Death to TV

Posted: October 20, 2009 in tv & movies

This is something I share with people often.  I do it because I like to sound frugal, and because it helps me seem like a person who has his priorities straight in the world.  I also share it out of arrogance, because it somehow helps me feel better than those to whom I am sharing.  Yes, I recognize these things, yet I do it anyway.

You’re asking…What is it you share?  I’m so glad you asked, because that way it makes it much easier for me to project my false morals on you.

The statement:  In my entire life, the only time I’ve ever had cable TV was during my 4 years of college. Yep.  Truth.  33 years old, and I’ve enjoyed cable TV for only 4 years of it.

Growing up, we had the huge outdoor antenna that usually sometimes got us the big 4 or 5 stations out of Louisville, KY.  Usually.  College – cable.  Enjoyed it.  The early years of Sports Center with Dan Patrick and Keith Olberman, movie reruns on TBS and USA, getting to watch the Bulls play more than 3 times  a year.

Ever since – no cable.  At least, not REAL cable.  For several years, I simply used an amplified tv antenna that normally got 4 or 5 stations.  For about 5 years now, we’ve had the “basic cable” package, which gets us anywhere from 6 – 9 watchable stations and cost us about $15.00 a month.

** Watchable stations do not include QVC, the local Knoxville brainwashed preaching programs, or the 24 hour a day local community news feed that updates me on things like Parents Night Out at Rockwell Baptist Church and Free Gummy Bear Day at Ace Hardware Store.

Now, if we really wanted to, we could scrounge up some money and afford regular cable.  We would need to cancel our monthly Blockbuster Online account, but it would be doable.  But here’s my issue….why give myself even MORE opportunity to watch TV, when I already watch more than necessary already?

Lately, we haven’t even really watched a ton of  TV.  We always watch The Office and 30 Rock, but everything else is hit or miss.  I watch sports occasionally on Saturday or Sunday, but rarely more than a couple of hours, and I rarely if ever watch an entire game of any sport from beginning to end.

We still use Blockbuster Online, but more sparingly than in the past.  It seems as though we’ve finally watched about every movie we would ever want to see, and most new releases just don’t pique our interest as much.  We keep Blockbuster Online mainly for the TV series that are sometimes harder to find in the stores.  Just this week we finished Season 3 of Dexter (amazing!).  And it’s cool to have access to older movies online that the stores don’t stock, like Cool Hand Luke or Chinatown.  One of which I haven’t watched yet, and one of which I didn’t really like.  That doesn’t matter though.  What matters is they are available.

But again.  Why do we need more TV?  We typically only have about 2 hours of actually family time together in the evenings before it’s time for Eli to go to bed.  On the weekends we go to church, grocery shop, run errands, and try to do something fun every once in a while.  I’m older now, so I typically go to bed around 10:30 instead of midnight.

Why do we need more TV?  Most shows are set up now so that you MUST watch every week to know what’s going on.  If you miss a week, you’ve got to catch it on Hulu before it’s too late.  We have no DVR, so we can’t just set up to record everything we like.  And why would we?  So we can send Eli to bed even earlier, and veg out even more on the weekends, just to get caught back up on How I Met Your Mother or Parks and Recreation?

No, I say.  Not more TV.  Less TV.  Admission – the pull is still there.  I want ESPN so bad I want to cry sometimes.  But I also know that 1 hour of Sports Center just doesn’t suffice.  For some reason, it’s necessary to watch it 3 times in a row, just to see if they deliver their lines differently the second or third time around.  So I fight the urge.  I fight Erin’s urge.  I fight Eli’s urge (Disney, Nick, Cartoon Network).  And we suffer through life with basic channels, an analog VCR for recording purposes, and Blockbuster Online for everything else.

And in some ridiculous and warped way, in my mind, that makes me seem better than you.  Unless of course you don’t have a TV at all.  Which simply makes you strange and out of touch.  =)

  1. Leeann says:

    We had four channels on analog t.v. Then when it switched over to digital and we got our converter box, we hit the jackpot! Now we get eight channels, four of which are PBS.

    Anyway, we have the same thoughts as you about t.v. It is so easy to get sucked into multiple hours of watching things that have no value whatsoever. I do wish we could get the sports channels, but it’s not worth the money to buy that ‘package’ b/c of all the other crappy stuff that comes with it. And we really don’t have the money to spend on it. Again, like you, I’d rather budget in a few dollars and go somewhere fun with the family once in a while than get cable t.v. that isn’t going to be turned on but for maybe a total of 10 hours a week (most of that for football).

    Family is a good thing to invest in!

  2. Katie says:

    We are “suffering” right along with you. Actually, I find most evenings, I have something I’d rather do than watch TV. I try not to tell to many people, makes me sound weird or something. I do wish I could watch Monday Night Football though.

  3. gregmuzak says:

    Was the movie you didn’t like Cool Hand Luke? If it was, them’s fightin’ words… one of my all time favorite flicks. Paul Newman is awesome in that movie.

  4. Jason says:

    Our “watchable” channels are PBS, Ion, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, a CBS sister station, CNN Headline News, and the Travel Channel.

    Thanks for commenting Katie. You are weird. At least that’s what Nate says. =)

    The movie I DID NOT watch yet is Cool Hand Luke. I recently put a bunch of movies in my queue from the AFI Top 100 of all time that I’d never seen. Chinatown was one of them. Didn’t really care for it. Cool Hand Luke is about 3rd or 4th in my queue right now, so hopefully I’ll see it in the next 2-4 weeks or so.

  5. Michael Cody says:

    I dont have cable either, Hoss. Luckily, FamilyGuy comes on FOX.

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