I remember in my youth, when most folks still had black and white TV, that the fall preview issue off TV Guide was a big event. We flipped through the pages, checking to see what was coming each night. Sometimes there were agonizing choices to be made, because shows aired once. There was no way to save them for future viewing. You waited months for reruns. Once the show quit airing it was gone forever, unless it would make it to syndication.
Oh and there were 3 (later 4) networks to chose from, plus whatever was on PBS.
I mention all this to show how easy it used to be to pick programs. There really wasn't much to pick from, in terms of variety.
Now thanks to cable and my DVR and my DVD player, its a whole different world.
For the last two years my guilty pleasure show was smash. I watched it weekly, as it aired, so I could text a friend who also loved the show. As long time theatre fans, we just couldn't resist the blend of melodrama and catchy show tunes. But NBC cancelled it and now I find I don't want any series programs on the traditional networks. (Baseball, football and the Oscars are another story)
So what do I find myself watching on TV. Well first of all, a lot of reruns.
Me TV, Antenna TV and Nick at Nite are all my friends. Currently my DVR records reruns of MASH, WKRP, and Hogan's Heroes. I watch them and delete them again. I also have worked my way through all the episodes of The Twilight Zone and Hawaii Five-O in recent times. Meanwhile the Girl is working her way through all the seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, not for the first time.
Then there are my guilty pleasure shows, particularly Project Runway. There is something about flamboyant males and psychotic females producing works of textile art that just fascinates me. That and I love Tim Gunn. The man is just impeccable in every way. Runway All Stars is ok, its nice to revisit our old friends, but without Tim its just not the same.
Dance Moms used to be on the guilty pleasure list but I have gotten bored with the moms and their bitch slapping. Currently the daughter is interested in Chasing Nashville, but so far I'm not intrigued by stage mamas with Elvis obsessions and their untalented daughters.
There are also the knowledge based reality shows, where you learn a little, or at least congratulate yourself on knowing as much as the stars. Shows like Mythbusters and Pawn Stars fall into this category.
Finally there are my sanity shows, the ones that keep me rooted in some sort of reality. I start my morning coffee every Tuesday through Friday with the previous nights Daily Show and Colbert. I know they have to go home to see their families and all but those guys should be on every night, and no vacations. No matter how messed up the world is, those guys will find a way to make us laugh about it. Keith Olberman is back on the air again, as a sportscaster, which is where he started from. I like his take on sports just as much as I like his take on politics so I'm happy. Unfortunately over running ball games play havoc with the schedule, plus I'm usually in bed by 11pm (and if I'm not I try to catch Jon Stewart first hand) so once again the DVR comes to my rescue.
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my very favorite TV station has nothing to do with series television. Turner Classic Movies is my favorite sanctuary from stupid television. A lot of the best movies ever made, without commercials or cuts, shown in their proper screen ratios, in black and white or gorgeous color, depending on the directors choice. A bad movie on TCM is still better than almost anything else on the airwaves.
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