Falling out with TV

Hi, my name’s Jaina and I am a former TV addict.

Is it because I’m getting old and getting curmudgeonly about TV in general, that I’ve fallen out with it? Or whether over the years of watching all sorts of crap on TV, I’m finally figuring out what I actually enjoy watching. Or if the quality of TV shows currently is just pure crap. OR if after the end of Breaking Bad, no other TV shows will compare.

Whatever it is these days I’d rather come home and watch a decent film in the evening and be done. A couple of hours of watching just one thing. That’s fine by me. It also allows me to fit in some quality brain-not-required TV.

What am I currently watching? (Shows that are currently on air) Let’s see:

  • American Horror Story
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
  • Greys Anatomy
  • Homeland
  • Masters of Sex
  • New Girl
  • Revenge
  • The Crazy Ones
  • The Walking Dead

Straight off the bat, The Walking Dead, New Girl, The Crazy Ones, Revenge and Greys Anatomy are all close to be ejected. Remember how much I gushed about Revenge? Yeah, couldn’t give a fig about Emily’s revenge any more. I guess Greys’ is an easy show to just have on in the background; I barely pay attention to it when I do watch. Still waiting for The Walking Dead to wow me as much as it wows the rest of the planet – been given it far too many chances. New Girl has lost its charm. The Crazy Ones, well… I just like Robin Williams. Sue me.

That leaves four quality TV shows (in my eyes). All cable shows, oddly enough.

Currently watching on TV

American Horror Story is the only one out of those that continues to knock it out of the park. Coven is MAD. Just the most insane thing on TV. I don’t know where it’s going, episode to episode. Which is why I am still watching. Also, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett. Three other reasons I’m still watching. Can not imagine a season of this show without Jessica Lange.

Parts Unknown is brilliant. One of my favourite things to watch on TV at the moment. Well, this season’s now over, but urge everyone to watch it. Anthony Bourdain makes the show. Parts Unknown has taught me a heck of a lot. And given me a list of places in the world I need to go to at some point in my life.

Homeland isn’t the favourite of mine it used to be. But it’s a good slow burner. It’s gone a bit off the rails this season. But I have faith. Sort of. I don’t think I like any of the characters any more, come to think of it.

Masters of Sex has been my favourite new TV show. Said this over and over again. It’s not perfect. The fifth episode, Catherine, sealed it for me. Made me feel for a character I had no opinions on, one way or the other. And Michael Sheen. Just. Michael Sheen.

Waiting on the return of Suits, Justified, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Community, The Americans, The Bridge, Hannibal and The Newsroom. All waiting for me next year. Jesus, that’s still a lot of TV right there.

It comes down to patience. I’ve turned into those people I used to blame for the cancellation of my favourite TV shows. If something doesn’t grab me in the first two episodes, I’m out. To be fair, I don’t have a whole lot to do, so I could spent hours watching TV. But you know what? I just can’t be bothered. Why watch sub-par TV shows when I could spend those couple of hours in the evening watching a good film.

Has the quality of TV shows really fallen that far? Or is it just me? Any other former TV addicts changing their ways?

31 comments

  1. I’ve had some of these thoughts too. This season’s shows have been disappointing. New Girl gets annoying, again. The Crazy Ones is something I’ve given up for good. I agree with Grey’s, I don’t follow what happens in it too much. I might just give it up too.
    Masters of Sex is great. I watched only the pilot and I’m waiting for the season to end so I can binge watch. I’ll do the same with Coven. Homeland was my favorite last year, it had a great season, but this one isn’t getting to me at all.
    The thing is that there are still many great shows to watch, finished or still airing. There are also some promising series to come like True Detective in January.

    • True Detective looks so very promising. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in a TV show – I’m there!

      Hope you enjoy the rest of Masters of Sex!

      Still have yet to catch up on House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Just not all that up for getting into any new TV. For now.

  2. I’m only watching AHS and comedy shows – Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and Parks and Rec right now. I wouldn’t say I’m giving up on TV since from April to June Game of Thrones is my LIFE :D but I did give up on some shows like Homeland. I just couldn’t care less from the mid season 2.

  3. I’ve definitely cut down on the number of shows I watch and love, though a large part of mine is having less time.

    I think Revolution is awesome. A lot of people thought it had a rocky start and didn’t like the main girl. But there’s some amazing performances happening on that show and I like that it’s a sort of rough, uncultured version of our country. I find it really sort of fascinating and all of the characters are becoming more dimensional this season.

    • I couldn’t get into Revolution for that main reason. And a few other ones too. Again, I quit after a couple of episodes. Just not the sort of TV I can get sucked into anymore.

  4. Quality of TV programs sure has gone down, that’s the truth! I’ve noticed that a lot of shows are relying on special effects, CGI, and movie-blockbuster-type stuff to get us to watch. You know what? I hate these kind of TV shows. Save it for the movies! Why can’t TV be like it used to? Simple. Good writing. Good stories. KISS! Keep it simple, stupid. Now, I watch reality shows (Top Chef, Project Runway, ANTM). The only other “regular” TV I watch is New Girl (like you, it’s losing its charm, considering Nick is getting so super annoying, it’s like, grow up) and SHIELD (mostly b/c the hubs likes to watch). Oh, I can’t wait for new season of Bates Motel though. And Awkward on MTV, though Season 1 was the best. Season 3 just isn’t as awkward. Haha.

    • Yes about Nick in New Girl! Everyone else in the world seems to love him! And what have they done to poor Schmidt? :(

      As long as the writing is good, characters interesting and overall arc of the TV series is good, I’m in. But so many shows don’t have that these days.

      Glad I’m not alone in thinking quality in TV shows is on the decline. For the most part.

      • Agree about Schmidt! At first, I didn’t like his character but I grew to love him above the others. Now, look at him. Depths of despair. I hope he gets back together with Cece. No offense to Elizabeth.

  5. Ahah, I barely have time to watch ANY TV. I’m looking forward to Almost Human, hopefully that’d keep my interest to watch it regularly!

    Btw, I had no idea Michael Sheen is in Masters of Sex! Hope that’ll be on Netflix Instant one day, that one sounds intriguing.

  6. Would like to see any good serials now. I agree that New Girl has lost its charm. And I also watched The Crazy Ones, the pilot is so funny. But afterwards, it’s just too readable (the daughter is panicking and the father is crazy but brilliant). Maybe I should start watching Breaking Bad?

    • Definitely start watching it. The first season is very slow. But you have to stick with it. It’s up there with The Sopranos, The Wire and Battlestar Galactica for me.

  7. This made me smile because you bracket with your TV ennui a whole list of stuff you actually do watch! ;)
    I am finding a surprising amount to watch at the moment. The Mentalist (although this week’s episode was l-a-m-e), Arrow (how can anyone not watch Arrow), Chicago Fire (of course, the preponderance of hunky firefighters has nothing to do with it), Marvel Agents of Shield (a bit average, but the kids like it) and Strictly Come Dancing. Also trying the new Dracula, but not sure I’ll stick with it.
    Oh, and yes, looking forward to the return of Justified and Hannibal.
    But I just finished rewatching series one of Heroes with my daughter. Now that was proper TV.
    Have you been to the cinema lately. I’d better go check your other posts and find out!

  8. If it were up to me I’d only watch movies and tv series, but as I’m not the only one in the house that does not happen. As for the shows you mention I have to admit I have not seen any of them except for Anthony Bourdain’s show, which is indeed excellent. I recently watched House of Cards which was very good and I’m interested in checking out the second season of The Bridge (the original version).

    • Thought the new season of The Bridge was going to start this year over here, but looks like it won’t be on BBC until early next year :( Makes me sad. There’s only going to be three seasons of it too. Which I’m actually quite happy about it. Means it should get a decent ending.

      Parts Unknown is fascinating. Always look forward to that one.

  9. Here’s a couple of bad-boys to try.

    The Good Wife – Courtroom drama, produced by Tony/Ridley Scott. On S5 just now, continually getting better.

    Strike Back – Action-heavy. Started as Sky 1 (season 1), then picked up by Cinemax (skinemax!) and ramped up to Spartacus levels of blood and boobs.

    Party Down – Comedy. Re-watchability is fantastic, I’m on my 4th shot round. Only 2 series, but movie coming out.

    Archer – Adult Animation. Spy/Comedy that riffs off James Bond. Something different, really funny.

    Awake – Cop Drama. After a car crash a cop lives two realities: one where his kid survived, one where the mum survived – but he doesn’t know which is which. Good concept.

    I just started ‘Dangerous Minds’ on Netflix the other night too. Seems OK.

    • Did watch Strike Back. Season 2 and a bit of season 3. Don’t mind a bit of bloody and boobs, but for some reason, zoned out. Season 3 didn’t really work for me.

      Party Down I do need to catch at some point.

      Cheers for the recs!

  10. I haven’t seen those shows you mention. These days, the only TV I can be bothered with is comedy, because it doesn’t matter if you miss a few episodes here and there. I’m probably getting the box set of the IT-Crowd this Christmas, which is a fun show to relax to. I wouldn’t watch it every day, though.

    • Yeah, I can see that. Just dipping in and out of shows is good. You don’t have the pressure to have to see it, week in, week out.

  11. Pingback: A maybe weekly round-up (6) | Time well spent

  12. I think that I’m also getting worn down and am not watching as many shows as I once did. Part of it (actually, a lot of it!) is having a baby at home and the challenges of having two girls. Still, that’s not all of it I think. I’m also still with THE WALKING DEAD, but sometimes it feels more like work than it should be. I still watch SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE, and we’re way behind but still seeing PARKS AND RECREATION. I’m excited for JUSTIFIED to come back, and I’m definitely watching SHERLOCK and DOCTOR WHO. Besides that, there isn’t too much else at this point. I’ll catch up with GAME OF THRONES on DVD, and a few others will sneak in for sure.

    • Can imagine having a baby will take up *some* of your time, ha! Aww.

      Never got into Sherlock, but the whole world and their mother are raving about it. Maybe I should give it a go one of these days.

  13. I used to have a list of shows to watch as long as my arm. These days, the only shows I watch are ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Bones’ and ‘American Horror Story’, the latter of which I have much catching up to do. Between these and baseball, I tend to watch movies, documentaries, or repeats of shows that I liked when they first aired.

    I totally agree that the quality of TV shows has gone massively downhill. I watched ‘The Walking Dead’ for two seasons but it suddenly seemed to fall of a cliff quality-wise and I gave up on it halfway through season three.

    Parts Unknown sounds interesting – I might have to give that a try.

    • Definitely give Parts Unknown a watch. Very interesting and Anthony Bourdain is a fantastic host. There are a couple of slightly weak episodes, but even in those there’s something interesting in them.

          • Just watching the first episode and I love this already. I really love travel shows, especially ones that go to places off the tourist radar and show the real culture of those who live there. And Anthony Bourdain is a great host – I just love the witty observations he makes about just about everything, but also that he knows when not to do so too.

            This is something I’m definitely something I’m going to continue watching, though the CNN logo in the corner just makes me laugh because seriously, how many times do you find a good programme on a news channel?

            • Tell me about it! I’m pretty sure CNN just told Bourdain, we want to give you this show but you can do what the hell you want with it. And I don’t think Bourdain would do the show if he was restricted in any way or format. He’s a damn good host.

              I’m a bit scared about his new show coming up in the New Year, on Channel 4, called The Taste. Along with Nigella Lawson. Who I really can’t stand. It just doesn’t feel like a show Bourdain would be involved in!

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