what I’ve been watching

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…

planetearth-falls-83070-sm.jpg      planetearth-field3-103628-sm.jpg      planetearth-herd-831180-sm.jpg     

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!


6 thoughts on “what I’ve been watching

  1. Emily

    Liz, I was so happy to see your comment on my blog…thanks! I’ve heard the Planet Earth Series is incredible. I wish wish wish we got the Discovery Channel, but for us it’s either a very fuzzy Fox or a slightly less fuzzy ABC. (sigh!) Enjoy it for me! And while we’re on the subject of slightly time-wasting vices…I spend more time than I’d like to admit in front of my computer. Blogland is so enchanting!

  2. Andrea

    Hey, we successfully avoided television for a long time. We even got rid of cable for 3 years! We got it back when Maddy got sick and we got the cable version of Tivo at the same time…we are big fans of the cooking channel. All of us enjoy Cash Cab, but I am too squeamish when it comes to Dirty jobs. I watch old episodes of ER, we watch Lost, Scrubs, Amazing Race, 24. We are so bad, we have the big screen in our bedroom. It’s like an old friend. Right now we are watching the last season of Alias. We watched all of the other seasons, but lost interest in the middle of the last one, so I figured we should borrow it from the library. Did I ever tell you we can do that? We have a great library system that buys new DVDs all of the time and we never rent any more.

  3. liz Post author

    Someday I’m going to watch all of those series — Lost, Alias, 24, etc. — on DVD. Much more efficient, no commercials, no waiting a week for the next episode. Great plan. Our library is not so good, but we have Blockbuster Onlines, which we love.

    When I was at your exact stage of life (first house, probably second baby, though) we were just watching the fuzzy channels — trying to save time and money by not having cable. My dad came to visit us and after a few days at home with me and the kids said, you really need better TV! He was sure I was going to lose my mind.
    We’ve had various cable and satellite plans since then, and I have a couple of tips. When we weren’t living in Utah it was really worth it to us to have a provider that gave us BYU-TV so we could watch general conference at home (it was Dish Network at the time, but I’m sure they all have it now). I know people watch it online, which is fine, but it’s better for me on TV. Now that we don’t need that, we just get the basic channels. Not basic cable, but the broadcast channels. It is $10 per month! The cable companies don’t advertise this option, but someone once told me that they have to give it to you if you ask for it. We get Discovery and Travel by accident, I think. Call your cable company — it’s worth the $10!

  4. Rhall

    I love this, Liz, but how can I get the print bigger? I can barely read it and don’t want to miss a word!

  5. liz Post author

    Mom — you can adjust the zoom on your internet browser, but then you’ll have to scroll back and forth to see the whole page. On my browser, there’s a little magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner you can click on to make everything bigger. Yours might be different — if you can’t find the zoom, maybe Jill can help?

    Love you. Thanks for reading my blog. The whole time I was writing the first post, I thought, at least my mom will like this. Thanks for always being my biggest fan (sniff, sniff).


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