Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guilty Pleasures

We're still living quite happily with our decision to downsize to basic cable. (Basic is almost as low as you can go -- 12 channels.) Every once in awhile, I yearn for an episode of Barefoot Contessa or a great documentary or a fun British hotel-takeover or a DIY disaster show. And 31 Days of Oscar was agonizing -- no TCM?! But, for the most part, it's a non-issue.

In the process, however, my addictive personality has reached out for some pretty guilty pleasures to fill those voids. Get ready for a B-list of embarrassment...

- QVC. Particularly David Venable. This channel got me through the holidays, and I'm STILL watching. It's mindless. People are stupid happy. It harkens back to my infomercial obsession as a child (I kid you not). And, guess what. I still haven't purchased one darn thing. Willpower! I do think we found my brother-in-law's Christmas idea for 2013, though.

- Canadians. I dunno, is this just an upstate NY thing? We have the CBC (specifically CKWS as their local channel) and especially on days off from school, it's my partner-in-crime. There are a few design shows in the morning (Candace Olsen, hollah!), and the afternoon brings Steven and Chris (cutest couple ever! Apparently there's a gay theme to my guilty pleasures) and a couple of great cooking shows. Not to mention, the hubs is into Dragons' Den (not sure why it's better than ABC's Shark Tank, it just is). Don't waste your time on Murdock Mysteries, though. The acting is downright laughable and the writing is unbelievably ridiculous. Harsh, I know, but watch 30 seconds of it and you'll get what I mean.

- Food for Thought. Does anyone else notice how crappy Saturday morning TV has gotten since we were kids? Okay, maybe it was crappy back then -- PeeWee Herman much? Cartoon Alf? But it was crappy in an awesome way. Well, we find the occasional gem, but they're for tweens/teens moreso than the youngins. That's okay! By the time the kid's sleeping in my arms for his first nap of the day, Claire Thomas' show "Food for Thought" is underway and I'm getting a cooking show fix. Yessss. I can't tell whether she's a teen or in her 20s, but it doesn't matter. I just feel like watching it with my niece. Great, not-over-simplified recipes and a lovely personality.

- PBS. What's not to love? The occasional old movie, This Old House, Antiques Roadshow, Independent Lens documentaries, Oh, and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (yes, a spinoff from Fred Rogers...*sigh*), The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Thomas the Train, and the occasional Sid the Science Kid are pretty much the only thing Hadley's allowed to watch...with the occasional Andy Hardy or Shirley Temple movie thrown in for good luck.

Actually, PBS has gotten me through plenty of brain-dead 3:30am feedings (which Hadley has reverted to...again). I feel guilty trying to fight Dave to stay up (at least ONE of us should be well-rested, right?) but can't feed the monkey without getting restless leg syndrome. Must. Have. Distraction. And, I gotta tell ya, the best stuff is on at 3:30am. How many times Dave has abruptly woken up to me crying, though, I can't count. There was an incredible documentary about Jewish inmates at the concentration camp in Terezin performing Verdi's Requiem...well, you can see for yourself...

Watch Preview on PBS. See more from Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance.

I still get shivers. So, yeah. PBS, you're my BFF.

- DVDs. We have some tried-and-true DVDs that scratch the entertainment itch. Our old movies, our documentaries, our TV shows (we used to watch our set of Frasier, but our stand-by is Arrested Development...I've gotta break out my M*A*S*H, though). There's almost always something to suit our moods, and when there isn't, we turn to...

- Netflix streaming. Talk about obscure! I haven't tracked down many good shows here, but the occasional movie or documentaries (or 1950s show) is a good time-killer.

I don't want you to think that we actually have time for this stuff. The baby is a time-sucker, and most nights we listen to Pandora or old radio shows on Dave's iPhone, TV untouched. But, over the...holy crap, almost 2 years (!!) off of cable, we have become less dependent on the tube. Now, if only I could feel that way about the interwebs. ;-)


  1. I'm not sure about WCNY, but we re-air a lot of really good programming overnight. Our BOCES records some of the overnight programming to offer out to the school districts that they/we serve. Hence, the good stuff on at weird times :)

    1. Yup, my school library system BOCES provides that service. And we've noticed that it's usually just the earlier evening stuff (or even stuff from earlier in the week), which is cool -- especially since the first showing usually gets interrupted by a whining baby (if we even get to see the first viewing). Like, last night we were learning about Carol Burnett on American Masters and the baby started fussing at the *PERFECT* (not for us) times. So, at 3:30 I got to hear what her father had told her before her big break in NYC and a few other anecdotes I'd missed. :-) I <3 PBS!