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

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