and widely) read Hairpin commenters are!

olivebee

@Aspiriationally Natalie We can totally be friends! I will accept any and all fellow TV connoisseurs into my life as friends, mainly so that I can yammer on and on about how amazing ___ episode of ___ was.

Toby Jug

@olivebee You're on avclub.com, right? If you aren't (and this goes for all you conscious consumers of television), get on it! Their head TV critic is awesome and the comments (conscientious comments!) go on for days.

Lil Sebastian

@PistolPackinMama Yes, I agree! I love TV, high and low brow, and I love reading! I actually think they go kind of hand in hand. I love the pacing and character development that TV allows for,a s opposed to movies, which anti-TV people don't seem to mind. I think a lot of shows have as much or more artistic value than most mainstream movies today too. TV and books forever!

harebell

@PistolPackinMama yes! i heard somebody in the movie industry say that the reason t.v. is good nowadays is a side-effect of the fact that movies are made for teenage audiences. movie execs started to notice that kids go to the movies more anyway (dates, loose cash, more time, whatever it is), so they began targeting films towards teens; cycle is reinforced as adults don't want to go to see the movies being made; the adults stay home, become a market that t.v. execs can count on, and complex narratives start getting developed for them on t.v.

wharrgarbl

@harebell I think it's just more a side-effect of playback tech becoming better and better and more and more ubiquitous. There was some stuff in Everything Bad Is Good for You tracking the complexity of shows' narratives against how likely it was that households had VCRs, which made a lot of sense. You can do so much more stuff on a show now that people can go back to the DVD-Red episode from two weeks ago because they missed something that turned out to be important. I mean, can you even imagine if someone had tried to make Lost before VCRs? There would have been murders over it. People would have literally been killed.

So we've seen this massive Cambrian explosion in tv terms, but movies haven't done quite as well for themselves. Doing a simple movie well has gotten a lot cheaper, and DVD/streaming distribution has gotten tons better, so our selection is much broader, but you do still smack into that hard ceiling of there only being so much you can accomplish in 2-5 hours. Even series like Harry Potter, LotR, or Pirates of the Caribbean, where you're dealing with a continuous narrative spaced out over three or four or eight or ten movies, they have to be watchable as discrete units.

captain mal

When I first moved into my apartment, I never got around to setting up the whole cable/internet thing. I went a year without watching tv or going on the internet until my boyfriend moved in. He insisted I join the 21st century again.

Reginal T. Squirge

"Sometimes I wonder how much better we would be if we had practiced the harpsichord and hiked those mountains that first year of our life together. I don’t know what kind of people we’d be today..."

You'd be assholes. Pure and simple.

treeskier170

@Reginal T. Squirge Or maybe they'd be in great shape, getting ready to hike up Mt. Rainier or Kilimanjaro. Maybe they'd have a kick ass harpsichord jam band complete with a dulcimer and crazy lute solos. Doesn't sound like assholes to me.

sparrow303

I don't like TV because it makes me aware of how much time I'm wasting by breaking itself up into 1/2 hr and hr segments. The internet, on the other hand, is bottomless.

fabel

I actually don't like TV & could probably easily live without it. I'm not one of those "Oh, I don't OWN a TV" people, but I just never even think about it, unless somebody else turns it on?

My internet is a different story, though.

Exene

@fabel YEP. I'll take it one step further and say that I hate having the tv set on, most shows and movies are stupid, and commercials are like nails down a fucking chalkboard for me. Yet I have no problem sitting and consuming reams of blogs (sheaves of blogs), no matter how idiotic, everything from Vice to Quickmeme to Serious Eats to random Tumblr after random Tumblr. Internet!

sarah girl

@Exene I am the exact same way! The exact same. I also work in TV for a network that has a lot of reality shows, so it's sort of like seeing how sausage has made; once you know clearly how manipulated and scripted and by-the-book those shows are, they become utterly unbearable. Like, I was watching an episode of Chopped and started predicting the types of reaction shots they'd be using from contestants, and most of the time was right.

treeskier170

@fabel Finally! Some pro non tv people commenting. I haven't had cable for over a year, not even basic, and I'm completely cool with it. I do enjoy certain shows and I try and catch them elsewhere like the internet or dvd. I'm on my second go round of Arrested Development right now. I love movies for sure, but can do without the television.

JP
JP

@fabel Hey now! I happen to work at one of those blogs (well companies that produce one of those blogs).

H.E. Ladypants

@Exene My people! I like watching things that I enjoy but I've never been able to deal with TV just as a default or a background noise. I needs my quiet.

I actually start to not feel well if I watch more than a movie's length. I just wasn't built to be a TV person. :-/

Lily Rowan

Every so often, I think I should downplay TV in my list of shit I like on OK Cupid, but then I remember, fuck that. I don't want to date someone who doesn't like TV!

wharrgarbl

@Lily Rowan Wisdom.

tibia

@Lily Rowan Honestly, the most angry I get at my boyfriend is when he pulls out the "I hate TV!" card. I loooove TV, and any insinuation that it is anything less than The Best boils my blood (pick your battles, right?). Especially because he DOESN'T hate TV, he just doesn't like all the same shows as me. He went craaazy for Downton Abbey, and we gleefully marathon Archer together regularly.

Annie Murphy@facebook

@Lily Rowan Ick, I saw a profile on OKC that was all "and don't even contact me if you pay homage to the idot box". I was like, "I certainly will not, and don't contact me if you wear ironic string ties and quote Bukowski."

eiffeldesigns

@Lily Rowan Me too! There is actually some juicebox in the Boston scene whose okcupid name is actually dontownatv, or something ridiculous like that. At least I know to steer clear of his pretentious ass.

Yes, I watch a lot of television- but I also watch a lot of good television. If you aren't experiencing the golden age of TV then you are missing out on a major cultural event.

Lily Rowan

@Annie Murphy@facebook Ah ha ha! Seriously, it is a good way to screen people, and you need some way, right?

@Kirs Now I want to go look up that guy so I can tell him to fuck off preemptively! Good times.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@Kirs I think it says something that I first misread that OkC username as a poorly spelled Downton Abbey reference.

BoozinSusan

@wamanda Me toooooo!

km1312

I love TV a lot (like, I comment regularly on episode recaps), but I'm broke. I canceled cable ($80/month), bought a Roku ($50, one-time), and subscribed to Netflix and Hulu Plus ($16/month together). Result: MASSIVE savings and a lot less mindlessly watching whatever's on.

(Sidebar: I do pirate Girls and Game of Thrones, the only shows I care about that I can't watch on Netflix or Hulu. Sshhh!)

stonefruit

@km1312 yes, similar story here - I sold my TV because the move before last was to an apartment where a TV would not have fit/worked. This in no way decreased the amount of TV that I actually watched, because The Internet, and between that and unemployment, well, I've watched all the teevee at this point and I'm caught up on all the shows I like, and I can conclusively state that not having a TV officially =/= not watching TV.

OhMarie

@km1312 Yes! It's great!! I have no TV service but I still watch a shit-ton of tv.

Gilgongo

@OhMarie Me too. Got rid of cable 1 1/2 years go. I don't even subscribe to Netflix or Hulu anymore. It's just me & my trusty laptop, TV, & HDMI cable. And Sidereel.com.
I watch more TV than anyone I know. I also read more than anyone I know, so there's that (always feel the need to mention that too). I'm pretty sure I could become president if I just gave up TV & reading. But I can't. And, more importantly, I won't!

City_Dater

People who proclaim "I don't have a television" and allow listeners to believe they are productive and fabulous always turn out to watch hours of stuff on their laptops. (Because that is the Screen of Virtue, not the Screen of Couch Potatoness?)

If there were no television, I would call my friends at 3:00am when I can't sleep and demand they come over and entertain me with puppet shows.

daisicles

@City_Dater My laptop screen is totally the Screen of Virtue. Certainly my inability to put it down and do something else has nothing to do with laziness and/or an internet addiction, but is instead all about its inherent superiority over television. Because it has words on it!

Admission: I do occasionally try half-heartedly to spin my lack of television in a way that makes me one of Those People, but that's because it sounds a tiny bit nicer than 'I can't afford a tv, no matter how much I really just want to kick back and watch home shopping channels for three hours'.

tibia

@City_Dater I think the modern "I don't own a television" (in terms of the phrase as an indicator of self-righteous insufferableness) is "I don't even understaaaaaand Twitter."

City_Dater

@tibia

No, it's still "I don't own a television."

Twitter is totally stupid and pointless; television is often awesome.

tibia

@City_Dater In my experience Twitter is only stupid and pointless if you don't know how to use it properly (find the good stuff). Same with TV.

harebell

@City_Dater Eh, to me they are very different because one has ads, and one doesn't.

I grew up in a place where the tv only had ads once an hour, on the hour, between programs, instead of during, so you could skip them very very easily. now, I can't deal when I watch US tv and it is constantly interrupted with ads. It makes me jumpy and it is really boring. Internet is great because you can stream away, without ads.

Megasus

Oh man, I could not give up my TV, nor could I be in a relationship with an insufferable TV hater (I kind of was, and he was so lame). There is so much good TV! TV < movies (I hope I did it the right way, I have not used that sign since like, 3rd grade and do not remember which direction means greater than. My logic is it's eating the crappier one, is that right?). Also who wants to talk about all the feels they have after watching GoT and Mad Men!? I will not tell you how often or much I cried, but it was a lot. It's been an emotional morning.

redheaded&crazy

@Megano! the crocodile eats the thing that's better!

TV > movies om nom nom

avoidmadness

@Megano! I love tv but I have my set list of shows that I watch on the weekend, HBO, Showtime and AMC stuff but that's really it, I stopped vegging out in front of the tv when I stopped having a tv in my room. Yesterday I learned I can mooch off my mom's HBOGO account, which sorta changed my life because now I don't have to wait an hour after a show airs (Game of Thrones finale, y'all), then wait for someone to upload it.

GoT, I read all the books and I still cried like a child. Don't even get me started on Mad Men, that was INSANE! I keep hitting the refresh button on the Hairpin page, just waiting for that thread to start.

olivebee

@Megano! TV is definitely greater than movies (though I am usually hard-pressed to find people who agree). Movies are just toooooo long.*

*And yet, I can watch hours and hours of TV without getting bored.

Creature Cheeseman

@Megano! Ahhh Mad Men!!! I wish hairpin did recaps because I always want to TALK about them but I don't know where to go. I love spending my monday mornings reading other recaps, though. But yeah, I crieeeeddd.

Megasus

@avoidmadness No, I download stuff and I mostly only watch cable stuff too. Like, pretty much everything I watch is on Sundays and Thursdays. I do have a few guilty-pleasure shows (like Vamp Diaries and Castle) that I save until summer when there isn't as much on.
And ommmmmg I cried a lot at Game of Thrones too. Also read the books, but that scene in the Godswood! So many feels! And the House of the Undying!
@Creature Cheeseman: I usually comment on Tom and Lorenzo's Mad Men recap, and Vulture for everything else.

Snicker-snack!

@Creature Cheeseman I will help you! Pandagon.net and Tomandlorenzo.com both cover Mad Men. Tom and Lorenzo even analyze the clothing.

Cat named Virtute

@Creature Cheeseman Can we talk about last night's Mad Men here? Because I am having ALL THE FEELINGS and my regular Mad Men co-obsesser is on business travel and therefore not available to respond to ALL MY EMAILS.

RK Fire

@Megano!: Game of Thrones!!!! Honestly, what I just do is lurk over on reddit for my recap/analysis addiction, and I check out both r/gameofthrones and r/asoiaf because I am completely obsessed.

Ames

@Cat named Virtute I was just starting to get over the Joan plotline from the week before, and then they punched me in the gut again. :-(

Cat named Virtute

@Ames I could NOT believe how much they showed of [redacted] in his office. I'm not squeamish at all, but I was cowering in horror under my blankets with my hands over my eyes crying.

Creature Cheeseman

@Cat named Virtute I know. I was expecting what happened, but I did NOT expect them to show as much as they did. It was really shocking. I can't wait for the finale. This season has gone by SO quickly.

Cat named Virtute

@Creature Cheeseman All I can say is, after that episode, there better be some serious Peggy kicking ass in the finale. And some Pete eating shit, for real.

Hellcat

@Cat named Virtute Good plan! Because, as usual, 95% of the posts at TWOP are mind-numbingly dumb and smug and entirely point-missing.

Megoon

I laughed out loud at this. Hilarious.

After someone tells me with pride that they don't own a tv, I love nothing more than teasing out of them the one million tv shows that they watch on their computer.

wharrgarbl

@Megoon "Why would I own a tv? I have a computer."

Reginal T. Squirge

Watching TV shows only on a laptop is like eating your food without ever adding any spices or condiments.

Ophelia

@Reginal T. Squirge The exception to this is when you want to watch old episodes of stuff that isn't on netflix instant, and you don't want to pay for them. Then it's still oddly flat and disjointed on your laptop screen, but at least it's free. ABC's Castle, I'm looking at you.

wharrgarbl

@Reginal T. Squirge Computer and laptop are not synonymous, though.

MoxyCrimeFighter

I think I could probably survive without an actual TV set, if I was living alone, because I just watch everything on my laptop after the fact, anyway - but actual TV shows? Not even possible. My current relationship is based almost entirely on mutually-loved TV shows; when my boyfriend's cable/Internet went goofy and we couldn't watch TV OR Netflix, I was like, "Are we going to have to talk to each other? Because I'm not in the mood for sex."

Is It a Hat?

@MoxyCrimeFighter THIS.

KatnotCat

My boyfriend and I will not be getting a TV when we move in together because we are too cheap to buy one or pay for cable, but we watch TV online. I do find that I waste less time when I watch TV online because I tend to only watch shows I actually care about (GoT, NBC Thursday night lineup) rather than turning on something "in the background."

Seriously even shitty cable is so expensive split between 5 people that I don't want to play around with it with only 2 people to foot the bill.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@KatnotCat That's our strategy, too - I'd rather have really good fast internet than cable anyway. Plus my boyfriend's computer monitor is huuuuuuuuuge, way nicer than any TV we could afford.

elizabeast

I love TV so much but it is clearly my parents' fault. How many 7 year olds do you know with TVs AND cable in their bedrooms? You know one: me.

Aspiriationally Natalie

@elizabeast ugh, I was crazy jealous of my friends growing up who had TVs in their rooms because they didn't have to go downstairs (or fight with their siblings) when they wanted to watch something like I did!

elizabeast

@Aspiriationally Natalie Childhood you should hang out with childhood me. My only sibling didn't come along until I was 12, so we have never had to share anything. I had free reign over every box of fruit roll ups and all of the heads are still firmly attached to my Barbies.

Aspiriationally Natalie

"You don't own a TV? Then what's all your furniture pointed at?" - Joey, Friends

Seriously though, to quote Kenneth the Page: "I just love television so much." So much, in fact, that I decided to make it my future career! And I once had a minor panic attack when I realized that I wouldn't have a TV at college unless I "borrowed" one from my brother! (True story.)

Reginal T. Squirge

Already one of the greatest 30 Rock quotes:

"I don't really watch TV. I'm more of a masturbator." - Tracy Jordan

Heat Signature

@Aspiriationally Natalie I think of that Friends quote every time I hear someone doesn't have a TV. One of these days, I may even say it out loud.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@Aspiriationally Natalie One of my favorite quotes about the necessity of TV is from The Office:

"No. I have a life."
"Interesting, what's that like?"
"You should try it sometime."
"Wow. But then who would watch my TV?"

Aspiriationally Natalie

@MoxyCrimeFighter One of my favorites, from Happy Endings:

"Oh, I don't own a TV."
"What... do you do at night?"
"I journal."
"All night?"

RK Fire

@Reginal T. Squirge: Strangely enough, that's my attitude when it comes down to Fifty Shades of Grey/any erotica. I like it but.. I'm perfectly fine with just using my Hitachi Magic Wand, thank you.

elfbootygotsoul

@Aspiriationally Natalie Another great 30 Rock quote:

Liz: So… How about Lost this season?
Steven: [laughs] Sorry, I don’t own a TV.
Liz: Really?! What do you sit and look at?

redheaded&crazy

aw whenever people talk about hating people who don't watch tv i feel sad. i have a tv in my room and it gets a few hd broadcast channels but no cable. netflix but "canadian netflix."

I don't watch very much tv on the actual tv, I watch most of my favourite shows on the network websites ... I try not to be insufferable about it, what I find insufferable is when people come over to my house and complain about how I don't have xyz channel. (luckily this does not happen very often)

It's funny cuz it is a very different experience spending time at my house where we have to come up with non-TV things to do, versus friends' houses where we often chill out watching TV.

What am I missing out on? Game of Thrones I guess.

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazie i definitely do not have a richer, fuller life due to not watching very much TV though. i just spend more time on the internet being like "what am I doing, I'm just wasting time, I should do something"

skyslang

@redheaded&crazie But you're still watching TV, even if it isn't on a TV.

Nutmeg

@redheaded&crazie I gave my parents their old TV back because it sat in my room for a year without me watching it. I binged on about 8 full series of programs during that time, though. Same thing, just a different screen

redheaded&crazy

@skyslang Right! But I watch a lot less of it than most people I know.

atipofthehat

@skyslang

I am not watching TV, because my shows have NO commercials.

brista128

@redheaded&crazie I'm the same way, except I download Game of Thrones. (It is really good, I swear.)

I don't hate everyone who doesn't watch televsion but I do hate the smugness that tends to fill the space left by the television set for most people.

PistolPackinMama

I don't want to pony up for cable on my ownsome. But that doesn't stop me from watching so much internet TV. And in order to look like I am "working" when I am really just "collapsed because I am so drained" I watch an awful lot of The American Experience on the computer in my office. A lot. So much. I watched that whaling one every day between classes for a week because I kept zoning out during the last part and missed what happened.

I think I am okay with that.

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama I watch NOVA for the same reason. I think I watched something ridiculous like 10 episodes in a row one night while grading - Hulu asked me three times if I needed a break.

Reginal T. Squirge

Hey, is this a safe space to talk about watching fuzzy porn channels when you were 13 because your internet connection was dial-up and this was waaaaay better?

MoonFlavor

@Reginal T. Squirge Ha, my friends and I were just talking about doing this when we were young the other day. Although in our case, you did that because the internet didn't exist yet. All we had was fuzzy channels and porno mags.

WhiskeySour

I just love TV without shame. I used to be a total movie buff, but my passion somehow migrated to TV. I think it might have something to do with the way television can follow and develop characters in a more three-dimensional way than movies can. For me, there's something so satisfying about watching characters with nuance and complexity go through many different events. I truly don't understand why there is a general acceptance of film as an art form, whereas TV is still considered unsophisticated and crass.

PistolPackinMama

@WhiskeySour The Wire! The Wire The Wire The Wire!

I loved watching it and still will sometimes when semi-tasking for exactly that reason. Dickens-style serial novels!

Nicole Cliffe

Yes! Quality is all that matters. To take it further, books are not necessarily superior to TV. 'Breaking Bad' is better than numerous works of reasonably middle-brow fiction I've read in the last few years. There's nothin inherently greater-than about the written word.

Nicole 'Books Are Just Okay Editor' Cliffe

PistolPackinMama

@Nicole Cliffe I just said up above- However much TV we all watch, we are also obviously making a lot of time for reading, as well around here. It's not like Pinners are one-media-form zombies.

And yes, while I am known to read Surrender My Hymen style bodice ripper romances with gusto, I would never, ever try and argue they (or later Tom Clancy... or... or...) are ever going to be of the same merit as The Wire or Breaking Bad or The Sopranos or The American Experience.

Aspiriationally Natalie

@WhiskeySour This is why I love television as well - series' can last years, while a movie only last a few hours; there's more opportunities for a variety of stories to be told.

My theory as to why TV isn't considered an art form: it's relatively cheap to make (especially in the case of things like reality TV and talk shows), it's disposable (many tv series don't last very long and/or hold up over time) and there's so much TV out there that it's difficult to pick out the really good stuff amongst all the bad stuff.

olivebee

@WhiskeySour 1. I cannot agree more with your post. 2. I was wondering if you'd pop up on this thread! After our conversation about plotting out TV/DVR schedules, I was like, "WhiskeySour is DEFINITELY going to show up here."

WhiskeySour

@PistolPackinMama Yes, exactly! How exactly is a well-crafted television show different from something like Dickens or Doyle? Those works were serialized, available to and popular amongst the masses. Yet these works are considered important literature and I feel TV shows are still not being considered valuable social texts. How often have we heard some level of public outcry about the ridiculousness of universities offering media studies classes based on TV shows? It seems like it's an old standby for slow news days. I guess I just don't get why TV is maligned so much!

Decca

@WhiskeySour I think the usual argument is when you're reading a book you're engaging with the text in an active way, but television watching is passive. Even if a television series is as well-plotted and complex as a novel, our engagement with the two are always on different levels.

This idea is at the root of my thinking that somehow novels are inherently better than television, despite the fact there are plenty of television shows I adore and champion. It's not a very fashionable way of thinking, and I don't think it'd hold up to scrutiny, but there you go.

I do absolutely adore Baggage, though.

PistolPackinMama

@Decca I think that really unfairly privileges literacy, though. Unless you think listening to stories/radio/being read to if you can't read yourself/ watching shadow puppet plays requires the same kind of engagement reading does.

In which case, I am not sure where the passive/active engagement begins and ends here. What is active vs. passive consumerism? Is it 2D vs. 3D, real time v. recorded time?

Does it have something to do with the way western TV makers and watchers expect and train audiences to act? Would other people in other places relate to TV differently?

What about stuff like sports? I honestly think watching UEFA Euro Cup soccer is far better than reading recaps or even listening to it. And production of sports TV requires talent and skill, too.

What about people who watch and then make their own Youtube/Being a doofus/ put it on Facebook visual media? Are they less engaged than readers who write? What about societies that are pre-literate, or were never literate. Or where traditional forms of art/performance actually kind of suck when turned into text?

And really, literacy has only been widely available to (some) people for a century or so. Have we been passive consumers of entertainment until we had the capacity to read as societies? What about as individuals?

Not trying to be a brat. Am genuinely curious. Said she with the Comp Lit PhD brother who claims to be interested in "sociology of readership."

Decca

Like every other source of entertainment, television can be fantastic and it can also be a black hole. Everything in moderation, except books and peanut M&Ms.

maybe partying will help

@Decca

Ever notice how there's always one peanut M&M that tastes exactly unlike a peanut M&M?

Nicole Cliffe

YES. Is it just a little wad of shell?

carolita

@Decca Yeah, I just keep it under control. I only watch the Simpsons, Dateline, the evening news, and the occasional movie on Netflix. For a while I only got channel 4 on my old TV, which definitely kept me from overindulging. I pretty much stick to NBC even now, creature of habit that I am. If there's nothing on, I turn it off.

Nutmeg

@Decca WHAT ABOUT CHEEZ-ITS

a box counts as dinner right (I have a problem)

PistolPackinMama

@Nutmeg Only if you add the necessary amino acids found in Diet Coke to make a full protein.

(I love Cheez-Its. And don't try that Organic Cheezit-simulacrum stuff on me, yo.)

WhiskeySour

@maybe partying will help Yes! And somehow it is always the one I determine to be "the last one I'll eat tonight." So then I have to eat another one to clear the weird flavor out of my mouth, and then ten minutes later I find myself still chomping peanut M&Ms and the process begins all over again.

maybe partying will help

@WhiskeySour

I swear to Dog I once ate a peanut M&M that tasted like tortilla chips.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@maybe partying will help Just last week I ate a whole bag of peanut (butter) M&Ms because they tasted weird and I wanted to see if the whole bag tasted weird or if I just happened to be finding all the weird ones. (The whole bag tasted weird. But I didn't die of poisoning, so whatever.)

Tragically Ludicrous

@Decca I got a massive bag of Holland Editie peanut M&Ms. I am nearly through it and need another.

Nutmeg

I don't want a TV, but it's not that I don't want TV programs, I just want them in my computer so I can watch them lying in bed eating chips. I watch about 7 regular programs online; it turns out that it is really hard to get me to leave my bed, even for cable television? It's just so comfortable in here...

Except I found out the hard way that when I watch Netflix shows too many times in a row, my computer isn't able to play them right for awhile. It sorts itself out in a couple of weeks, though (my computer is "old" and buggy and also the U key is not fully attached)

maybe partying will help

@Nutmeg

I feel this. We have my Netflix account on the Wii, so I COULD watch Parks and Rec on the nice big TV with the nice big speakers, but I usually end up in my bed with my teeny netbook because BED.

Megasus

@maybe partying will help My couch is super comfy. I definitely prefer the TV. I download everything onto my computer, then use PS3 Media Server to stream it on TV, and I can't believe I ever did otherwise. It is wonderful. It didn't work for like two months because my dang router crapped out on me, and it was horrible.

maybe partying will help

@Megano!

Our couch is DIRELY uncomfy and actually I am kind of glad, otherwise I would never leave it, what with it being pointed at the TV. I mean eventually my computer starts acting like it's going to explode, so I have to go do something else for ten minutes, but the TV and Wii are impeccably behaved.

Nutmeg

@maybe partying will help My brother and his friend came to visit for a weekend and when I made them breakfast (best sister ever) I had to clear all the junk off our dining room table so there was room for the plates. I told them, "Sorry, we don't really use this table; I usually eat in my bed and everyone else eats on the coffee table in front of the TV." My brother's friend just said, "There are so many things wrong with that sentence."

Cat named Virtute

@Nutmeg We have so much in common.

*sprawls on bed, reaches for bag of Ruffles*

Tragically Ludicrous

@Megano! I don't like watching TV on my laptop because then I can't use my laptop to be on the Internet while I'm watching TV.

Xanthophyllippa

@Tragically Ludicrous This is why I watch TV via the laptop in my office, where I have a cinema display.

redonion

I love TV, but I don't have cable because when would I have time to do things like re-watch the X-Files (currently in the middle of season 4) or try to deal with my 400+ title Netflix queue (half of which are TV shows or miniseries)? I have too much TV to watch to watch TV.

Bonnie Downing

"Frankly, her anecdotes about feeling alive and productive had annoyed me from the get-go"

There is no one more fun to watch tv with than L.A. Pintea and Kim.

christonacracker

you guys! Is HBOGo like HBO Hulu? Can I just pay HBO directly and not get cable??? I really need to catch up on GoT and it's just about Time for A. Skarsgard to Take Off His Clothes Again on TB.

Megasus

@christonacracker Nope, you have to have a valid cable package to use HBOGo (Yes I was confused and thought they were missing out on a huge market too, especially because I think this is going to be the future of TV).

christonacracker

@Megano! UGH. Someone teach me how to be a pirate, because I am not buying $80 worth of cable for those two shows.

Heat Signature

@christonacracker You need to have the special crimper that cable installers use (you can buy it off the internet or from an unscrupulous cable guy), and having a descrambler helps. Ahem. So I've heard.

Slutface

@christonacracker I use this website to watch Girls and MadMen. If you search, they might have GOT and TB. http://one-tvshows.eu/tv/girls/

AJ Sparkles

@christonacracker Go to pirate bay or another torrent hosting site- but be careful there are some fakes out there with virus or other nasty things. Generally I check out the comment section before hitting 'go.' If there are a handful of thanks or ratings you should be safe.

@Megano! Totally agree- I am of the opinion that it's not the pirates that need to change behavior but the distribution companies that need to figure out a new model or leave the game. I'd gladly pay for a service like Netflix or Hulu plus but I will not be forced to set up cable services for the handful of shows that I watch. GoT is the highest torrented show in history because of their HBO's stubbornness. Their loss.

alliepants

You know what's mildly expensive in Manhattan? Cable.

You know what's extremely expensive in Manhattan? "Getting out" and "experiencing things" at night instead of watching TV.

Cable: 1; Experiencing things: 0

joeks

TV is nice, but does it have to be so loud and full of fake-attractive, soul-dead white people who got rich flipping houses or whatever?

Anyway, you know what's a good show to catch, is that Swamp People. It's about Cajuns that live in the bayou and hunt gators for a living. Pretty good.

carolita

The way I see it, I had SOOOO many hours of TV as a child (so many! it's shocking!), that I really can't afford to waste any more time just sitting in front of a TV anymore. I only watch stuff that will inspire my cartoons, or give me ideas, or make me indignant enough to get up and write or draw about it now.

sceps yarx

@carolita you make cartoons? So do I! What's your website? Mine is summonedcreature.com

carolita

@sceps yarx hello, fellow cartoonist! my stuff is easiest seen here: http://carolitajohnson.squarespace.com/cartoons/

sudden but inevitable betrayal

I like TV a lot. I guess I like storytelling in all its forms, but TV is just so...easy. I don't have a TV but I just end up watching it all online or downloading it. It's nice not to have to deal with commercials anymore, but sometimes I do miss losing myself in all-day ANTM marathons.

sarah girl

I swear I'm not a jackass, but I am just not really into TV these days? I used to do all the binge-watching and such, but now I find that I don't care as much. Every now and then I'll find something and watch a lot of it, but inevitably my attention fades, or the writing turns stupid, or I get tired of everyone in the world discussing the show and decide to stop watching out of protest (newsflash: I am kind of a child). I have a TV, but I use it to play stuff on my PS3 or stream Netflix, and even that I don't do very often. I'll often realize with a start that I haven't even turned my TV on in like two weeks.

The huge caveat here is that I am constantly on the goddamn fucking internet, so it's not like I'm out hiking and feeding the poor and being an awesome productive person. I'm just meh on TV. I will say, I do feel a little superior because I never know what people are talking about when they complain about this or that commercial.

The best part of all of this is that I work in TV, haha!

Maryaed

@Sarah H. This is me too. Well, not the working in TV. I like my banality in clickable form.

Bittersweet

@Sarah H. I haven't been as much into TV lately either, but mostly because I finally set up a blog and spend much of my free time either learning the ins and outs of Wordpress or doing blog research. Hooray for internet!

rianne marie

I used to try to be one of those 'no TV' people.
But really I just don't have cable and I do have a 42" TV and Netflix and torrents and an ever-growing list of much-watch shows. I fail at being a pretentious asshole.
netflix has even encouraged my descent into wedding shows, which at this point is only reined in by not wanting them to show up in my Recently Watched list where people will judge me.

iceberg

you can pry my TV from my cold dead et cetera. it raised me, and it'll be raising my children too, so nyah.

atipofthehat

Why is it pretentious to opt out of TV?

Lady Humungus

@atipofthehat I don't necessarily think it's pretentious to opt out, but No TV People seem to act pretentious about their choice -- for example, if you ask "did you see Game of Thrones last night?", instead of just saying "nope", it's "Oh I don't OWNNNNN a TV" with a healthy dose of haughtiness... at least in my experience!

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

@atipofthehat Some people are definitely pretentious about not having a tv, but I always get frustrated when no TV is equated with pretentious. I now watch mad amounts of TV on Hulu and Netflix, but I grew up completely without TV -- and it wasn't because my parents were pretentious, it was because we were poor and living in a rural area where it would have been very tough and expensive to get any programming we wanted to see.

gtrachel

@Lady Humungus I choose not to have a television and if I tell people I don't have a TV, it's so they'll talk to me about something else, not because I want to rub it in their faces. And I actually do hike and read and do other stuff (and also goof off on the internet plenty), and since when is it cool for people who spend all their free time watching TV to thumb their noses at people who hike or play instruments or try to "improve" themselves? Now trying to do something constructive makes you a jerk? I'm frankly sick of that attitude.

Hiroine Protagonist

@gtrachel Backlash to the backlash! It's a huge market right now.

Xanthophyllippa

@gtrachel Yeah, though I'm betting you probably do it nicely. The thing about responding to "Hey, did you see Game of Thrones last night?" with "I don't have a TV" is that it kind of skips the logically relevant answer of "no, I'm not really much of a TV watcher, but I read the books and they're great!" (or "no, but I've heard the series is really good!") and goes straight to the discussion-stopper. That can sound judgey, even if it isn't intended to be.

I have a friend who pulls the discussion-stopper every time someone makes a Harry Potter reference (and because I hang out with nerds, we do this a lot). He just gives us a stony look and says, "I didn't read Harry Potter," and then just lets it hang there. We're used to him being a jerk, so we usually just steamroll him and continue on with our riffs.

Inkling

@Xanthophyllippa
I either say "I don't have a TV" in hopes that the other person will reply "Oh, it's online as well!", or to let them know that I'm not skipping the show by choice. Or so they can invite me over for TV nights. I don't want to stop the conversation, just prevent it from going too far down the path in which the TV-haver is under the impression that I could begin watching this show if I wanted.
Tone of voice is everything, though. The anti-HP guy sounds FUN to mess with.

Xanthophyllippa

@Inkcrafter Yeah. I never get to the "Oh, it's online too" part because I'm too busy thinking, "oh, one of THOSE people." But I can see your logic here - makes sense!

sarah girl

@gtrachel I can sort of understand where people are coming from when they have this attitude - I believe a lot of times it's a reaction to constant messages that TV rots your brain, you're just a zombie who'll sit on the couch and eat chips and gain 400 pounds, there's nothing productive about TV-watching, etc etc etc.

It definitely can swing too far in the other direction when people get defensive, but I understand the basic response of "You know what? Not every single thing I do in life needs to be constructive and noble and have a goal. It's okay to sit down and watch something on TV, or take an evening to yourself to catch up on a series; it doesn't make me inferior or simple or ignorant."

TheCheesemanCometh

My grandma had to be home in time to watch her favorite programs every day, including Guiding Light, which she was devoted to from the first day it aired on the radio. My mom went in the completely reactionary opposite direction, and severely restricted our TV watching, so I don't actually have as much of the pop-cultural knowledge that my peers do, although I've picked up a lot through osmosis/wikipedia.

As for myself, I watch mainly history documentaries, mostly because for years I was working nights and weekends (pre Netflix or online stuff) so I couldn't watch series, and those that I could, and liked, always seemed to get cancelled. I guess I have bad taste?

I love recaps though, especially of bad shows. I get to read the story, without having to watch them, or get emotionally invested in something that's going to be yanked. I LOVED the Ringer recaps on GFY. Ioan!

dham

Although I watch so much television, I honestly would prefer to date someone who doesn't. From past relationships, I feel like it's not a vice I like to share, especially not in the context of cohabitation. Especially TV in bed, which can come to replace sex over a long enough period of time.

But, that's just me! I tend to resent my own bad habits (smoking, Facebook, excessive over-sharing, TV watching, pot, etc) when I see them make someone else unhappy.

Gilgongo

@dham My husband BARELY watches TV. And I watch a ton. You'd think his non-TV watching would rub off on me, but unfortunately (fortunately?) it hasn't. And I get bummed that he can't/won't discuss Game Of Thrones with me. Or Fringe. Or Doctor Who. And so forth and so on.

sceps yarx

@Gilgongo my husband and I both like TV but we don't like a lot of same TV. Fortunately, we live with my sister and brother in law, so between the four of us, anyone who's interested in watching a particular show can usually find a 'buddy'. Weirdly enough, the one show we can all agree on is Vampire Diaries.

Gilgongo

@sceps yarx HAH! Vampire Diaries is my guilty pleasure. I'm MORTIFIED that I watch it... and yet I can't stop. DUMP BOTH OF THEM AND CHOOSE ALARIC (oh right. DOH!)

RK Fire

My husband tries to do the whole "I hate TV" thing, but the truth is that we regularly watch Netflix via our PS3 all of the time. Also, tv is incredibly helpful for playing console games so.. tv, I'll never be free of you.

musicello11

So, I've never really had cable. My parents still have an antenna (except now with that funky box thing). There was cable at my university, but I only had a tv the one year I lived in an house with 5 other people. Even then. tv was purely a sit-around-and-munch-while-smoking-a-bowl thing. I do watch shows on the internet, and have Netflix. Until it stops working for me, I save so much money by not having cable!

GailPink

I have a close friend who not only does not even own a TV but also does not Vote! I am not sure why we are still friends, actually.

PrudenceHarlan

Our family went without cable for a couple years after the switch to digital. I couldn't afford cable, and I was super resistant to buying the adapter thingy (my TV is quite old) After I got a raise, I decided to get cable and became immediately addicted to Food Network - along with my 13 year old daughter who is a total foodie. We just moved in March to an apartment temporarily and I decided to skip getting cable. We have internet so we can still do hulu and netflix, but no Food Network. So now I have to watch it at the gym! On the treadmill!

Xanthophyllippa

@PrudenceHarlan Food Network is why I don't have cable. I would literally never leave the house. Someone would have to air-drop toilet paper, tampons, and leafy greens so I didn't die of filth and starvation.

eiffeldesigns

I went without cable for two whole months. It did not cut down on my tv viewing time- I just ended up watching MI-5, Intelligence, Kidnapped, and Archangel on Netflix. Now I've got my cable and netflix, but I try to watch a reasonable amount. And I think I watch the good shit- with occasional forays in to total trash.

I just spent way too much time sitting on my ass with exhusband watching whatever just so we wouldn't have to talk to each other. Don't want my next relationship to be like that.

ImASadGiraffe

I don't have cable but I have a TV. And a laptop, which hooks via HDMI cable into my TV, so I just download or stream the shows I like onto my TV. I pay for the superfast internet package but it's way cheaper than cable.

Ten Thousand Buckets

I'm one of those "I hardly ever watch TV" people - and it's true. I use my TV as a screen to watch a ton of stuff piped over from the laptop, or streaming from Netflix, or on DVD... but I very rarely watch /television/.

Mostly they've just cancelled/ended everything I was interested in watching at broadcast. (No cable, just an antenna lovingly crafted from rabbit ears, a shoebox, and a metal bookend.) I'll give Revolution a try this fall, but with my luck it'll be canned in two or three episodes anyway...

Xanthophyllippa

@Ten Thousand Buckets I only plug my TV in during tornado warnings and college football season, and sometimes not even either of those times because I can get the weather online and most networks in Big 10 land won't show Big 12 games due to "local interest."

Hiroine Protagonist

I stream or download stuff.This leaves me out of the talking about commercials loop, which is just fine with me. Commercials! I only see them when I visit my mother and she blares the teevee and won't mute the advertising. It hurts my brain.

sarah girl

@Hiroine Protagonist Yes, I LOVE being out of the commercial loop. I don't even really use Hulu much and I have an ad blocker on my browser that skips past Youtube commercials, so I see nothing. It is kind of weird, though, when people bond over "Ugh, you know that annoying [whatever] commercial?" "Yes, it's the WORST!!" and I'm just clueless.

staircases

I'll volunteer to be that insufferable person that's too good to pay for reliable internet access. Sure, I won't dispute it's usefulness, but how much of a timesucker is refreshing Facebook, amirite?

suddenvalley

Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.

sceps yarx

@suddenvalley I have a theory that a lot of guys nowadays feel more comfortable with video porn than actual sex because they were raised by television from childhood. It's Freudian, yeah? Or maybe like the orphaned eagles that are raised by a human hand inside an eagle puppet...

puppyemissary

@suddenvalley I know a genuine Magnetbox when I see one.

dennishobson

lley I have a theory that a lot of guys nowadays feel more comfortable with video porn than actual sex because they were raised by television from childhood. It's Freudian, yeah? Or maybe like the orphaned eagles that are raised by a human hand inside an eagle puppet...allpex

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