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Jan. 20 2012

Current TV: great for cooking shows, not much else.

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 3 Comments

A variation on Mark Malinkowski’s TV-themed post from this morning…

Jim & I watch almost no TV. He’ll check out the occasional sporting event, especially college basketball (the first two days of March Madness count as a religious holiday for him, on which it would be very foolish of me to try to schedule anything else, but the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show has the same level of importance for me, so I can’t complain.) We also watch Cooking Channel sometimes, especially “Bitchin’ Kitchen” & “Extra Virgin”, & view a few movies on Turner Classics & other channels, but honestly, our TV gathers a good bit of dust.

Both of us grew up as regular TV viewers, so what changed? To an extent, our lifestyles did – as we got further into high school & college, our academic pursuits demanded more of our time, & then we graduated & got jobs, which, when added to our passions for performing & working out, leave only so many hours for other activities – but I really don’t think that’s all. There simply isn’t much on the tube that we feel is worth our time. I’ve sneaked a peek at a few “reality” shows just for the train wreck factor (“Big Rich Texas” – there are simply no words to describe it adequately…) but can’t imagine making a commitment to viewing them regularly. Just this morning, I shocked a colleague by stating that I’ve never seen a single episode of “Project Runway”. I’d much rather read blogs or visit chat boards about clothes than watch a cast of stock characters design them on the small screen, thanks.

My tele-commitment-phobia has applied to recent comedy & drama series as well. Crazy as I am about both fashion & New York, I didn’t even watch “Sex & the City” on its first go-round, although I will confess to becoming quite hooked on it in syndication. Nor has “Glee” managed to pull us into its orbit; we saw one episode, & while we thought it was well-done, there seemed to be more commercials than program, & we actually felt insulted by the number & frequency of ads. (Yes, we’re aware of the existence of TiVo; we’re just too lazy to buy & use one!)

So what would get us to watch more TV? Great question. A few months ago, I told a friend I wish there was a show set in Baltimore that didn’t revolve around crime (his reply: “good luck with that!”) As longtime city residents, trust us, Jim & I have firsthand experience of Baltimore’s crime issues. It’s just that there is so much more to Charm City than chalk outlines on the sidewalk. I went on to say that the show would be even better if it revolved around people who work in the arts (& yes, that got another “dream on” out of my friend, who just happens to be a professional musician!)

Failing that, I might watch more TV if there were an intelligent series or two about characters I could relate to, even if I didn’t like them all the time.  That’s one of the things I loved about SATC; I found some of  the ladies’ antics all too familiar & they often made me laugh – while cringing – at my own behavior, especially with regard to shopping. Will such shows ever exist?

Probably not, so I’m going back to my books, blogs, performing, & cooking.  If you know of any TV shows that are actually worth a look, please comment about them here!

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Dyana Neal

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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

3 Responses to Current TV: great for cooking shows, not much else.

  • Diana Ross
    Diana Ross says:

    see, this is where the Di/yanas differ… along with Project Runway and Top Model, my guilty pleasure is Jersey Shore. Not gonna explain it, just going to enjoy it!

    Ever see Slings and Arrows?

  • Doug says:

    I’ve never had cable – apparently there’s a whole ‘nother world out there… but like you, I don’t think it’s worth my time – would rather be reading (or spending too much time on the internet – I’ve already been sucked in by the blogs here!) or tinkering with the cars in good weather, engaging in other hobbies, etc. Even when I was growing up, the TV wasn’t usually turned on unless it was to watch something specific, so I never developed the habit of sitting down, turning it on, and looking for something to amuse me – I can’t sit still that long anyway, and I don’t seem to have large blocks of empty time. When televisions are in public, I find them intrusive – the damned things can come out of all the waiting rooms in the world and I think we’d be better for it! (This all sounds familiar, have we had this conversation on Facebook?) :)

  • Dyana Neal
    Dyana Neal says:

    Diana, I’ve heard “Slings & Arrows” is great; might have to check that out sometime. I’m also growing more & more intrigued by “Downton Abbey.”

    Doug, I couldn’t agree more re: TVs being intrusive in public spaces. I hate them in restaurants & bars!

    Yet another food-themed show has caught my eye: “The Supersizers Go.” It’s about two Brits who spend a week dressing, eating, & living as they would have in a previous era (the episode I saw was devoted to the Victorian age.) Hilarious & very informative.

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