Friday, October 9, 2009


evil's doorslightly spooky photo by Gray

I can't remember exactly when we gave our tv away -- probably a month ago, maybe two. Now, we're certainly not trying to make any kind of political or aesthetic statement by going (very temporarily) tv-free, since we have every intention of replacing it with something reasonably large and shiny. We just, well, haven't gotten around to it yet.

Though I will say that, even when we do have a television instead of an empty space on the shelves opposite the couch in the tiny little tv room, it rarely gets turned on. Which is not because I have anything against tv, especially given that I spend plenty of time staring at computer monitors. It's more that noone in the household seems to have any particular interest in sports, coupled with the fact that I have something like a very mild case of prosopagnosia, making following story lines a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, please slake my curiosity and take the poll below. And if you have (a) any brand and model suggestions for a new television or (b) any suggestions of shows I might like or (c) any musings on television and What It Means, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

And I almost forgot to give credit where credit is due, namely to Which Box, who recently posted some thoughts about television that inspired me to post my own thoughts about television.


areyoukiddingme said...

We have three TVs, but we only use 1 of them. The other two are either for guests or just haven't been moved to their final destination. In 4 years.

Whatever TV you decide on, you should definitely research the repair costs. My husband did that for the DLP HDTV we got 4 years ago. We bought the extended warranty because we knew that the bulbs would burn out right around 3.5 years, and $100 for a warranty was cheaper than $200 for new bulbs. As it turned out, our TV broke at 3.5 years, and had all of its interior parts replaced. So we have essentially a new TV. And, just so you know, I'm never one to buy the extended warranty.

after iris said...

I don't have a TV, but I do watch some shows on the internet (legally, I might add!)

Shows I would recommend:

- The Wire (I think this is the best TV show ever made - although not some of your commenters would disagree with me apparently!)
- The Office (original UK version, haven't seen US one)
- The Thick of It (vicious British political satire, very funny!)
- Deadwood (violent, foul-mouthed, takes historical liberties, entertaining)
- Flight of the Conchords (if you're in the mood for antipodean whimsy)

I love something in the way of a TV boxset, so I have loads more recommendations if you want them!

Tash said...

We have two tvs. I feel like I only carry about 3 shows at any one time -- maybe I'm easily overloaded? Right now it's The Amazing Race, The Dollhouse, and lots of football. I can get sucked into PBS mystery on occasion, and I like some of the HBO shows like "True Blood." We rent pretty infrequently too. We could probably easily do without if not for sports.

Aurelia said...

Consumer Reports is worth it's weight in gold for this kind of stuff. Especially the online version, because I can copy and paste charts and articles onto my blackberry and carry it with me while I shop.

We have several different ones, various sizes. I would consider looking into one that connects to your laptops and your camcorder, since so many home videos will be in your future, and your laptop may soon be the way we stream TV.

And anchor it to the wallstud of soon to be mom of a climbing toddler.

Kymberli said...

We have two TV and Frank and I watch a ton. We're gluttons. The kids generally prefer the computer screen to the TV screen, but they do enjoy watching a few shows here and there and have a favorite selection of movies for movie nights.

I admit that I had to look up prosopagnosia, which is quite fascinating now that I know what it is. I found an interesting research center page with a lot of information about it:

From there, I found a face recognition quiz. Here are my results:
Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 52.
In other words, you got 72% correct.

On our previous version of this test, the average person with normal face recognition was able to recognize about 80% of the faces. If you correctly identified less than 65% of the faces, this may indicate face recognition difficulties.
Here's the link to the test:

niobe said...

@Aurelia: Now I'm feeling all technophobic because I don't have a blackberry. Or a camcorder, for that matter. (Well, actually we once had a video camera, but the only person who ever used it was Gray who, before he lost interest in the whole thing, used to make incomprehensibly avant-garde mini-movies). But I will definitely take your advice re CR.

Magpie said...

Two. My husband is something of a junkie. But we almost never use the one in the bedroom.

Shanna said...

Well, our current favorite shows, mostly for Marjorie are the Wonder Pets, Backyardigans, Dora, Diego, pretty much anything that is on Nick Jr.
After she goes to bed I like Glee, Fringe, CSI and How I Met Your Mother.
We are a TV addicted family, 3 TVs and at least one is always on. My electric company LOVES us. ;)

Trish said...

I really love House. It airs on Monday evenings. I also like Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, but usually record those so that I can fast forward through the boring parts. NCIS is good too. Oh yeah, I watch plenty of Dora, Max and Ruby, Hannah Montana, and Brady Bunch as well, but those aren't really my choices :)

Alison said...

We have two TV's. Used to have one in the bedroom but no longer - too distracting. I'm with afteriris - pretty much everything she mentioned I watch too. But we rarely watch TV 'live' - just box sets. Also Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld. And if the BBC don't show the next series of Mad Men, I don't know what I'll do!

Fascinating face recognition test - I got 90%. That must explain why I always recognise people I've only met once and they walk straight past me.

leanne said...

Just took the face recognition test and my brain hurts. Those last ones... yikes.

TV shows I really like: House, How I Met Your Mother, The Office (the US version), and I'll confess, Top Chef as well.

Donna said...

We have one TV but no cable. Most people think we live in the dark ages. But if we had cable we would just spend our time flipping through channels looking for something to watch. We mostly watch netflix DVDs. when we want to watch something.

Life in Eden said...

One in the living room. Samsung 32 inch flat -- we like it.

We are DVR addicts. Never had cable until last year. With having little ones, it is great to be able to record and watch at leisure. We like Bones and CSI (ORIGINAL only!). I love Brothers and Sisters, and I'm liking the new series The Good Wife, has Juliana Margulis from ER. Use to watch House, but disappointed with it lately, early episodes are great. Oh, and for short fun -- Big Bang Theory, if for no other reason than the Bare Naked Ladies wrote the theme.

The Nanny said...

There is a TV in my dorm (not mine), but I could live without it completely. Any shows I watch (Mad Men, House, the Office, etc.) I watch online.

thordora said...

We didn't have cable for years-just a TV to watch movies on, which suited me just fine.

Then we moved to NB. THEN we had kids, and now, whenever I mention that even with my discount, we could be saving at least 100.00 if we cancel our cable, I get shot down. I rarely, if ever watch, and if I do-it's usually movies.

I'd like to return to no TV, and may petition the rest of the house hard this winter.

Furrow said...

I alternate between wishing the TV (or at least the satellite) gone and thanking heaven for Dora, Diego, and similar mind control agents.

jana said...

You may very well have mild prosopagnosia, but I think TV exacerbates the issue. All those skinny white chicks and generic leading men look the same to me. Honestly. It's like they have a factory to stamp them out or something.

Amelie said...

No TV, though my husband has a card for the computer, to watch his favorite sport. I'm terrible at face recognition. But I can see that Gray has inherited your talent.

Kristin said...

We have 2 TVs but one is only hooked up to a DVD player.

I don't know what you like to watch *when you do) but I really enjoy Fringe, NCIS, and Supernatural.

Hennifer said...

I want to not like television, I want it to be a political statement but I love tv and if I had cable I really could never turn it off.

However as it stands, I have two small children so I try to monitor what and how much is watched. We do not have cable.

I'm spending screen time playing games, blogging, etc but I have severly cut my television back to Criminal Minds on Wed at 9 and then I watch Bones and Glee online on the weekend.

my 2 cents

Jacinta said...

Hi Niobe, one tv. When our cat was a kitten, we had obviously had her for a long time without switching the TV on. We finally did and she literally went crazy, racing up to it and touching it with a paw, then hiding.

There is some very good TV around. I am a big fan of Mad Men.

Which Box said...

Thanks for the shoutout. We have three TVs, but the kithen one is hooked to mirror the living room, so I can cook and watch TV at the same time. We (though mostly husband) also watch a lot of sports. And the DVR means I have a ton of shows recorded.

Right now I am laughing out loud at Glee, but am only on episode 2, and the controversial (in our world) storyline hasn't totally kicked in yet. I used to like House, but I know Tash's issues, plus the doctor has become so frigging unlikeable. Still love Grey's anatomy, but maybe you have to have watched from the beginning to get into the characters. Love Project Runway. Jsut started watching Bones, which is annoying in it's own way (why do I watch so much TV when it all tends to annoy me?) but it is still entertaining. Seems like you need a show that is slow on any story development and most episodes just stands alone, maybe. Bones is kind of like that - the back stories of the characters are background to the case at hand. I also really like So you think you can dance. Because I wish I could dance.

Tash said...

Back again: You don't know how relieved I was when I heard in a radio interview the other day that Nick Hornby's younger kids watched iCarly. I practically screamed with joy, because I'm figuring how bad could she turn out now, hmm?

We took the tv out of the bedroom about 10 years ago. We don't regret that move one iota.

Cara said...

We have one TV, but no television. And this is so very confusing for my kids to explain as the abreviation seems to have taken on the linguistic meaning for 'the ability to sit with a rectangular box in your hand and hit a button as the channel changes magically."

Hence, I taught them the word CABLE. They now say, "We have a TV but no CABLE" It works better.

Gibson Twins said...

All I can say is this:
TV + DVD player + Finding Nemo = enough time for me to get ready for school in the mornings. :)

We don't watch any "real" tv though these days, we used to be real news junkies til, well, lets just leave politics out of it right?

I'd say if going for a flat panel, go with the ultrasharp (Samsung/LG) versus the flat duller color ones that are mildly cheaper.

Gretchen said...

We have 3 TVs, but about 2 months ago we suspended our satellite service until January 1, 2010, when it will come back on automatically. Like magic.

I don't miss it and the kids don't seem to, either. We still watch DVDs (we have a player for each TV).

I don't think TV is evil. I like a lot about TV and look forward to watching it again. It was time for a break, though. We'll watch again.

Jen said...

I'm not much for episodic tv either. I do watch the occasional Bones or NCIS. I watch Bizarre Foods, it squicks my husband but good.

We are fans of Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, Iron Chef America, we used to watch Good Eats. We occasionally watch How It's Made, NOVA ScienceNow, Nova, once in a while Nature.

He likes History Detectives, Battlestar Galactica, the Simpsons (Battlestar is so depressing, he needs something mindless and light to counterbalance it). LeMAns, American LeMans, some other racing, too. I'm just happy he doesn't like normal sports.

Our two year old likes vroom vroom (AKA racing) and Ehmo. Luckily he has a very short attention span and he's never gotten used to watching much tv.

loribeth said...

We have three TVs in our house. A 22-year-old 19" Sony in the basement, which still works perfectly fine but only gets used on the rare occasions when I'm using the treadmill. ; ) A six-year-old 32" Sony in the living room that's our main TV, which dh HAD to have and was all the rage -- just before the flat-screen models started getting popular. And a 12" Panasonic in the living room, which we bought when the original Sony was out for repairs, because we found the silence too deafening without a TV in the house.

Dh now wants to buy a flat screen with HDTV like his brother's, but I have a hard time justifying it when the old one(s) still work perfectly fine.

loribeth said...

Oops, the Panasonic is in our bedroom. We don't watch a lot of TV in there, but it's handy to turn on in the morning to get the weather report, or if we want to watch different programs at the same time.

passingwindows said...

We have one in the living room and one in the bedroom. The one in the bedroom is now at a weird angle and fortunately gets used very little. It's on my list of things I hate that other people seem to love - watching TV in bed. I don't like falling asleep in front of TV and waking up in the middle of the night with the screen still on. I also don't like meatloaf, what is the attraction?

Anonymous said...

We got our tv (a big clunky one) as a wedding gift (it was cheque cadeau at a store that my husband's workplace gave to him). We have no cable either, because they said it would cost a million euros (wee bit of an tall tale) so we watch DVDs. The kids watch DVDs too but we try to limit it to less than an hour. I think flat screen tvs are ever so lovely though.

passingwindows said...

Such a nice comment, thank you. I can't help feeling a little hopeful as well. Now if we could just get this next cycle on the go ... it's taking forever!

Panamahat said...

One TV, from the eighties. Probably early eighties.

I left you a little something on my blog, by the way....