British pop culture, children's television, family, Fantasy fiction, Parenting

First World Problems: What to Watch?

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Ask me this question 10 years ago: “Do you think there’s still good stuff on TV?”, and I would’ve said, “Yes! Absolutely!” Ask me this same question today, and my response will be, “Ehhh…”

Since about 2015, it’s really hard to find something to watch that won’t cause intense nausea and lots of yelling if you’re not a fan of “reality” TV/medical dramas/formulaic cop shows — which would be me. Trying to find something you can watch as a couple, when your other half enjoys some of the stuff you just deteste, is even harder. Then you add into the mix the fact that your spouse doesn’t like 98% of what you like, and…well, you get the idea.

All right, for those of you who need more details, this is the average evening in my home: My husband has on something like Gold Rush or Mountain Men, or involving hot rods or military planes, every once in a great while a wild nature program, and I’m reading a recent YA/MG fantasy release.

The exceptions to this are the occasional allowance of Masterpiece Theatre (I have not seen the ending episodes of Sherlock yet, so no one tell me anything), and movie nights, since we can (at least) almost always agree on a film. (He’ll watch a fantasy or sci-fi or dystopia movie because he likes the effects, and the character growth scenes generally involving sword fights or a clever escape on horseback, rather than analyzing emotions.)

For the most part, I generally don’t mind this setup. I get to catch up on the newest Star Trek, YA bestseller and video game adaptations, and it’s completely understood that when Jeopardy! is on, the remote is mine. The true problem, in my view, arises when something happens like the premiere of the final season of Grimm.

Now, in the past 2 years I have gone from having easily half a dozen shows I honestly enjoyed and made a point of regularly catching up on, to a total of two (Sherlock and Grimm). And my husband won’t sit and watch either of them.

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Before you all start shouting at your screens and wondering what the heck is wrong with him, I can tell you that I am sort of caught up. I did see the 4th season opener of Sherlock, so I know the startling plot twist (and who will no longer be around — and am deliberately not saying for those of you who aren’t aware). And I’ve witnessed the 2-part 6th season opener of Grimm, and know who survived and more or less what’s going on at the moment. However…

The quandary remains: How am I going to make sure I see the shows I feel I have to? Hopefully I shall find a way soon after making this post…

The other part of my very first-world concern is rooted in the fact that I am rapidly growing tired of the recycled-ideas mentality of film/television producers. I like to have new stuff to view on a regular basis. It’s just part of my personality. If I re-watch too many of the stories I’m already familiar with, I not only get bored, I get irritated.

To a point, it seems to be a creative-type issue. We creative beings (like writers and dancers) are often on the lookout for the newly-cool, the currently-hip, the innovative, the not-already-done-a-million-times. (Someone please back me up on this.)  Anyway, the reason I’m getting kind of grouchy about this subject today is that this weekend we gave the latest re-imagined X-Men a go, and…uhhh…just, groan. Especially when you compare it to last week we watched Warcraft, and that was really fun and enjoyable.

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We are in the doldrums of winter — for us, this means a lot more time inside. Since I’m not driving right now, if the temperature drops past a certain number, Muffin and I are going nowhere. So on these cold and sometimes gloomy days, we like to pass a long afternoon or two with a movie.

When I first started doing this (about 4 months ago), there were several (appropriate) films available at the local library that Muffin had (obviously, only being 2) never seen before. But now, that was 4 months ago. We have now seen most of the movies (some of them more than twice), and even I am getting sick of the same old, same old.

Plus you add to this the sad but very concrete detail that I am not made of money, and extra streaming/rentals requires that, and — well, waaah.

And of course, when the kids have their shows on, I don’t get to make my first choice then, either. I truly don’t hold it against them (most of the time), especially since — my honest opinion — most of their programs are actually better than what’s offered for adults.

But every once in a while, I would really like to simply sit down with a cup of tea and a few peanut butter cookies and watch an entire episode of Sherlock, or Grimm, or a rerun of Doctor Who; without having one ear peaked for children misbehaving; or someone else insisting I change the channel because the game is on.

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

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7 thoughts on “First World Problems: What to Watch?”

  1. Have you started the new PBS series Victoria? I’ve been enjoying it. Having the t.v. and the house to myself for a few hours is such a rare treat. I can’t remember the last time that happened. 😄

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    1. It may be that there’s more variety available on foreign cable systems, but what we can get in our region is very limited as to channel/network choices, so there seems to be 10 different versions of the same show on 5 “separate” channels.

      Liked by 1 person

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