For years, I’ve answered questions about my favorite Netflix binge or the latest cable shows by saying, “I don’t watch TV, hardly at all.”
I stopped replying with, “I never watch TV,” because people didn’t believe me. But that second statement was actually closer to the truth.
The last show I watched in first-run was Big Bang Theory. And, even then, only sporadically.
I used to threaten my family that I would get rid of cable. And I didn’t mean just cutting the cord to get streaming services, instead. I meant we could watch our vast collection of DVDs and Blu-rays and that’s it. (I was, and always will be, a movie fan.)
Or maybe – gasp! – I’d get rid of the TV altogether. I know parents who did it successfully and raised children who became fully functioning, incredibly successful members of society.
But, honestly, I needed that electronic babysitter more than I cared to admit and the TV (or the cable bill) never bothered me enough to cut the cord.
Now that we have a Smart TV, there’s a high likelihood we will become cord-cutters before summer starts. But we’d be replacing our Verizon FiOS broadcast service with Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV, Amazon Prime, and Hulu (the TV package…).
Yes, we currently have access to five streaming services in our home (plus cable, for now) and I haven’t decided if HBO and CBS All Access would be worth the investment. We only pay for Netflix and Hulu at this time, thanks to free offers from Disney+ and Apple. I had Prime long before I started using it to stream shows and have no intention of giving up the perk of Amazon free and fast delivery.
So how did I go from not watching TV to having an array of services and reading Chandi Gilbert’s articles each week with excitement to find out what I should watch next?
The pandemic was part of it, giving me a little more time for indoor activities. But the fact is – Chandi makes every show she writes about seem so damn enticing (even the ones she didn’t love, like Upload). It’s the way I hope readers feel after reading my travel stories – like you’re ready to pack your bags and head out (once tourist destinations and attractions open again, of course).
And it’s exactly what GTG is about: Sharing our passions to inspire others.
Once Chandi got me watching, I realized that I love being immersed in a good storyline, connecting with the characters, and seeing familiar actors in new roles. When that happens, it feels like running into an old friend and realizing you still click.
I think it’s a good idea for people to be aware of the difference between using TV to enhance their lives rather than escape it. But that’s the case with any activity – even those that are good for us, like exercise.
It took me a pandemic to get me to free up time in my life for an activity I used to enjoy. And I realize there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying good shows. Perhaps best of all, I no longer have to sit silent when conversations drift to what people are bingeing now.
On that note: If you’ll excuse me, I’m on episode 5 of Space Force and I want to finish Season 1 before the weekend. I’ll report back, of course. Oh, wait, Chandi Gilbert beat me to it with her review of this awesome, lighthearted show.