What TV shows do we watch here in Jenworld?
First, a bit of background:
When Pete was growing up, his TV was strictly regulated. Consequently, this is a guy who has almost no knowledge of the Brady Bunch. And isn't that just the saddest thing you ever heard? To give you a more complete sense of what I'm talking about, Pete's mother had a BLACK AND WHITE TV until just a few years ago. Actually, she might still have it, now that I think about it. He did get to watch some TV, however, and one of his all-time favorite shows was "Mission: Impossible" which we are currently re-watching on DVD. He also loved "Hogan's Heroes" and we revisited that show several years ago. Then Pete made the mistake of mentioning Bob Crane's sordid past and I simply couldn't watch the show without wanting to smack the sick bastard. (Crane, not Pete.)
My mother regulated how much TV I got. But on the weekends, when I was at my father and stepmother's house, the TV was always on. Seriously. Even during meals. Name any movie that might have been on HBO during the 1980s and there's a chance I've seen at least part of it, including "Runaway Train." Oh, and ask me about any episode of "The Brady Bunch" because I can probably describe it, including quotes. "Mom always said, 'Don't play ball in the house.' "
I also watched too much "Dallas," "Fantasy Island," and "Love Boat."
On a related note, I watched so much MTV in the 1980s that when I hear a Top 40 song from that era, I can almost always name the song, the group, the album, and describe the video. No wonder I almost flunked calculus in high school.
In college, we didn't watch much TV other than "Saturday Night Live." But my fourth year of college, Pete and I and my roommate and her boyfriend and I had a standing commitment to watch "Dark Shadows" on Fridays, "SNL" on Saturdays, and "Seinfeld" on Thursdays.
When Pete and I got married, we pretty much only watched TV on Thursday nights (Must See TV!) and, in the fall, Pete would watch football on the weekends. In fact, in our early years of wedded bliss, Pete was known to watch eight or even ten hours of football on a Saturday. That all ended when Grace was born and we just didn't have the time to give to TV. Plus, I put my foot down and said "no more."
When the girls were little, we let them watch a little Disney Channel every day, just so I could have a little peace and quiet when I had my daily nervous breakdown. Once they started school, however, there was simply no time for TV on a daily basis, so now they only watch TV on the weekend and it's one DVD per night.
As for Pete and me, we watch a little TV on Fridays and Saturdays. For a few years there, we were tivo-ing our shows, which enabled us to zip through the ads. But we weren't really watching that much in general, so we canceled our satellite service this summer and now only have network TV.
But I don't think we're really going to miss much this year.
Last year, we made an effort to check out several of the new shows and then got screwed by the networks when one show was canceled after just three episodes ("Smith" -- it was brilliant) and another one was moved from slot to slot with no warning ("The Knights of Prosperity" -- funny as shit).
So looking ahead to this TV season, we're feeling a bit wary about committing ourselves to any shows, so we're thinking about not watching anything and just waiting to see what comes out on DVD.
But, this long rambling entry has yet to address what we do watch and enjoy:
- "House" - We've seen the first two seasons on DVD and are waiting to borrow the third.
- "Scrubs" - We're finishing up the first season on DVD and will move on from there. I was dubious when my brother and sister-in-law swore it was one of the best shows ever. They were right and I was so very wrong.
- "Office" - We've watched Season 1 and will eventually get around to the next one.
- "Reno 911" - We had been watching this one weekly but will move to DVDs as they come out.
- "Mind of Mencia" - Another one we were watching weekly on Comedy Central. We haven't decided yet what we'll do about this one.
- "Shark" - We really enjoyed this show last year, but can't decide if we'll watch it weekly this year or wait for the DVD next summer.
- "Ugly Betty" - There's no way I'm giving this one up, but it remains to be seen if we'll watch it weekly. I just hate having my viewing schedule dictated by the networks.
- "Friday Night Lights" - I came to this one reluctantly last year. I mean, why on earth would Pete think I'd want to watch a show about football? But, it turned out to be a pretty good show and I got sucked into the drama. That said, we're not sure we want to watch the second season. There were some annoying characters and some stupid plot twists. Plus, we're hearing rumors that the show won't survive its second season. At this point, we're going to wait to see what happens.
- "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" - These are great, but we just don't have time for daily shows.
Also not on the list above: Oprah, the harpies from "The View," or any other daytime programming. I know that some people think Oprah is the greatest human ever and that she should get the Nobel Peace Prize, but I think she's slowly and subtly trying to indoctrinate the nation into the Cult of Oprah. (For a great satire on Oprah, see this article at The Onion.") (Thanks to my sister-in-law for this one.)
So that's my story about TV viewing here in Jenworld. What shows do you watch?