TV Confessional

Until we moved to Hawaii, we didn’t have cable. We paid $12 a month to have the local networks and a couple of “freebies” the cable provider gave us, but that was it. Then we moved here and the only way to see my beloved Tarheels was to pay not only for cable but for the upgrade package that includes all 8,723 ESPN affiliates. That’s the right number, right? I’m not missing one?

Anyway, the games come on at 6 or 7 in the morning quite a bit, so I wake up early on game days (when I can) and have breakfast with the Heels. It’s kind of fun, but also kind of weird, and it makes it hard to have game watching parties. It’s no wonder we don’t seem to have an active local Carolina Club. Maybe I’ll look into that again now that football is upon us and basketball isn’t far behind it.

But coming back to my original point, I didn’t have cable for a while and so watched shows that I could buy on DVD, which is how I’ve seen every episode of NCIS and saw all of Monk. It meant that when we got cable I had a whole lot to choose from and not many shows to which I was a loyal follower. Plus we got a DVR and I can watch when I have a little extra time, and not be bound by a schedule. I recently updated all of the shows I record and realized I have a very random taste in shows… but also somewhat balanced, in a weird way.

I watch NCIS and Hawaii 5-0, which are cop shows with hints of comedy.
I watch Doctor Who and The Hour (a new one!), which are dramas.
I watch What Not to Wear and a few cooking shows, which are reality.

So I’ve got a pretty balanced watching routine. But then there’s the other stuff I watch, the stuff that’s “guilty pleasure” type stuff that I don’t usually admit to watching but am actually kind of excited about when it’s on…

I like the monster-catching shows on SyFy (the channel formerly known as SciFi).


But really, I like watching people try to find the Loch Ness monster and bigfoot (or the yeti or whatever you want to call it) and aliens and all sorts of things like that. I’m fascinated by the people who go to look for these things, and I wonder if they really believe they’ll find these things (some of them really do believe it!) or if they’re just doing it for the TV show and I like imagining that there could be something hiding in Loch Ness that we can’t really explain.

I mean, the idea that we have everything in this world categorized is just plain dull; the world should still have wonder and mystery, and I also like the shows where they find new species of frogs or monkeys or whathaveyou, because it’s amazing to think there are undiscovered things out there.

The UFO sighting shows are a little different, but still the interesting thing to me in all of those is the people who tell these stories.

And isn’t that what watching TV is about? It’s the stories of the people, presented as “real” or “fiction” but all just stories that have been tailored for a TV audience in the end.

And I’m really ready for Doctor Who to be back on Saturday.

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