I Watch Too Much TV

My wife and I got a monster of a TV from a friend right after we were married. The friend was moving out of the country for a while and didn’t want to worry about storing the thing. It weighed about 300 lbs. and was a pain to get into our tiny second story apartment (with no elevator and a narrow staircase). I’m not really sure why we accepted the TV. We didn’t have an antenna for local stations, and we certainly didn’t have enough money for cable or satellite TV. For the most part, we watched movies on it, played video games, and occasionally we would hook it up to a computer and stream shows on it. The most fun we had was watching old episodes of Supernatural, and shooting the monsters with Nerf guns.

We got rid of the TV after a few months and since then have just used our laptops. It’s amazing, however, how much TV I seem to watch despite the fact that we don’t have a TV. We got a Netflix subscription a few months before our oldest child was born, and it’s definitely been used. (Netflix was a godsend when our 3 month old went nocturnal for a few weeks.) I started keeping track of all the TV series I’ve watched to completion (11 so far), and it’s a little sad how much time I’ve spent.

I realized a few years ago that one of the reasons I like watching Netflix is that most of the shows have completed their runs. I don’t have to wait a week (or a summer) for new episodes, because there won’t be any new episodes. Even the shows that are still on the air are usually well into their run and it takes a good chunk of time to catch up. For example, I hadn’t seen any episodes of Community, but was able to watch the first 4 seasons on Netflix before the 6th season was announced.

This does cause some issues. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad when it was on the air, and I’m working my way through it now. I don’t watch it often, so it’s slow going (I think I’m at the beginning of season 4). The problem is that spoilers pop up in other media now because the show’s been off the air for almost 2 years. Breaking Bad is the big one, but I’ve also run into this with Community, and some Supernatural. It’s a trade off. I can binge watch a full season, but I may see some spoilers before I get to it.

Not only do I spend way too much time watching TV, but I spend a lot of time reading about TV. One of the things my wife and I started doing, was reading the imdb trivia after watching a movie. I’ve also started doing this with TV series that I finish. I also have spent a good deal of time on this site. Which graphs the imdb ratings of individual episodes of a series. (Check out Breaking Bad, it’s impressive.)

The odd thing is… even though I spend a lot of time consuming TV, I don’t actually talk about it that much. My wife and I may discuss something we’ve watched, but within an hour or so, we’re on to new topics that have nothing to do with TV or movies. We’re much more likely to talk about books, current events, or our family. I guess that’s why, even though I watch too much TV, I don’t feel like it’s a problem. My interests range far beyond the show I’m watching, and I hope that my kids will be the same.

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