Boob Tubing

Back in the 1950s, you were ultra cool if you owned a television set. Family, friends and neighbours would gather at your house, bring hot cheese puffs, tuna-potato chip casseroles and jello salads made with fruit and Kraft miniature marshmallows, and then you’d all sit around and watch Texaco Star Theatre.

Then in the 1960s, you were ultra cool if you owned a colour television set[1]. Family, friends and neighbours would gather at your house, bring Waldorf salad, Chicken a la King casserole and Tang, and then you’d all sit around and watch The Red Skelton Show  in “living colour.”

By the end of the 1970s, everyone had a colour television set (or two) and the whole TV thing was old hat and so it became cool not to own a TV, or to claim never to watch it if you did own one.

If you want to appear deep and intellectual these days you feign ignorance of everything related to TV. You toss around things like, “Oh! I haven’t watched television in yonks! I’m not even sure if I own one anymore, AK-chew-al-lee…” Then you give a dismissive little condescending laugh.

Now, call me an ignorant hillbilly, but I’m pretty sure everyone watches TV – even people who don’t own a TV. In fact, the people I know who are so proud of not owning a TV sit glued to my TV when they come to visit. They shush you when you try to talk to them during the commercials even.

I’m not saying that we all actually like watching TV, but we do it because it’s the easiest thing there is to do in our homes or even in our entire lives. Absolutely nothing is required of us except to sit and stare and maybe utter the odd disparaging remark about what’s being beamed into our eyes.

How could a person not take advantage of that every once in a while?

I don’t like much that’s on TV. I posted a status thingy on Facebook last week about Glee.   XUP Jr. made me watch the season opener because she promised it was the greatest thing ever to descend upon mankind since Jesus. (Those may not have been her exact words, but the meaning was clear). Later that day, my Facebook status thingy declared that I didn’t “get” the entire Glee thing. I thought everything about it, aside from maybe one or two songs, was terrible.

I also don’t get Lost. I watched the first two or three episodes and was too bored to ever tune in again. In general, I don’t like shows that force me to watch every week or I won’t understand anything anymore. The exception to that was Coronation Street,  which I watched/taped faithfully since I was a teenager, but which has gotten so ridiculous that I stopped watching it over the last year.

 I still like Law and Order  – the original and Criminal Intent – SVU not so much. I understand there’s a Los Angeles version coming out soon. Oy!

I like Criminal Minds, too. They have some interesting characters and story lines on that show.

In the less criminal area, I like Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, The Office, Old Christine and most British comedies or dramas when I can get them on my non-cable TV.

I also watch American Idol because the child has it on and I’m pretty much committed to sitting in my TV chair from 8:00 to 9:00 pm Monday to Thursday. American Idol is on every one of those days I think. Or maybe it just seems like it.

I think House has been on once in a while, during that tinme slot, too.  Maybe you have to watch House all the time to appreciate it,  because I don’t really understand what’s going on there. He’s a doctor who’s not actually allowed to treat patients but orders a bunch of other doctors around who spend all their time trying to figure out what really bizarre disease one patient has. Is that it? How does this hospital have the resources to dedicate half a dozen doctors to one patient or to keep  doctor on staff who doesn’t actually do anything? And why do they come up with about 10 diagnoses for the patient and treat him for whatever insane new diagnosis they come up with so that by the end he’s had 20 radically different treatments, has been brought to the very brink of death (or even beyond the brink) and then, when they finally get it right, he’s just fine and dandy and everyone has a good laugh?

Anyway, when American Idol/House season is over, other reality and or medical shows slide into that time slot. So You Think You Can Dance, I don’t mind so much. They’re at least very talented people. I could do without all the crazy side-drama, though. And I won’t watch other medical shows because I end up believing I have all the illnesses I see. At least House is completely unbelievable to begin with.

There are a few shows I’ve heard about that sound good though I’ve never seen them since I don’t have cable. The Wire is one that springs to mind.

Then there are a few shows I really miss. Like Twin Peaks. Damn, I loved that show. I think that was the single best thing ever to hit television, in my opinion.

I miss Seinfeld too, though it’s so dated now that it’s lost a lot of its original hilarity. And there are a bunch of comedies from way long ago that I still think are funny in a surreal, creepy kind of way: Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched (with either Darren) …

What do you watch regularly and/or what show(s) do you miss enough to wish they’d come back on the air?

[1] The first commercial colour TV was manufactured in 1954 and sold for $1,295 USD – the equivalent of $10,500 in today’s money

50 responses to “Boob Tubing

  1. I had learned to read and knit before my family ever owned a television so never ‘got’ the TV thing. I’ll sometimes sit companionably, singing in my head and knitting, while my husband relaxes in front of the screen. He works in another city at the moment and I have turned the TV on maybe a dozen times since moving here in September. That being said, I would shush my dead grandmother if she spoke to me during a curling final. And I miss Northern Exposure, St. Elsewhere, Picket Fences and Joan of Arcadia.

  2. Ah, television. Most of what I watch on TV comes from a DVD player. I don’t like watching something with commercial breaks, even when the commercials are interesting. I “get” House, but perhaps only because I watched them all on DVD. From time to time I will watch Law and Order on TV and can tolerate the commercial breaks, but usually this is an accident, not premeditated viewing.

    When I was very young I was a television addict. I recall spending part of a day with my great uncle who took me out to watch a baseball game. Part way through the game I asked to be taken home so I could watch TV. I didn’t see this great uncle very often and he died while I was still quite young. From time to time I remember the day I asked him to take me home from the baseball game. I feel sad when I remember that day. It feels like it was one of the worst things I ever did as a child. A very bad choice.

    Fortunately I seemed to break the habit somewhere along the time line and now I think I almost qualify as one of those people who doesn’t really watch TV anymore, unless I watch something piped in from the DVD player.

    Here is a list of shows I have watched on DVD and really enjoyed. Some I have watched two or three times from start to finish:
    The Sopranos (6 seasons)
    Nip Tuck (4 seasons)
    Desperate Housewives (5 seasons)
    House (4 seasons)
    The Shield (5 seasons)
    Weeds (3 seasons)
    NYPD Blue (4 seasons)
    The Wire (5 seasons)
    Deadwood (3 seasons)
    ROME (2 seasons)
    Dead Like Me (2 seasons)
    24 (6 seasons)

    Breaking Bad, just started season 1, looks pretty good so far. BETTER than pretty good.

    I usually watch a DVD of something while I am getting some exercise, but I will also watch DVDs while I am flopped in bed, just before I turn out all the lights and drift off to dream land.

  3. picket fences! i loved that show.

    i can watch incredible amounts of tv, and then weeks like the one i just had, i barely turned it on. but we are definately a tv family. every time we try and cancel our satellite they give us more stuff for cheaper, so i am still enjoying the luxury of having a pvr. i hate watching commericals!

    currently on my watch list (are you ready for this?) house, flashpoint, modern family (hilarious!), community (hilarious!), grey’s, america’s next top model (guilty pleasure), big bang theory. i do enjoy csi (the original) and i can watch criminal minds if the senario doesn’t freak me out too much. did you see the one with the old people keeping the kids they kidnapped in the basement? wtf?

    i can’t wait for true blood and weeds to start up again. those we have to download though. we don’t have any of the fancy cable chanels.

    all that being said, i have started to knit again while watching tv to try and alleviate the guilt.

  4. I’ve also noticed a resurgence of great cartooons Teletoon and YTV.

    There was a long period of crap, when cartoons were either PC-vanilla morality plays, or cheap Japanese anime designed to sell toys. The only good stuff was the 50-year-old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

    But now, there are a lot of fresh new shows, with great animation and great writing. With enough adult references that parents can watch these shows with their kids.

    I’d highly recommend:

    – Kid Vs. Kat.
    – Fairly Odd Parents
    – The League of Super Evil

    And of course, you can’t go wrong with the classics like SpongeBob, The Simpsons or Family Guy.

    (Though Family Guy isnt’ exactly a kids’ show!)

  5. I rarely watch tv but it isn’t because I’m intellectual in any way. It just bores me.
    I like movies though.
    And I do download episodes of some shows that people tell me are really good.
    And I really like being able to fast forward through the boring parts of movies or tv shows..

  6. Grace – We didn’t have a TV until I was about 10 and I didn’t like it at first. But it slowly sucked me in. I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of the shows you mentioned.

    OC – NYPD Blue is the only one on your list I ever watched and I didn’t watch it all the time, so I got kind of lost on the ongoing plot line. I think more people are doing the DVD thing and the online TV watching thing these days. I wonder how that’s going to affect TV down the road?

    Smothermother – I see we have a couple in common. I can’t stand CSI. It makes me crazy because even, I, a layperson, knows how impossibly unrealistic that is – all those hot young investigators trotting around crime scenes in full make-up, hair flowing loosely, boobs thrusting out of their t-shirts, high heels, dropping their DNA, clothing fibres, shoe scrapings all over the place. …interrogating suspects, shooting people. Sheesh!

    Friar – Simpsons isn’t exactly a family show either. I have no kid to watch cartoons with. And I gotta confess, cartoons never really riveted me, even as a kid.

    Glen – So what TV shows have you downloaded that people tell you are really good and did you think they were good, too?

  7. I was a Little House on the Prairie fan…loved that show as a kid. (now I realize how religious it was and old episodes kind of creep me out) My family always watched M.A.S.H. together. The last series I loved was in university. We would watch Seinfeld and Sex and the City with my roommates – saw every episode. I haven’t had a favorite TV show since then. I hear Modern Family is really funny…

  8. We don’t have a tv but I work in a bar where the tv is on all the livelong day. What do you want to know about the NFL draft? I konw everything. And I, too, take advantage of being in tv-persons’ homes. Of course I do! My parents’ tv is like 52″, plasma, flat-screen, high-def. It’s like being in the same room with the peeps up there. When we visit them, they go to bed and I watch a movie. And now that I think about it, it’s been *months* since we’ve gone down there to visit……

  9. I loved Twin Peaks! It was the only show that actually made me want to have a cup of “jo” and some cherry pie. I couldn’t wait for the next episode. It was so complex and remember David Duchovny as the FBI agent dressed in drag? lol The only TV show I can really say beat Twin Peaks is Six Feet Under. I doubt Six Feet will every be outdone.

  10. Ech! I don’t like Glee or Lost either! Both annoy the hell out of me (Particularly Glee)

    Some of the shows that I do enjoy or have enjoyed in the past are Dexter (Hopefully it will return soon), Spartacus, Six Feet Under, X-Files, Outer Limits, Kids in the Hall, Mission Hill, The Oblongs, Futurama, Scrubs (before it lost most of its original cast and went down the toilet), Will and Grace, Project Runway, Kitchen Nightmares and yes…I will admit that I do enjoy watching re-runs of the Golden Girls.

  11. I never got Coronation Street. Never saw the point to it. On the other hand, I love Lost and will really miss it when it’s over.

    In the “reality” genre, I’m totally hooked on the granddaddy of reality shows: Survivor – and have been since halfway through the second season.

    Other than that, I’m a big fan of Mad Men and Weeds (which I watch on my computer) and a few Quebec shows – which tend to last about 8 weeks and then are done.

    I like animations like the Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, King of the Hill, but on DVD so I watch some now and again. Right now we’re also working our way slowly through all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H*.

  12. hahaha, i know a couple who are always sniffing that they don’t watch t.v./own a t.v. what they failed to mention is that they buy or rent television series and watch them on their laptop, and their kids watch dora on the computer as well. i HATE it when people pretend that they don’t watch t.v.
    rant over.
    here are my must watch shows:
    -Modern Family
    -Cougar Town
    -the Office
    -Cougar Town
    -30 Rock
    -Gray’s Anatomy (hate love relationship)
    -Lost (same as above – can’t wait til it’s over)
    here are my pvr shows, but i rarely get a chance to watch them
    -Criminal Minds
    -America’s Next Top Model (shut up)
    -Intervention (shut up)
    Shows I really miss:
    -Arrested Development
    -The Riches

  13. MM – The books sure weren’t religious. I think it was Michael Landon that insisted on that stuff. He was a bit of a nut. And, ya, Seinfeld was the last water-cooler show, I think.

    Ellie – Shame on you, not visiting those lovely parents of yours…and their giant TV.

    Maurice – I’d forgotten about David Duchovny in that. That was some show. And thanks for finally leaving a comment!!

    Pauline – I haven’t seen a lot of those. I really liked the Dexter novels. I think I saw half of one of the TV programs once and was a little disappointed about the way the character was playing out on TV. He wasn’t the same guy from the books at all. I did watch Scrubs sometimes.

    Jazz – Coronation Street in the old days was just a really boring slice of northern English life. Nothing much happened except for these people who are forced to be together for life pretty much, interacting and having little day-to-day dramas and fun times. Then it got all Americanized and they brought in a bunch of young people who kill each other and hop from one bed to the other and do a lot of other regular soap opera stuff.

    Meanie – We’ve watched America and Canada’s next top model. XUP Jr. loves it…Cougar Town twice, eh??

  14. Love The Golden Girls. I record it Monday – Friday. Still hilarious and an awesome cast of characters.

    I stopped watching Law & Order after having kids. Too frightening.

  15. I loved Twin Peaks as well. Unlike you I love Lost and have been on board since the first episode. Other shows I love are Dr. Who (the new ones), food shows starring Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, The Daily Show, Modern Family, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Flight of the Conchords, The United States of Tara, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Clatterford, and anything with Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan in it.

  16. I’m one of those insufferable no-tv folks. However, my motivation for eschewing it was not to be holier than though, but rather because I’m lazy and weak – if it’s there I will consume too much of it (same reason I don’t keep snack food in the house).

    A few times I have rented TV series people were buzzing about, but every single one was horrible. Seriously – stop watching TV for a few weeks, and then go back and you’ll be surprised how stupid and shrieky it all is.

  17. Oh dear god… this is exactly why I don’t watch TV. No, I do my fair share of sitting in front of the boob tube, but we no longer bother to hook it up to anything except our DVD player. We like to let the shows simmer for awhile and see what rises to the top. If we happen to catch an episode of something that we like, we’ll buy or borrow the season DVD and watch it.

    We’ve got Dirty Jobs, Big Bang Theory, tons of Simpsons and Fraiser. About 25 episodes of an old Italian comic theater show (Eduardo De Filippo). Doctor Who and Blackpool (was a BBC mini-series). And then some random Scobby Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pingu for when the kids are jones’n for a quick cartoon fix.

  18. I didn’t watch tv regularly between 1973 and 1982 because I was in Europe part of the time and didn’t have a tv for the rest. I listened to the radio for entertainment. Now, I have a Tivo and cannot live without it. I love how I can record shows and watch them at my leisure, easier and better than the old VCR.

    I like shows with:
    1. interesting characters
    2. compelling stories
    3. good writing
    4. good acting
    in that order.
    I will watch what others may consider crap if the characters are interesting. This may explain why I love shows that are about the supernatural even though I am an atheist who does not believe in the supernatural. In those shows, the characters are usually morally conflicted but they take the time to puzzle out the weirdness around them and they try to make sense of it.
    That is why people might be surprised to learn that I loved Joan of Arcadia, Wonderfalls, Saving Grace, Dead Like Me, The X Files, etc. Currently in that genre, I am watching Lost, Fringe, Flash Forward, Heroes. I also like shows where the characters have a lot to overcome that isn’t supernatural, where they have to struggle, but I can’t think of any right now. In the fun stories category are Bones, The Mentalist, Monk, Jericho. At the top of the cancelled too soon, I have the DVDs and the movie category is the late, much lamented “Firefly”.

    What I have come to dislike about the original CSI (in addition to the stupidly impractical outfits on the women) is the moralizing. Every character who gets whacked was doing something “perverted”. While I watched it, I like the Grissom character the best, as he was the most layered.

  19. I have a T.V. that has a built in VCR, DVD player, I do not have cable and now they switched to digital here I cannot even watch basic channels. I am not anti-TV I am anti-paying 100 bucks a month for the three shows I watch or to stare it because I don’t want to move off the couch.

    I own a computer, I cannot watch CSI, 30 Rock and Rachel Maddow and that does it for me.

  20. Stefania – Wow, that’s some GG dedication. They were okay, but it was never my favourite show. Bea Arthur never seemed like someone I’d like to live with.

    Dr. Monkey – I love Ricky Gervais! And I think we’ve talked before about all those great Brit Coms and Dramas. All those other American shows I don’t know. I think I’m going to find me the Twin Peaks DVD set and watch it all over again – although now that I know what’s going on and what’s going to happen it might not be as much fun?

    Dave – I lived without a TV for a long time at one point, too. I got a hell of a lot of stuff done. Not having cable is a happy medium. We only get 5 English-speaking channels so if something good is on, we’ll watch, if not, we’ll find something else to do.

    Christine – Every so often if I’m at a hotel or something they beam in Italian movies or TV – what a laugh riot!!

    Julia – Ewwwww – I hated Grissom with a wormy wriggly feeling. Layered? He was retarded. And that whole story line about him and the chick with the weird mouth. Major willies. MAJOR. Bones is amusing though. I loved the Monk books, and I like the guy who plays Monk, but I’ve never actually seen the show.

    Cedar – We don’t have cable either and got an HD indoor antenna that does a really nice job of sucking in those digital channels. It wasn’t very expensive either ($30) – you should go look for one. Totally worth it. We can get 5 English speaking channels very clearly; about half a dozen French channels very clearly and about another half dozen channels fuzzy to okay depending on the weather or something.

  21. We have a television in a closet that we use for dvd’s (our vcr died and dontcha know it, you can’t find them anymore!) I get dvd’s of british series out from the library – we just watched a series on the truth about the middle ages.

    Not liking the corporate control of television doesn’t mean I don’t like some tv shows though – but I’m not connected to television culture – the ads the news, following the latest show, reality tvetc – I rent a season out at a time of favorite shows. My shows I loved and miss – Dead Like Me (dead people who got tagged at death to become grim reapers. The main character is a late teen who was perpetually bored with life and, well it was a WONDERFUL show. My favorite part was her ongoing relationship with her little sister who she continues to watch growing up. All the reaper characters were fascinating.) and This is Wonderland (Canadian comedy about the public defenders in the Toronto court – sort of a legal King of Kensington. Everyone seems to have mental health issues – those before the courts, those defending them, those on the bench. Great show.

    I loved those shows. When I visit someone with tv I find it absolutely drawing – it’s so unreal – better than real life in a creepy way. I can’t draw my eyes away…but I can’t tell you what I watched – the shows aren’t the issue – it’s the commercials.

    As for commercials I really like Ikea commercials, and the ones for the Kids Help Line make me cry.

  22. Like you, we have tv, but no cable or satellite service. I must look into this hd antenna that you speak of. We get CTV really clearly, TVO and CBC relatively clearly, and CHCH and Global sort of fuzzy.

    What do I like? HNIC, Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order (all kinds), Criminal Minds (though it’s sometimes is too intense for me and I have to turn it off). And the original C.S.I., which seems somewhat more realistic (at least in the earlier seasons) than the Miami or New York ones.

    Which ones do I miss? NYPD Blue for sure. I loved that show. ER, which I only really watched religiously in its last season. Chicago Hope (I love Mandy Patinkin). And, from the days we used to have cable and the girls watched Teletoon: Dave the Barbarian.

  23. I agree with Maurice that Six Feet Under was the best show ever. We rented all of the DVDs after the show was off the air and it is well worth doing this.
    My favourite current show is Modern Family. Laugh out loud.
    I too had to give up on Corrie….too bad.

  24. I am SO with you on CSI. A few years ago I had a series of posts on why I hated that show so much, but I was getting really wound up about it and I had to just let it go. But even now, when I happen to flick by it on TV I can feel the bile rising. SO ANGER MAKING.


    As you probably know I am a total TV junkie and I watch way too much. I’m addicted to So You Think You Can Dance (and I am also addicted to blogging about it in great, great detail). Right now I also watch The Amazing Race, Survivor, and American Idol (but I’m totally breaking up with all three when these seasons are over, I’m only it in so I have a date to prom). I also watch Castle (a total Bones rip off, and yet my scoffing at it did not turn Sir Monkeypants away, and now I’m hooked), Grey’s Anatomy (will watch it until it dies a slow, horrible death — cannot look away!), and House (we’ve broken up a couple of times before but I keep getting sucked back in).

    And there’s Lost, too.

    No wonder I have no “free” time!

  25. Hi,

    I watched tv, the comedy shows and the cowboy shows when I was a kid. Bonanza was a big one.
    We only had one the whole time I was growing up and it was a color set my dad built from a kit. So, unless he wasn’t watching it, we had to watch what he wanted..Red Skelton, Gunsmoke, I love lucy.

    Now when I go back to watch the old comedies, they are too loud for me, and not that interesting.

    So, now I watch NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Numbers (which is apparently off right now). I’ve watched all of Friends and Sex and the City, but on dvd. And all of House. You do have to watch that one from the beginning.

    We get one channel reliably, we live where you have to have satellite to get much more, but I’m not for paying for TV. I have better things to spend my money on than more TV channels than I can watch, and better things to do with my time.

    Never saw any of the Little House on the Prairie shows, but I did read every one of the books growing up!

  26. We had the first TV on our block when I was a kid. I’m not sure why my parents bought one. I’ll have to ask them. Quickly addicting, even back then. Here in France I am very behind on American Tv-I can’t stand French TV-although they do show some episodes in English here and there. Every Sunday night they show CSI-the one in Las Vegas-and I watch it not because I love it but because it is set in the States and I like seeing that and hearing all of the cliches Americans use-but what is it with all of the dark rooms and those flashlights? One of my sons doesn’t have a TV but they do watch movies and DVDs. I amazed at how creative my grandchildren are, masters of play, since they watch very little TV. However, if I turn on a cartoon they will sit in front of the TV until it is turned off, little TV addicts.

  27. I’m not a big tv person but I do download several shows at the end of the season. I hate watching and waiting a week so I’d rather wait several months in order to watch the entire season 1 or 2 episodes each night until it’s done.

    Show’s that I like.

    Smallville (I’m a comic book geek)
    Robin Hood (BBC – only lasted 3 seasons 2005-2008?)
    Pretty much anything from discovery channel

  28. I was so addicted to tv at one time that I actually gave it up for lent, instead of the standard sweets. And you know what, I didn’t miss it a stitch. I replaced it with other activities, ones that had me moving around…what a concept. So, by the end of lent, I decided to give away my tv and didn’t have one for over a year.

    I forget what pulled me back to owning one, but now I’m back to watching too much tv again. Well, it’s more there for background noise for my other addiction, the internet. Right now, my favorites are Modern Family, Parenthood, and Parks & Recreation. The last one took me a while to get into. I actually hated it at first, now I love the characters.

    I wish they’d bring back a new version of Anne of Green Gables (loved the Canadian series!).

  29. Mudmama – I remember Wonderland. That was a good show except on only so briefly. It’s funny how much an effect TV has on people who rarely watch it. I think if you’re on it every day you become desensitized to it.

    Alison – You’re doing pretty well without the HD antenna. We got CBC, CTV, Global, TVO, SUN TV and a bunch of French stations really well. Then some others occasionally in a fuzzy way – CITY, OMNI… You really turn Criminal Minds off in the middle of a show? Wow.

    Finola – I don’t think Maurice said Six Feet Under was the best show ever …I think he said Twin Peaks was the best show ever. Or did I say that? Did you give up Corrie for the same reasons I did?

    Lynn – Yes, you’re my star TV commenter today. I don’t get that worked up about CSI. I just think it’s stupid and don’t watch it. I watched the first Survivor because for some reason I thought it was going to be a one-off innovative thing. I couldn’t see the point of going through the whole thing again, only with different people.

    Susan – Oh ya, Numbers…that was weird. You could try getting a good HD antenna – we suck in enough channels to keep it interesting without having so many options that we’re never away from the TV.

    Jennifer – Ah, wasn’t it you that proposed a Big Bang marathon party? What’s Parks and Recreation?

    Linda – Ya, I wondered that about CSI, too – every crime scene they attend is dark and they have to use their flashlights. I guess when someone dies, their electricity dies with them???

    Sean – Aren’t we impatient? That’s funny – you can’t wait for the next week to see what happens.

    Skye – I wonder why you’d keep watching a show that you hated? If I hate a show I just don’t watch it anymore. I’m amazed at all these programs everyone is watching that I’ve never heard of. It’s either the lack of cable or the fact that I don’t stay up late enough. After living on the east coast for 9 years, I’m sick to death of anything Anne-related.

  30. Sounds like we need Maurice to settle this one for us 🙂
    Yes, I gave up Corrie for the same reasons as you. I might have kept with it a bit longer, but when they changed the time it came on at, it also fell right at the girls’ bedtime. I still check in now and then, but I’m not sure who is who anymore.

  31. I didn’t really “say” which one is the best, but for the record Six Feet gets my vote. Otherwise it would have been Twin Peaks, but the story had fallen apart at the end. The final Six Feet episode was so well done, left me breathless. I don’t know if they had planned it that way, it was certainly well done.

    On a Sci-Fi note Babylon 5 was actually planned for a 5 year run and the storyline was so amazing. J. Michael Straczynski had actually planned to tell his story over a 5 year span. Did anyone watch it? It gets my vote in the Sci-Fi category. Never seen a TV series that had main plot play out over several seasons.

  32. I’m a total TV junkie. I will watch most anything and probably have seen just about all of the shows people have mentioned here. I work at home, so during the day I’ll watch reruns of old prime time shows and just about anything. I like the noise in the background, plus for a few minutes you can pay attention and then go about doing something else. My husband and I are both science geeks, so we watch a lot of stuff with that as a theme, like Numbers and Mythbusters. I like a lot of stuff on the History channel too because they make it more interesting than most books that you would read on an historical subject (sad, but true and I even love to read).

    Stuff I don’t want to miss now: Dr. Who (though I’m not thrilled with the new Doctor), Bones, Fringe, Numbers, Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, Castle, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, House, Law and Order, South Park.

    Stuff I miss: The Sporanos, The Amazing Race (can’t get that in London), Northern Exposure, Sliders, Sports Night, Life, CSI (when it was good), Robot Chicken (can’t get this in London either), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly.

    I watch a lot of travel shows too, anything with a destination that seems exciting, so I’m not loyal to the particular shows just the subject matter. And I’m like this with cooking shows too. However, Good Eats with Alton Brown is a must watch for me. Also, I like Gordon Ramsay even when he yells but I liked The F Word and the show where he tries to help people get their restaurants back on track, but I can’t think of the name right now.

  33. The main issue I have with TV is that it is (and always has been) “their schedule, their rules”.

    Nine hundred channels, and what I want to watch is…

    …not on right now. But there are lots of commercials to sell you a bunch of shit you don’t need.

    I think it used to be a lot less obvious, but it’s pretty damned obvious these days if you look at the poor quality of a lot of the shows, the number of re-runs and “retro” channels, and so on.

    I guess to me, TV would be a lot like a library (or the internet) where someone else says, “these are the only things you’re allowed to read or view at this time, you can’t stop in the middle to go to the toilet (yes, I know about PVRs, we have one), and if you want to read *this book* you have to read this junk mail every 10th page”.

    No thanks…

    (Pirate Bay FTW!!!)

  34. I also seem to be watching tv between 8 and 9, and it probably began with House. I really enjoy that show, even though Hugh Laurie plays a self-absorbed genius who toys with/taunts his colleagues and anyone else who happens by. He is a wonderful comedic actor, all sorts of history in British series and movies and I love his humour and even the background music in the show. Well, once you’re there between 8 and 9, it’s NCIS on Tuesday, Bones on Wed. and Flashback on Thursday. Don’t know about Friday. I usually knit when I watch tv – convinces me I’m not wasting time. I also like Monk (but I only happen on it from time to time), loved Six Feet Under; but I don’t remember the other shows in past years I liked…The Wire is excellent; but I could never get it on tv, even with cable.

  35. Finola – I know. It’s all crazy stuff with new people being added every 5 minutes and the last of the old timers – Ken, Rita and Emily just rattling around there occasionally with no purpose whatsoever.

    Maurice – Fallen apart? OMG? NO. That was the beauty of the whole thing. Traitor.

    Sean – Ya well, those breaks keep getting longer and longer. How long was Lost off the air, for instance? Seems like more than 4-8 weeks.

    Kimberly – Maybe I should have asked you which shows you don’t like? Robot Chicken??? And CSI (when it was good). When was that? Before it was on? Ha ha ha.

    Brett – But it’s “free” entertainment. And free always comes with strings attached by the giver of the free thing. TV is maybe better and commercial free in other places; but they have to pay. Of course if you pay for cable or satellite then it’s not exactly free anymore, but then theoretically there’s pretty much always something on that you want to watch, no?

    Nancy – Oh, so House is supposed to be a comedy? I did get that there’s humour in it, but I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be totally absurd or if it was meant to be half serious. Maybe I have to watch it more often or something. Or maybe less often. I don’t know. I’ll have to look for Six Feet Under DVDs since it’s been recommended by so many people. Also The Wire

  36. I think the CSI flashlights are UV light so that they can see blood and body fluids not visible in regular light. We never used them on CSI: Carp.

  37. Yeah, I like TV. Good stuff and bad stuff. But the given time constraints imposed upon me as a result of my decision(s) to have kids, I don’t watch a lot anymore.
    Twin Peaks would be up there for me as well, XUP. Damn fine TV (get the reference?).
    But bite for bite, the most awesomest show ever was Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Crazy funny. Well-written and acted. No “same ‘ol, same ‘ol”, that one!
    Also, in no particular order, I have enjoyed:
    – Lost (and yes, I know how it will end!)
    – The Sopranos
    – M*A*S*H
    – Dead Like Me
    – Arrested Development
    – Cheers
    – Rome

  38. OK, so Agent Cooper becoming “evil” is the beauty of the whole thing? Seems to me that he couldn’t become evil because he was “the good” opposite to the evil that Bob represented. There was no one else that could fight against the black lodge. Every good story has a Yin and a Yang (good vs evil). Laura Palmer’s father was tricked by Bob at a young age. Cooper understood what had happened and he was already prepared for this kind of battle. Fact is the show got canceled and Lynch tried to wrap it up too fast. They didn’t plan for an ending and it showed. I don’t have a better ending, I just know that this story didn’t have a good one.

    That being said, not many Boob tube story lines do have a good ending. How many shows wrapped up with a great finish? Six Feet definitely did.

  39. Alison – No they’re not. They don’t go into a crime scene right off the bat with UV lights. And they’re looking for all sorts of clues – digging bullets out of walls, minute hair follicles (which could have fallen from their own heads btw), weapons, etc. They don’t get to the fluids later when they pull out the hexospectrometricalosphemometer.

    Trashy – Ya, I get the reference. I’ve never heard of Rome – what’s that about? Rome?

    Maurice – Maybe. I don’t really remember all the details. I should probably go watch it again and see if I even still like it. Or maybe I should just leave it in my head as the best thing I ever saw on TV.

  40. Still laughing at Allison and CSI Carp.

    How much did I love Twin Peaks… I have a special spot in my heart for all things David Lynch… sigh.

    TV — Season 1 and 2 of The West Wing are probably the best television ever. God the writing on that was incredible. Loved that show.

    What do I watch now.
    Supernatural: although the middle of this season has been meh.
    Fringe: I will admit that the only reason I started watching this is because the promos looked way more interesting than Bones.
    Bones: Keep hoping Booth will get naked. Then I remember it’s TV. (I love me a procedural.)
    SYTYCD: I will tune in this season but it better be spectacular. Last season was craptastic. And really, I think the entire thing is linked to wasps for me now.

    Best find for this year has been Republic of Doyle (on CBC) PI show set in St. John’s. Love it.

  41. Loth – I’ve never seen Torchwood but I’m willing to love it if you’ll just come visit even once.

    Nat – Ha ha Republic of Doyle. The promo ads turned me off so dramatically to this show that I refuse to watch it. That Doyle guy I find extremely irritating just from the few seconds I saw him and every week’s promo is exactly the same as the week’s before — there’s a hot babe and he gets beat up. Obviously there’s more to it if you love it, but I don’t think I’m going to watch it. PS: I love David Lynch too

  42. I forgot Torchwood. I love Torchwood. Loth, if things don’t work out with XUP, you can come and hang out at my place. The spiders are gone from the closet.

  43. Whether it is free or not isn’t a concern of mine.

    It is that (for me, at least) the medium has shown how inflexible and outdated it really is…

    For all the money I have to pay to have satellite TV or digital cable, I expect to be able to watch *what* I want, *when* I want to watch it, without commercials.

    Since they cannot deliver on this, I arrange it myself via other means.

    Yes, there is a cost involved (my DSL connection and hard drive space, as well as engaging in “questionable” practices), but it works for me.

    Besides – and I’m not being a martyr, I’m just a busy guy – I watch maybe – *maybe* – 30 minutes a week, or one movie.

    If that.

    I have better things to do with my life.

    Yeah, I’m on the internet a fair bit – but at least there’s a conversation involved.

    Unless you’re the sort to talk to your TV, in which case, have at it…

  44. What a fun post. I can relate from both sides of the argument.

    From the time I graduated from high school until I started dating my husband, I never watched television with these notable exceptions: movies on DVD, the Superbowl (at parties) and food porn. I completely missed Seinfeld, Friends and Sex in the City.

    About eight years ago, he started me on a slippery, downward slope. For a while, we were only watching movies (tons of them) and television series on DVD: The Sopranos, The Wire (it’s excellent and worth watching), Deadwood, 24.

    Now it’s getting worse. I’ve actually become addicted to a few programs during the regular season: True Blood and Spartacus. And we’re currently working our way through all six seasons of Highlander: The Series starring Adrian Paul.

    Left to my own devices, I would give it all up. Sometimes, yes, I enjoy the mindless entertainment, and I do like movies. But life is short. I’d much rather spend my time reading, writing, connecting with friends, learning a new skill… Anything but staring at the boob tube.

    The television, however, remains my husband’s primary form of entertainment. So we watch an hour or so together as our quiet time (can you tell we don’t yet have kids?), and then I pursue more stimulating forms of recreation.

  45. Alison – Hey, stop poaching my new roomate.

    Brett – Really? You watch TV only 30 minutes a week?

    Mistina – I was gonna say, you have to work on making YOU your husband’s primary form of entertainment!! Thanks for visiting and leaving such an interesting comment.

  46. @XUP,

    Yeah, about that – or I might go two weeks without, and then watch longer.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t consume media – I just get it online.

    So if I want to know “what’s up” in the world, I go to a news web site.

    My schedule.

    If I want to watch a certain show, I “know how to obtain it”.

    My schedule. No commercials.

    We have a pretty loaded satellite package (wife and kids watch), so odds are, we’re paying for it anyway, and I don’t feel guilty.

    Although, I often buy print media for the advertisements – I just bought a computer magazine the other day, for instance, not for the content, but for the ads – so I can see what’s new out there.

    Easier than watching the Flash ads rotate on a web page 🙂