Wednesday, September 7, 2011

TV-free update!

We did indeed make it one (almost) whole summer (almost) without TV!
If you remember- we committed to turning off the tube from June through Labor Day, (with only a couple very important viewing appointments allowed....).

The summer actually went faster than I thought (I’m getting old!) which was unfortunate...but the good part was I honestly didn’t miss TV a bit. We were so busy (SO busy!) that I don’t know when we even would have squeezed it in if we wanted to. We definitely got more done around the house without the distraction, and I made other things- (like reading!) a priority. I’m sure it would have been harder if I knew I was missing tons of my favorite shows (Summer is admittedly a dry season for quality programming), but in all I found TV is one of those things that once you get used to not having it, you don’t miss as much as you’d think. I think the more I watch, the more I want to watch...they suck you in with commercials and promos, and before I know it I have a DVR full of things I think are must-see. But when I took the option away, it didn’t have a hold on me anymore. (I think there is probably a parenting lesson in here somewhere....)

So, we’re officially into September now, and planning our re-entry into the magical world of TV. Dustin and I talked about it a little, and our goal is to be deliberate about how we approach our viewing habits now. It would be easy to fall back (literally) into the pattern of flopping down on the couch after a long day, and enjoying an evening of mind numbing entertainment. And it’s not that we never want to do that, but we’d like to prioritize other things- like cooking, talking, reading, cleaning, playing games, raising a baby, far ahead of TV.

For me, I’ve found that setting a time allowance (an hour a day etc.) isn’t the best it usually ends with me flipping channels, not finding anything I really want to watch, but settling on something dumb. And then in the meantime I find several other options to tape for the future, and before you know it I’m locked into season five of Teen Mom (they’re like 23 now!) and thinking it matters. Instead, I think the approach we took this summer was successful- limit our “watch list” to things we really love, and just watch those. No flipping around. No lounging mindlessly in front of junk, just deliberate relaxation with shows we enjoy. Sure, I may be over thinking the whole thing, but it’s what works for us.

Last night was our first official night with the option to watch, and I took advantage of some down time to check out a couple of my guilty pleasure shows: The Rachel Zoe Project and Top Chef- Just Desserts. And what I found? I didn’t miss them at all. After breaking the cycle of crap-tv, I was better able to see that these shows aren’t really guilty pleasures at all- they’re just guilty. I turned Top Chef off in the first ten minutes, and though I made it all the way through RZ, I have no desire to watch the rest of the season. Maybe my tastes are elevating? Or maybe I’ve just learned that my time is valuable, and if I’m going to spend it on TV it better be worth it. (for what it’s worth, I totally plan on watching regular Top Chef when it comes back on. That is some quality stuff).

So with those guidelines in mind, here is our schedule for the fall season....(yes, it’s a little heavy on football. Not sorry)

• Football- all day with the football.
• 8pm- CBS- Amazing Race. We usually watch this on Tuesdays with a group of friends (and win money, but that’s another story for another day)....
• 8pm- NBC- The Sing-off. I know it’s bad...but we loved it last year! I have a Nick Lachey weakness!
• 10pm- Bravo- Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. hey- I'm only human!!
• Football- 8:30pm
• 8pm- FOX- Glee.
• 9pm- ABC- Modern Family.
• 8pm- NBC- Community
• 9pm- NBC- The Office
Friday & Saturday: Nada

What do you think? What’s your viewing philosophy? Do you have a TV plan in place? Are there must-see shows that we’re missing out on?


  1. Parks and gotta give it a few episodes at least. It will become your new favorite Thursday night show!

  2. I concur with Parks and Rec ... our favorite show on Thursday over Community and The Office even.

    And as parents to be you might want to check out "Up All Night."

    The first episode of Whitney was also funny too. Just FYI.