Navigating The Television WorldPosted: January 20, 2012
How to watch TV effectively.
By Bryan Berlin
As stated in an earlier article this week, I watch a lot of television. To give you an idea of just how much television, here are all the shows on TV I am actively watching: Shameless, House of Lies, Californication, Hell on Wheels, How I Met Your Mother, Two Broke Girls, Alcatraz, New Girl, Parenthood, White Collar, Suburgatory, Modern Family, Happy Endings, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Up All Night, Chuck, Fringe, and Saturday Night Live. To save you from the math, that’s 14.5 hours of TV a week. I’m a sick person.
You’re probably thinking how does this guy with a full time job watch all this TV and still manage to be so awesome? Well maybe not. You’re probably still thinking I’m crazy. And now I’m going to tell you something even more sickening: on top of all this TV, I am actively watching one or two old TV shows I have never watched before. There’s a lot of amazing television to watch. And there probably aren’t enough hours in the day to watch them all. However, I have a few tips on how you can maximize your TV watching to get the most bang for your buck.
Trim The Fat
This is extremely important. No Real Housewives marathons. No getting sucked into to a makeover show on HGTV and ending up not changing the channel all day. If you have certain shows you want to watch, you have to cut out any distractions. The only other shows I will watch that weren’t on that list above are repeats of Seinfeld, Jeopardy, and Conan. I only watch them if I have nothing else going on in their timeslots.
Watch On Your Schedule
This element is a must if you’re trying to watch more than 10 hours a week and want to have some sort of a social life. Whether you have a DVR, torrent, or watch on Hulu, having a good chunk of shows you can watch on your schedule is imperative. For one, watching a show after it airs, even if its 15 minutes after, cuts down on time you’d be wasting watching commercials. That being said, there are certain shows totally worth watching when they air so you can do things like tweet about them and talk with your friends about them the next day. Make those shows a priority and build around them. You can also save a few episodes of second tier shows to watch in a mini marathon on a Saturday or a night of reruns. That way, you can make more room for the ones you want to watch when they air.
Watch Seasons On A Seasonal Schedule
Part of diligent TV watching is catching up on shows that you never got a chance to watch the first time around. Maybe you were a chump like me and thought Breaking Bad wasn’t as good as everyone said it was, and then found yourself watching three and a half seasons in a week to catch up to season 4 this summer. Summer is the prime time to catch up on an hour-long show with more than 2 seasons. You have no other real shows to keep tabs on since most are on break, and can fly through shows. December is the other ideal time to tackle a show of this nature because networks tend to take 3 or so weeks off for the holidays. Half-hour shows or hour long shows with less than 3 seasons can be watched during the television season because you can blow through them quick enough where it won’t interfere with your regularly scheduled programming too much. Still looking to tackle all six seasons of Lost? Wait until the summer or your whole world will stop.
Don’t Be Afraid To Multitask
Comedies are easy to watch while browsing the internet. Even non-mind-bending dramas. I’m watching Parenthood while writing this and still enjoying it. There are only 24 hours in a day and at some point you have to combine some stuff to fit in everything you want to do. Even if it’s just a little bit of internet browsing as you continue to lose faith in The Office, you’re still getting some extra done.
This may be the hardest task. In reality, watching large amount of TV can come off as a part-time job. Right now I have 3 unwatched episodes of Chuck on my DVR that I need to find the time to watch. In the fall I had 6 episodes of Person of Interest on there, and I realized that watching those shows would become a task, so I just deleted them all and knocked the show off my schedule. If you’re not enjoying it to begin with, forget about it. At the end of the day, I truly believe that there has been no greater time for television than right now. The amount of incredibly well-written shows on the air is wild. If you’re not taking the time to watch, you’re missing out.