Making Deliberate TV Choices

If someone said that they started cutting out junk food, not eating chips straight from the bag until the bag was gone, and switched to consuming higher quality foods, then told you that they started losing weight and feeling better, you’d probably say, “well, duh.” It’s not just food diets where this applies.

I read a post recently about a couple that decided to cut their TV cable, which isn’t all that revolutionary (Carly and I got rid of our TV & Cable TV service around 2005), but I found their explanation for why they did so well thought out. It wasn’t the cost (although that is a good reason). They did it so they could live more intentionally.

But Kathy & I felt it was time to live more intentionally. That the bundled mass of television channels was enabling easy & bad habits of watching junk.

I can relate to that. When there was a TV in my living room, the TV was on all the time. I’d sit in front of it while on my laptop half watching stuff that wasn’t important enough to devote my full attention to.

Now, when I watch shows (and I certainly watch my share of shows) I do some intentionally. It’s a deliberate choice to watch something. When I do that, the choice tends to be highly distilled entertainment. It’s not 10 minutes of local news distributed over 30 minutes between commercial breaks and weathertainment. Instead, it’s stuff that holds my attention throughout the show.

Granted, there is a downside. I have no idea which pharmaceuticals I need to ask my doctor about.

Not having a cable full of TV channels entering my home achieves three things for me: It decreases the quantity of shows I consume while increasing the quality while saving me a bunch of money.

The toughest sell in cable cord cutting seems to come from people who love watching other people play sports. People who like watching other people sing, date, or argue with each other (reality shows) are a close second. If those things are important to you, cutting the cord is a bigger decision. Before cutting the cord, I watched The Apprentice, American Idol, and The Bachelor. If a TV is always on, shows like that fill a void. If you’d like to see a weather forecast, there are certainly more efficient ways to find that information than television.

By the way, I don’t believe this is some sort of elitist perspective on media consumption. I’m just saying that choices change – and often for the better – when one makes proactive choices.

PBS Creates Website for 3-6 Year Olds

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t speaking to adults or other 3-6 year olds be a better way to develop language skills than sitting in front of a computer?

PBS Gears Site to Preschool Children

PBS has launched a site that’s currently in beta, called PBS Kids Play. It’s geared for children ages 3 to 6. There are educational games and activities to teach math, science, literacy and language development.

The site won’t have ads (although there will be messages from sponsors) but will have subscription-based portion.

It looks like PBS has left the door open for someone to develop a website for the sub-3 crowd.

Top TV Drinkeries

TV Squad has compiled a list of the top 18 watering holes from TV shows:

The 18 greatest TV drinkeries – TV Squad

Ah, the friendly neighborhood drinking hole. In one way or another, they’re there to give you that much needed morning/evening buzz before/after work or school. In what order you visit them is up to you. We’ve seen our fair share of these booze and caffeine shoppes on TV throughout the years, and here’s my pick for the top 18 — why settle for just ten?

I’ve been to Cheers in Boston, so that’s one off the list. I’ve also had the flaming ribs from the Quarks restaurant & bar in the Las Vegas Hilton, so does that qualify as two? Two of the 18 are cartoon bars, so it will be tough to ever his those in this lifetime.

Battle of the Network Stars

Mike N. mentioned Battle of the Network Stars in the comments, so I was inspired to dig up some classic footage on YouTube:

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Scott Baio is amazing on the obstacle course! The slo-mo replay is fabulous, and Howard Cosell’s play by play is sorely missed.

And this clip makes me think that it’s time for tug-of-war to make a comeback:

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Billy Crystal in a tug-of-war? Seriously.

Television Without Pity

If you’re really into TV shows, and would appreciate an additional take on the shows you watch, check out Television Without Pity. They do summaries of each episode of popular reality shows and other fun stuff with a very snarky take on things. It’s hyper-analyzation at its best, down to the sound choices made by producers when cutting to characters for reaction shots.

But be prepared to set aside some time. The summaries can be as long – if not longer – than the original episodes.