Sunday, August 16, 2015

A New (for us) Approach to TV

TV has just never been important to me. There are a few shows that I really like and that have been an influence on my writing, but most are forgotten within an hour of having watched them. Star Trek is an exception, although I also read quite a few Star Trek related works.

Recently, however, Lana and I changed our viewing habits and that has led to a slight increase in my appreciation for TV. Because of budget constraints, we got rid of all but our basic cable package, and that meant a lot of shows that I might have caught here and there were no longer available to us. Since Lana works at the library, though, we decided to start picking up series from the library and watching them a season at a time, meaning an episode or two a night.

We started with Game of Thrones, which Lana had already watched in this fashion. But getting a chance to see a couple of episodes a night and watching the series straight through a season over a week or so quickly got me involved in the series. When we ran out of Game of Thrones, we started with Breaking Bad, and I was quickly hooked. I also suggested an old TV series called "The Invaders," which I had seen some episodes of. Although not nearly as compelling, we are now on season 2 of the two season show. Of course, there were like 20 episodes a season back then.

We still have some seasons of Breaking Bad, and one of Game of Thrones. After that we'll want to do The Walking Dead when we can get the new season. Some other shows we may try this way, Nip/Tuck, The Shield, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Lost, The X Files. I'm certainly liking this way of viewing things better than how I did it before. I've tried to watch series and generally always miss episodes here and there, which gradually leads to me losing interest in the show. This way of viewing helps keep my interest up, and Lana and I have always watched an hour or so of TV together of a night when we eat our meals so it fits our habit already.

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18 comments:

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I think you'll really like Justified. It didn't start getting weird until the last couple seasons. The X-files back when it came on was the best series on TV. :)

Carole Morden said...

That is a great way to watch shows. Although occasionally I binge and waste a complete day.

Peter Collinson said...

Watch Justified. It will hit you where you live.
Honest. The other shows you list may provide diversion and a few strong moments, but Justified will stick in your mind like an exceptionally well wrought novel.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, I was sure I'd like X Files but for some reason I just could never catch an episode. I've seen some since then but would like to watch it from the start.

Carole, Lana does that but I just can't sit watching TV for more than three hours without going crazy.

Peter, thanks for the word. I was pretty sure I'd like it.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, that's more or less how we watch television too, mostly during dinner time and on weekends. Most of the serials you mentioned have been telecast on Indian cable though I don't think any of us have seen them. We usually stick to romcoms, both old and new. My monthly cable bill works out to a little under $12 (Rs.750) that includes the main cable package, more than half of which we don't watch, as well as add-ons like some English movie high-definition channels.

Oscar said...

I used to use the library for British comedy series, but haven't done that for a few years. Looks like your free time is well laid out for a while.

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, our basic tv bill is higher than that but much better than it was.

Oscar, it works nicely since Lana works there.

Chris said...

I only saw a couple episodes of Justified and thought it sucked, frankly. Same with The Shield. Only got through one season of Breaking Bad.

I do love The Wire, though, and Deadwood. Haven't watched either of those shows in a few years, though. We were down to one hour of TV a week when the most recent season of Game of Thrones was on, then we followed that up with the second season of True Detective, which was awful but not unwatchable at an hour/week pace. Now I don't know when I'll watch a TV show again, heh. However, I did just download Mad Max: Fury Road and will be watching that a couple times late at night, despite having already seen it three times in the theater.

the walking man said...

Why noy just cut your cable entirely? Come 9/4 we are going back to over the air TV and if your compelled for a TV fix there are a lot of cheaper options out there now. Amzon, HBO stand alone, etc. there are even inexpensive blue ray players that will connect wirelessly to your gateway. I have At&T and they simply refuse to spend money upgrading their equipment in this area, I will keep the internet and maybe VOIP but the TV is gone.

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, reckon I'm going to have to watch Fury Road. I'm still enjoying Breaking Bad. we're on season 3

Mark, I still like to watch some football. We may cut it off entirely at some point but for now are hanging on to the local channels

Golden Eagle said...

I basically watch TV shows the same way. We have basic cable, so everything else is sourced from the library system (or online, if it's a current TV series that posts episodes for a short time after they're aired).

R.T. said...

Charles, NETFLIX has become one of our favorite "channels." But all of this talk about television has me wondering: other than computers and cellphones, since the 1940s, has any other invention had more of an impact on human lives? Television might just be the most notably "good, bad, and ugly" invention all of time.

Greg said...

That's a great way to do it. Reading your post makes me want to rewatch Breaking Bad and The Shield.

Riot Kitty said...

We don't watch either, and have never had cable. I do indulge in Netflix for the BBC shows, especially Dr. Who.

Anonymous said...

Since we don't have a tv at all, I watch series via the internet.
I usually keep the one episode per week rate for myself, although most of the time all episodes of a season are available.
But I agree: you get more hooked if your 'dosage' is assured :P

Szelsofa

sage said...

I have lately started watching a few shows that were old and I had never seen. With my daughter, we've watched some of West Wing and by myself, I've been watching "6 Feet Under"

Erik Donald France said...

An effective way to see things through -- more continuity this way, pattern recognition, story arc, etc.

Marathon or binge watching in this way, one will see that season one of 'Twin Peaks' or, say, 'Lost in Space' is better than season 2.

If you like 'Breaking Bad,' you may also like 'Better Call Saul' -- the (for now) prequel . . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Golden Eagle, we have yet to hook up our online system to our TV but we know we could download stuff that way too.

R. T. I fear most of TV's influence has been bad, but I suppose there's not much can be done about it.

Greg, I watched some of the Shield when it aired and liked it.

Riot Kitty, never have gotten netflix. I like the cheapness of the library!

Szelsofa, I spend so much time on the net already that I tend not to watch shows there.

Sage, West wing is another I've always heard good things about. I will have to try it.

Erik, I'm liking the Saul character, or finding him interesting at least so I probably will eventually catch Better call Saul