Televisionary

I make no secret of the fact that I love TV. Despite all of my attempts to counteract my true nature, I’m really a couch potato through and through. It is for this reason that for the better part of two years living in my house, having a TV took precedence over having a usable desk.

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Here’s a closer shot (from a different, messier occasion) of that whole situation:

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Er, yeah. Now, before you think that this is going to turn into some kind of resolution-y post about cutting TV out of my life, think again. I love TV. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying both quality programs and a few guilty pleasures. I am never going to be one of those people who just “doesn’t watch a lot of TV”. Pass! But I do think it’s important to make the distinction between how I view TV now, versus how Old Gretchen viewed TV.

I fully admit to being the kind of person who would actively pass up activities to watch TV. Believe me, I know how sad that sounds. I would decline going out to dinner so I could catch one of my favorite shows and nix heading out with friends on the weekend so I could clear out my DVR queue. All that sitting and TV-watching really worked up an appetite too, so I would spend hours literally resting on my laurels while I ate chips and cookies and pizza and… well, you get the general idea. Mindless eating in front of the television is something I still struggle with.


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After we made the decision to cut out cable (and all live TV access) from our household, I did cut down on my hours logged in front of the boob tube. That said, I do still watch a lot of TV. Though I have kicked quite a few shows off of my list, I still vigilantly watch The Vampire Diaries (duh), Glee (not 100% sure why lately), and all the Thursday night NBC sitcoms (Community, come back!) the day after they air. I’ve really gotten into Once Upon a Time this season, and I squee with nerdy hipster delight at Zooey Deschanel in her show, New Girl. Netflix streaming has also proven to be a powerful friend.


Can’t. Handle. So. Much. Pretty. (source)

I guess the biggest difference between the old and, er, current me when it comes to this aspect of my lifestyle is that I am no longer willing to sacrifice other parts of my life for television. Except for the occasional episode of The Vampire Diaries following a particularly gasp-worthy cliffhanger from the week before (IT’S SO GOOD.), I would never pass up meeting a friend for dinner or going out to an event just so I could sit in and clock out in front of the TV. I even finally got a mount (a Christmas gift from my brother!) to put the TV on the wall and give myself a real desk like a real(ish) adult!

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And to use like I’m a real writer. 🙂 Of course, let’s ignore the fact that now my TV is situated perfectly in front of my bed, and focus on the desk-clearing aspect.

In grand scheme of all the changes I’ve made in my life thus far, this one is probably pretty insignificant. Maybe if I had kicked the TV bucket completely it would seem more… monumental. But I do think it’s a nice representation of all the smaller things that get affected when you make one large change. I made my health a priority, and it hasn’t meant giving up the things that I enjoy. It just means being smarter about them. I used to use TV as an excuse to not have to interact with the rest of the world, to hole up in a private place where I could wear stretchy pants all the time and nobody would mind my stomach rolls. I love living my life now. And the lingering bits of television? Well, they’re just gravy.

What is the one TV show (or two, or six) that you just can’t seem to kick?

42 Comments

  1. Love it! Tv is the best… Greys Anatomy tonight!

  2. larasays:

    i might need you to send me that TVD link again as i’m not home tonight (again!) and I don’t think i can last until they put it up on cwtv….<3

  3. Katesays:

    Dexter. Survivor. Once Upon A Time. Full Throttle Saloon. Californication. Nurse Jackie.

    Thank goodness for DVR’s!!

  4. We had a really old TV that was on its way out when we were getting ready to move 4 years ago. We left it behind and havnt bought another. We have another really old one in the basement but being too far out the cable company hadn’t ran any lines here yet, so our internet access stinks too. I can honestly say I don’t miss it,, we watch movies on the computer on the weekends. My kids have read so many books it makes me glad not to have one. But I will admit if we are in a hotel we are glued to the discovery channel. My favorite shows were all the Law and Orders.

  5. I have way too many shows that I adore and can’t quit. Worst is Greys Anatomy because I sit there every week getting way too emotional over a fictional TV show and I always vow I cannot ever watch it again but every week I’m right there…Of the shows I will happily admit to watching though, I love Law and Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, Vampire Diaries, Sons of Anarchy (um and I’m just going to stop there because I realized how long my list was getting. Hmm.

    • Katesays:

      I feel the same way… I had to stop listing mine because I really do watch way too much TV and seriously have no idea where I find the time to do it. I always feel so freakin’ busy!

  6. There are so many shows that I love to watch: Grey’s Anatomy, Anthony Bourdain’s shows, The Biggest Loser, New Girl, Dexter, House of Lies (AWESOME), So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef (regular and Just Desserts), Glee…:)

  7. My guilty TV pleasures are anything involving Real Housewives of [insert region here]. I can’t help myself. They’re rich, crazy, and HIGHLY entertaining. I’m a huge, huge Glee fan, but I feel like the past season is lacking the luster that I so madly fell in love with in season one. But still, every Tuesday night at 8, I power down my phone, turn off the computer, and give my TV my full attention.

    Nothing wrong with loving TV! But you’re right, I love activities and social time more!

  8. Vampire Diaries (currently in ssn 2 on Netflix and SERIOUSLY addicted), Dexter (still watching ssn 6), Top Chef, Sons of Anarchy (I’m a ssn behind). So as you can see, I watch a lot of shows via Netflix or online so I’m always a ssn behind.

  9. Jen Robinsonsays:

    Dan and I definitely watch a lot of tv- it’s one of the “things” we do together so we have a lot of shows that we watch. That being said- I like how your attitude has changed towards television watching and living your life, I think it’s a much healthier way of approaching it!

  10. See, this is what I love about NOT having a TV: I can watch what I want, when I want, without relying on television programmers to decide that for me. I randomly watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls this winter — never had seen it, fell in love — and I’m starting Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip soon. With ‘regular’ TV, I always got bored of shows after a season or two.

  11. I love this post Gretchen. It’s funny when you examine what you did in your “old life” and things you were willing to give up just to be lazy! I remember going home early from parties just so I could order pizza by myself… sick.

    Anyways, back to your question. I too, got rid of Comcast, so I mostly just watch stuff on Netflix. I watched Breaking Bad and Lost all the way through and am looking for the next best show to start!

  12. Aw, Gretchen, you’re the cutest! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little tv at the end of the night when you work hard and are on your feet all day… sometimes it’s nice to just zone out and give your brain a rest. 🙂
    I watch too much tv, thanks to DirecTv and DVR. I probably log about 2 hours a day- maybe less- and sometimes none one weekends, but I do wonder what I could be doing with that time. Even if it’s just reading, or playing with the dogs.
    Really, I just can’t help myself. Those reality shows (and anything on Bravo) suck me in. They all know how to “hook” me and my husband. We watch the Bachelor and Real Housewives together (which he would never admit to his buddies) and talk about them over dinner. I love it.

  13. I just *love* New Girl! It has to be my favorite TV show these days. That and Fringe. I’m never going to be able to stop watching TV either. I like getting a break from my normal life and watching Jess and her guys do crazy stuff or Doctor Bishop on Fringe dissecting a… whatever he’s dissecting at the moment! As with everything in life, I guess balance is the key. 🙂

  14. I don’t have cable or DVR but I do get standard channels and Netflix streaming. And thanks to you I am OBSESSED with Vampire Diaries. I’m a little over halfway through the second season on Netflix and am trying to catch up to watch the third on tv before the season is over. I am so seriously in love with this show it’s sick. Damon is my favorite. I hate him one minute and love him the next. It’s no good for my heart.

    • HE IS MY FAVORITE! Those eyebrows… so much expression… I love that murdering, philandering, lost soul of a best brother ever.

  15. I don’t watch any TV shows regularly right now. Shocking, I know! I’m eagerly waiting for new seasons of Fringe and Warehouse 13. Wheee!
    Occasionally, I watch Man vs. Food and some survival shows. They are entertaining, but I don’t really need to watch them every week.
    My old self was quite different, though. I religiously watched Gilmore Girls, Ally McBeal, Lost, Heroes, Dr. House, X-Files, and many many more. Yikes!
    Recently, I’ve found that reading blogs is much more fun than watching TV. 😉

  16. I actually am one of those people who just doesn’t watch a lot of tv. I mean, I watch a few shows and I’ll sometimes turn it on when I’m bored, but aside from Parenthood, there’s nothing that I actually sit down to watch. But on the other hand, I can sit at my computer for hours reading blogs so I guess we all have our guilty pleasures one way or another.

  17. Bones and Grey’s Anatomy! LOVE!

  18. Haha, great desk changes! BTW, what’s the big Hello Kitty sitting on your desk?! Some of my current fave shows include: My Fair Wedding, The Bachelor, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Storage Wars… Trashy [but keeping’ it classy] obvi ;P

  19. 1) I like your Hello Kitty humidifier
    2) If it starts with Real and includes Housewife, and any spinoff there off…I’m in. Also, Toddlers & Tiaras, mkay honey boo boo child?

    xo

  20. I have a REALY similar desk from Ikea…the one that’s just a normal desk, not the corner one. Love it!
    I have a serious obsession with Jeopardy (yes, I know I am the biggest nerd), HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, Biggest Loser (although the season with Tara was the best), and Parenthood. So so so so good!

  21. The only show I would not leave the house if it was on is So You Think You Can Dance. But tivo has totally cured that 🙂

  22. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of my cable lately and just keeping the basic channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, etc) so I can still put on the news in the morning still watch some of my favorites (like New Girl, Glee and Raising Hope). I’ll probably get a Roku if I do this and with the tiny bit I’ve been watching TV lately, I think I’ll be fine with that combination. I just need to figure out what to do once baseball season starts – I HAVE to be able to watch my Philles games!

    • Yeah, I’d say that from what I’ve heard the hardest part about giving up cable is losing out on live sports. But since I am as far from a sports fanatic as they come, it doesn’t really impact me, hahaha. I hear there are lots of iPhone/iPad apps that give access for that sort of thing?

      • I have the mlb app on my phone, so that will definitely help. But even if I’m not checking the score or actively watching the game, I just LOVE having the games on in the background. It’s like, this constant source of comfort (my Dad was a HUGE Phillies fan) from March – October. I think you can get an mlb.tv subscription with the Roku, though…

  23. 1, 2, 6?! Try way more! My husband and I DVR all our TV shows for later watching. Sometimes we spend all day on lazy Sundays catching up, but more often we just watch what we can on the weekends and resort to catching up later. It works. I can’t even imagine what I did before our DVR?! It seems like so much wasted time each night!

  24. I am also newly addicted to Once Upon A Time! Other newbies: Up All Night, New Girl, and Prime Suspect. Others I follow: Psych (so good), NCIS, Glee. 🙂

  25. Where do I even start?
    – Bones
    – Modern Family
    – Dexter
    – How I Met Your Mother
    – Up All Night
    – Ringer
    – Spartacus
    – Skins (UK)
    – Fringe
    – The Big Bang Theory
    – Revenge
    – Futurama

    … I’m sure there are more. You know just how much I love tv, even if I haven’t had cable in 5 years.

  26. Once Upon a Time. Revenge. Modern Family. House Hunters. and anything on Investigation Discovery are all my main attractions.

  27. Karensays:

    I watch Downton Abbey on public television and like Biggest Loser when I remember, otherwise I have the tv on a lot in the evenings and the weekends, but it’s mostly for background noise. (I know…pathetic eh!!) 🙂

    My mom is a portrait artist and just drew three of the characters from Vampire Diaries for someone’s Christmas present. You should check out her site: http://www.portraitsbywanda.com (under the Celebrities tab).

    I enjoy reading your blog…you always give me a chuckle or something to think about. Thanks so much!!

  28. I consider myself one of those people who doesn’t watch that much TV, which actually I kinda do. I just don’t watch tv mindlessly when I’m bored (usually). Could be because I live in the boondocks and we only have like 5 channels (this is no exaggeration!)

    I do have my set shows though. Monday = How I Met Your Mother, Two Broke Girls, and sometimes The Bachelor

    Tuesday – The Biggest Loser (haven’t watched this season yet and Parenthood (when I feel like staying up until 11)

    Thursday (Grey’s Anatomy)

    I am however that girl who owns every season of Gilmore Girls, The O.C., most of One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, and 3 seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (Hey, I’m allowed a guilty pleasure!) And I have 2 sisters who have their DVD sets of other shows haha

  29. HI Gretchen. Love this post. My guilty pleasure is “Say Yes to the Dress”, I love the Canadian travel show “Departures” and “The Amazing Race”, and I’m not proud of the fact I can recite MANY inappropriate lines and gags from Family Guy because I’ve watched it so often. Have a wonderful weekend. Giggidy! (that word will make sense to Fam Guy watchers..)

  30. carolsays:

    Too many shows, loving Grimm,New Girl, old favorites: Big Bang, parks and rec and 30 rock is finally back

  31. Top Shows: Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, House, Once Upon a Time, Biggest Loser, Weeds, Californication.

    I really love this post, also! It’s an interesting and relevant perspective because TV and mindless eating really do go hand in hand. For me, both eating and TV time serve as an escape. Everybody needs an escape sometimes, but there comes a point when way way way too much TV and too much eating become really problematic and as you say, you kinda cross that line into escaping too much, watching TV too much, eating too much instead of living your life. You are so right that a balance of all of these things without omitting them is really important! Love it!

  32. I am kind of TV junkie myself. I don’t actually have cable or a TV in my apartment now, so I watch everything online through Hulu or Netflix.
    Some of my Favorites: HIMYM, Gossip Girl, Glee, Happy Endings, Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Biggest Loser, I really could go on…

    Your desk set-up looks quite nice too!

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