I Hate TV (but I think I love Netflix)

It’s always hard for me to start watching a new show. I am easily irritated, and TV shows and movies seem to bring out my hostility in a way that only actual news stories can match. For example: I abhor a laugh track. If I start watching something and there’s a laugh track, I am very unlikely to keep watching. Because honestly, if you have to prompt me to laugh, you’re just not funny enough.

Also: reliance on stereotypes. The clueless hippie. The absentminded professor. The ditzy blonde. The geeky boy-nerd who can’t talk to girls. The geeky girl nerd who blossoms once you put her in a dress and get her some contact lenses. The Jewish mother. The Arab terrorist. The evil stepmother. The stupid jock. The flamboyant fag and the bulldyke. The Black friend (always the first to die). The Asian friend (great with computers). The deathbed transformations. Amor vincit omnia. The plucky poor and the goodhearted capitalist. The man-hating feminist. The fiery redhead. Prince Charming and the rescued maiden. I mean, really. Use your imagination for a change instead of giving us this superficial junk.

Also: advertisements. I find commercials actively offensive. How dare you come into my house and tell me what to wear, what to eat, how to look, how to feel? How dare you play upon the very insecurities you helped create so some assholes can make even more profit on the products made by illiterate children in sweatshops? Commercials are the main (although obviously not the only)Β reason I stopped watching TV ages ago. My ex still watched it, but he had a shit-hot pair of Sennheiser headphones with soundblockers so we were both happy. Once we got divorced, I was happy to let the TV gather dust.

But then winter came. And I started getting sick. And also depressed (again. dear waggy dog, when will that cloud leave me forever?). And it was too much work to make art, too much work to read books, too much work to even play computer games. So I signed up for Netflix. No commercials! Shows on demand! Multiple seasons at once! When I look back at that winter, I feel like the whole time I was either shoveling snow, waiting in doctor’s offices, or wrapped in a quilt on the couch watching Buffy kick the crap out of some undead. I’m sure I did actually show up at work most days, but what sticks in my mind is the drone of the red cat’s purr on my lap, and how my startled jump when the vampires appeared out of nowhere would cause the Brindle Dog to look at me reproachfully and sidle off the couch for safer territory.

I don’t watch a lot of movies. Two hours seems like a long time to commit to something. Although when the weather is bad and work has been hard and my period starts and I feel crappy, I can easily sit there for five hours watching show after show, pausing now and then to let the dogs pee or fetch more popcorn.

It’s been two years this month since I signed up for Netflix. Now I use it as a barometer. Did I not watch TV for the last week? My mental and physical health are good; my energy is good; I am engaged with my life; I’d better enjoy this while it lasts! Did I come home from work and plunk on the couch for hours with the remote after a brief swing through the kitchen to feed the dogs? My health is suffering in at least a couple of respects, and it’s time to call a friend for an art date or call a doctor or at least do some damn laundry. Did I watch a show or two every day or two and otherwise get on with my life? That’s about average for me, and I can live with it comfortably.

One side of the couch is where I sit to watch TV. The other side is where I sit to read. Depending on how I fluff the pillows and which lamps I turn on, the Brindle Dog knows where to arrange herself for whatever I have planned next. Is the living room dark? Then she’s waiting by the kitchen door for me to head in and clear a space to draw. She loves Netflix, too. It’s the only time I sit still enough—for long enough—for her to have a nice long nap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “I Hate TV (but I think I love Netflix)

  1. sonofabeach96

    We watch precious little tv ourselves. But what we do watch is dvr’d so we can fast forward through commercials. And you left out one other stereotype: the bumbling oafish dad. I HATE that one! πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. nissetje Post author

      Oh god yes, the bumbling oafish dad who doesn’t know how to deal with the household or the kids. Also the supermom. Also the precocious genius child. Also the cookie-baking gramma. Also the creepy uncle.

      I am fond of the stereotype of the friendly, loyal family dog, though. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

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        1. nissetje Post author

          That’s the thing with all the stereotypes. Sure, there are people like that, but to use them as representatives of a whole group is very lazy and insulting.

          Liked by 1 person

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            1. nissetje Post author

              In a way, stereotypes are kind of like swearing. They get your point across, although it’s in a vague and trite manner, and shows a distinct lack of imagination. Although I’m kind of damning myself now, since I do swear a lot. Hmm….

              Liked by 1 person

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  2. La Quemada

    Our TV broke at home when I was about 14, and my mom never replaced it. Then in college and graduate school I had no money and no TV and didn’t watch. Then I got married and had two kids, and my husband bought a small TV (by then watching wasn’t even something I thought about doing). When I left him, I also left the TV. Later the kids and I got a second hand black and white TV that they sometimes used to watch kids’ public TV. A couple of years ago we got a real television (and my kids complained: great, mom, you wait until we grow up and move out!). I had not watched TV in 30+ years. But my younger son said that cable had changed what TV was and convinced me to get Netflix so I could watch some excellent series. I have been pleasantly surprised. But I still never watch network TV. Like you, I think the characters in most programs are thin and uninteresting, and I absolutely cannot tolerate commercials. What shows do you like to watch?

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. nissetje Post author

      I just finished watching the series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which I (mostly) loved. Maybe I’ll do a review of it, haha! I start a lot of stuff on the recommendation of others and am disappointed, so when I get something I like, it’s a real treat. I remember as a kid lying on my belly on the living room floor watching the first music videos or else the Disney movie for the brief ration of TV-watching time.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. La Quemada

        When my boys were in school, we had a household rule of an hour a day of “electronic time” (TV, computer games, video games), 90 minutes on weekends, and unlimited on birthdays and Christmas, when new games often arrived. For a while they thought if was mean, but my son recently thanked me and said it was a good idea, because some of his friends wasted way too much time watching TV. Moderation is good I think.

        Like you, I don’t necessarily like everything others recommend. I never did get interested in Mad Men, for example.

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        1. nissetje Post author

          I tried Mad Men but I just couldn’t. I watched two episodes and they just made me hostile. Good on you for limiting electronic time. Moderation!!!

          Liked by 1 person

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  3. honestme363

    I can’t commit to TV. Same time same place? Can’t do it. I prefer to read and hubby likes movies so Netflix works for us too. And when winter comes, it is nice to binge watch series. Like Lost πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a lovely weekend Nissetje ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. nissetje Post author

      Oh, I forgot about Lost! Maybe I’ll try that one this winter! And yeah, the same time, same place thing? I can barely remember to feed myself on schedule, nevermind make a standing date with my electronics!! I hope your weekend is going well. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Woman walking Max

    Felt really connected to your thoughts about stereotypes and tv. Some weeks I browse my tv guide and switch off – I can just imagine how the programme will go – very pretty female blond professor of history/ geology/ architecture smiles into the camera, with hazy images behind her, you learn nothing except that she’s clever, and has to jump through hoops to get on tv !

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. nissetje Post author

      I know, right? Sometimes it’s so predictable that I completely lose interest before I even start. Thanks for dropping by!

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  5. Pingback: Some Sources of My Christmas Stress | Barking Back

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