I used to love television. I used to know the schedule of all my favourite shows, what time they were playing on which day and I was totally absorbed in many different story lines in many different shows and eagerly looked forward to each one. My friends knew who to ask when they had questions about past plot lines and how they had led to the present and I could explain it to them so they were caught up and ready for that week’s upcoming episode.
That was back when I was in high school (yes, I was just that cool). Back when I would never leave the house on a Sunday night, nor would I accept any phone calls between the hours of 9 and 10 because I was immersed in the world of Mulder and Scully (Oh yes, I was one of THOSE kind of nerds).
When I moved out of my parents’ house at the age of 19, I watched less television. This was mostly due to the fact that I had to share the TV with at least three roommates (one year, it was up to five). This creates very strict scheduling necessities and discussions about what shows will be watched on what nights by whom.
I will say, from the time I moved out, we had time shifting on the cable, but PVR was not available for about five years after that up here, so that was not an option.
I shaved the list of shows I religiously watched down to about five, easy to do since they all corresponded with shows that various other roommates were watching.
Over the years, various reasons came about for the list of dedicated shows to grow smaller and smaller. Buffy ended and a year later, Angel was also gone. I disliked the direction that Grey’s Anatomy took and reality TV was just simply getting annoying and predictable.
Over the years I stuck with my few shows and mostly movies and then when I met the boyfriend, I discovered that he was not an avid fan of fictional television. He loved reality TV. When I moved in, in an unspoken and unintentional compromise, I gave up pretty much all of my television shows aside from a couple sitcoms (I also recently picked up Glee and adore it) and he gave up most of his reality television except the ones that I would watch with him. So together, we had Survivor and Hell’s Kitchen to look forward to every week and I would watch my fiction shows, for the most part, alone.
A year passed and I was heading to a friend’s house once a week to watch Glee and pre-recorded episodes (PVR had finally arrived!) of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. The boyfriend and I had given up on watching everything but Survivor on the television, instead catching up with them a few episodes at a time streamed online.
I found myself resenting cable’s presence in our lives more and more, strictly for the fact that it was there, there was television, but I tended to always find there to be nothing to watch. I would put National Geographic channel on in the background while I surfed the net, but I wasn’t paying any attention to it half the time.
So we assessed the situation and some very serious discussions about it (ie. I asked the boyfriend if he cared about cable and he was like…meh). So finally, decision made. Cable went away for good.
It’s been two weeks since the big step towards freedom and I haven’t noticed a huge loss in my life. There have only been a few times where I though, “Gee, I’d really like to watch [insert random show title here]” and then I’d realize that was not possible and find something else to do. The only thing that has happened that made me actually wish we’d waited a month was the fact that I found out I would be missing Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.
The best thing about having no cable to pop on in the background when we’re eating meals or bored? We are FINALLY working our way through the backlog of television shows that we keep buying on DVD but never watch. We’re almost finished with My Pet Monster and will be moving on to complete the first season of She-Ra next.