Ok, let me just start by saying that I watch way too much TV. This habit of mine goes back pretty far, as evidenced by the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode of “Three’s Company.” I know I stopped for a few years when I was in college, though. (Who had time?) But, as a mother with my first baby years ago, I sometimes got so lonesome for adult voices that for a time I was even hooked on “General Hospital.” I can’t believe I’m admitting that in public. I have now nursed four babies, each for a year, and I don’t mind saying that in the hours that takes, you can watch a whole bunch of TV.
After years of this, I’m more knowledgeable about pop culture than I sometimes admit. And, I’m not going to give you a list of every show I ever watch, because that really would be embarassing. But, there are a couple of shows I’ve discovered lately that I wonder if everyone else knows about…
First of all, you’ve probably heard about this one, because they’ve advertised it a lot, but I must comment on the amazing series “Planet Earth” on the Discovery Channel. Some have complained about the environmental agenda of this series, but regardless of your opinion on that, the photography is just utterly stunning. It makes me wish I had a better TV.
While I’m on Discovery Channel, two other favorites of the moment are “Cash Cab,” and “Dirty Jobs.” If you’ve never seen these two gems, check your local listings, because they are both an absolute hoot! Equally offbeat, with witty (and ruggedly handsome) hosts, these are both shows which I can actually sit through without being tempted to channel surf. For the unenlightened, Cash Cab is a quiz show that takes place in a real New York City taxi — the contestants just randomly hailed that cab. Love NYC, love quiz shows, love contestants that aren’t overly enthusiastic wackos, but instead, real people. Dirty Jobs features a guy who goes to various places and tries out the grossest, messiest professions they can find. This show won’t be good for you if you’re squeamish, but it definitely makes motherhood seem tidy. I would like to get that guy over here in the middle of the night when someone has vomited all over their bed.
I’m not going to spend much time talking about network tv, but I will say that I’m avoiding becoming hooked on all the dramatic series that demand you watch every episode (Lost, 24, Heroes, etc.) because I’m addicted enough to TV as it is. Maybe if I had TiVo. The one new show I loved last fall is off the air at the moment and probably going to be cancelled, “Studio 60.” Maybe because I loved SNL as a teenager, or maybe because I love Matthew Perry (of course I saw every episode of Friends), but mostly because the dialogue was, in my opinion, just so well written, I thought this was a really great show. Apparently (check NBCs website) they may bring it back this summer. Here’s hoping.
One last thing, but you may have to rent it. I love a good period piece (6 hours of Pride and Prejudice, anyone?) and Masterpiece Theater recently made a gorgeous new version of Jane Eyre. It was on PBS in January (do they re-run these in the summer, I wonder?), but is available now on Amazon.com and Blockbuster.com. If you like this sort of thing, this is a must-see.
I’m going to end there, because writing about television is only slightly more respectable than watching it. If you’re reading this, tell me what you’ve been watching!