Wednesday, November 1, 2023

My TV viewing is mostly snippets of whatever my wife is watching

This is a common scene in our house:

Terry will be taking a break from one of the million tasks, large and small, that comprise her day. She often does this by plopping down on the couch with a cup of coffee to watch television.

She will be happily watching something when I come wandering into the living room. The screen catches my eye. I stand there for a few minutes watching with her.

I become sufficiently interested that I will ask her a few questions about the characters and the plot. Then I either stand and watch some more, or else I head off to do whatever it was I had intended to do in the first place.

Then it happens again in a day or two. Sometimes I will actually sit down and watch for 10 or 15 minutes. More often than not, though, I stand. Dads often do this and I don't know why. Maybe we simply don't want to commit.

Anyway, over time, I become familiar enough with the show that I can pop in six episodes later and quickly catch up on the action.

Sometimes it's a Netflix series, other times it's a competition show like "Dancing with the Stars." Either way, I never watch the whole thing with her, but rather just enough to establish a baseline level of knowledge that allows me to ask educated questions like, "Are those kids on 'The Fosters' still making bad choices?"

I don't think of myself as a TV guy, and it's not because I have any objections to TV. Nowadays, there's far more good writing and acting on TV than there is in movies.

It's just that, for the most part, I don't have time for it. I choose to fill my non-working hours with other things that aren't any better or worse than TV. They're just other choices.

But Terry has good taste in onscreen entertainment, so quite often when I shuffle through the living room, I see something interesting. I know I should be tackling a particular chore or getting ready to leave for a PA announcing gig or something, but I can't seem to look away.

So I end up watching maybe 15% of a multi-season series through a string of 10-minute (or smaller) chunks of viewing.

If there are important bits I know I've missed, YouTube will more often than not have those scenes and I can use that to fill in my knowledge gaps.

It's not the recommended way to enjoy high- (or low-) quality television, but I can tell you it works.

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