I give up.

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Today’s subtraction project prompt deals with your TV viewing habits which got me thinking about mine. Two things in the last year or so have had drastic impacts on my TV watching.

Turning Off The Cable

We disconnected our cable TV and turned in our DVRs several months ago. And in the big picture? This has not fazed me as much as I thought it would. I still have the same amount of problems finding something to watch when I’m in the mood to vegetate, which is: NOT OFTEN. There is still plenty of stuff to watch between Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime. And it’s still rare that I’m in the mood to veg, and I can’t find anything to veg out on. The thing is that now, when it happens? I don’t curse the 100 bucks or so I’m paying for cable and DVRs every month.

Now, the one real negative factor is that I’ve had to either A) Give up on watching some shows or B) Pay for them. So far, most of the shows we’ve given up on just fine. I’ve subtracted (see what I did there) almost all of my CBS shows because they’re not easily available on Hulu. Now, I can watch (most of them?) online, but the only one I’ve bothered to do that with is Good Wife (AND SO GLAD I DID – OMG). NCIS, NCIS LA, HIMYM – I just left those in the wayside this summer and haven’t really cared either way.

The shows I watch on cable channels are another story – I miss Warehouse 13 and Being Human and Lost Girl and Psych. However, I’ve not been spoiled on any of those shows so! I can always watch them on DVD when the seasons come out or on Amazon Prime when they’re released there. Either way – I’m not watching them now – but it’s not stressing me out as much as I thought it would.

There are a FEW shows we can’t watch now that we ARE paying for – usually on Amazon Prime – the next day one at a time. Donnie does that with Walking Dead and I think another show. He also watches some stuff on HBO with his brother. I never got into the Paid Channel type shows so missing those isn’t a huge deal. We were paying for Doctor Who the next day through Amazon Prime and I’m hoping we can do that with Orphan Black when it starts back tonight. We BETTER be able to because I’ll pitch a fit about missing that show.

But – overall? No issues that are making us regret the decision whatsoever. It’s saving us about $100 a month with all of the extras we were using. And while we thought about just getting smaller cable packages, in reality? The things we loved about having cable? Were the things that made it pricey, so the minimal packages weren’t worth it.

Valuing The Investment Of Time…but Not Too Much

I guess some people were irritated with the HIMYM series finale. But, what I took away from all of that commentary was something I believe Linda Holmes from NPR referenced. She basically called it something like “The Lost Effect” – the tendency for people to stick with a program they aren’t really enjoying JUST for the endgame payoff. JUST so they can be part of the culture of that show when it finally has the HOPEFULLY brilliant ending everyone wants.

But – like Lost and dozens of shows before it – the endings tend to fizzle flat and you find yourself saying, “Why did I keep watching that show?”

I’ve given up on a bunch of shows for that reason. My love for Scandal has dropped as the rest of the world’s seemed to have picked up. While I’m really curious how this world proceeds, I’m not enjoying the individual episodes enough to invest my time in it. I don’t like what they’ve done with some of my favorite characters, I’m having trouble with the whole “suspension of disbelief” thing, and they’ve killed off some people I liked. So? IT HAS BEEN SUBTRACTED. Officially, now. It was unofficially before, but I’m removing it from my “favorites” list on HULU now so it won’t even show up for me.

Other shows I’ve kinda stopped watching and will be officially giving up on them now? Parenthood and Vampire Diaries. That’s hard for me because I’ve really loved both of those shows, but I feel like I’m doing the whole Lost Effect thing…I’m sticking with them because I feel like I need to see it through to the end. But I’m no longer enjoying the individual episodes. Haven’t actually watched either of them all season, but they keep showing up in my Favorites. So today? THEY’RE OFFICIALLY OUT OF HERE.

Still A TV Junkie

Overall, I’m still a TV Junkie. I just like having it on in the background while I work. I still love a lot of TV. I’m totally pumped about Orphan Black and I’ve gone back to watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because everyone said it was getting good. (THEY WERE RIGHT!) I still love Arrow and I’m looking forward to next season’s Flash. I still adore my sitcoms: Parks & Recreation and Modern Family and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And I’m still sticking with my two crime dramas: Castle and Bones, mainly because they don’t take themselves too seriously. I also love watching Jimmy Fallon now that he has The Tonight Show. So, yeah…still PLENTY of TV watching going on here, but I’m not going to waste the time with the shows that don’t bring me joy, JUST BECAUSE I feel like I should stick with them until the end. Nope. Did that with LOST long after I stopped enjoying it, I won’t make THAT mistake again!

Have you given up anything?

March 14th! We’re Going Back To Neptune!

Growing up I had one TV in my house on which time was very regulated. If Dad was home, our time using it was monitored. I have memories of watching TV as a family – shows like The Cosby Show and Little House On The Prairie but we didn’t watch as much as our friends did and there was often stuff I was missing out on when it came to lunchroom conversation. It only worsened once I hit high school because I stayed so busy all the time that there was minimal time to watch TV.

(Although – when Dad was gone? That TV was on all the time. I was like a pampered non-working wife with my soap operas and game shows during the summer.)

Then came college when I didn’t have a TV for a long time. Then I didn’t have cable for a long time. I enjoyed some shows in real time like “Friends” but basically, until about 2000, I didn’t watch any TV regularly. Like…EVER. MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Once we settled into our adult lives in 2001 with paychecks and cable bills, I started keeping up with television and became quite addicted quite quickly. But my point is – a lot of the shows I totally fangirl over, I did not enjoy with the real world. I worked my way through the Whendonverse when Wes was a baby and I was nursing him. I watched all of Buffy, Angel and Firefly before Wes was weaned. The show that got me through my maternity leave with Nikki? Veronica Mars. With that show, I actually watched season 1 and season 2 before season 3 premiered. So, I caught up with the real world, but just in time for the last season. But – since I was totally team Piz? (WHAT?!?!) I lurved it dearly.

So, it’s safe to say when the Veronica Mars Movie was crowdfunded? I WAS BEYOND HAPPY.

And today? When I needed it most because I’m super-stressed (Oh, my, god. I’m so sick of saying that. I wish I could unload on you guys so you could believe me about the “so stressed” part but I have to respect other people’s privacy. Just trust me: STRESS LEVEL IS TO THE MAX FOR REAL REASONS, I PROMISE.) the gift of the Veronica Mars Move trailer was given to me and I sobbed with joy.

So, I have three months to re-watch all of the previous seasons so my Neptune knowledge is refreshed. ARE YOU WITH ME?

Scandal! (The show. Not my life. I promise.)

(TV Show Spoilers Will Be Relegated To The Comment Section. If you don’t want to read Scandal Spoilers don’t scroll past the Scandal Logo on this entry.)

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but over there <------- on my sidebar, if you scroll down, there's a section that says "Most Shared Posts". I put that little widget/tool on my blog ages ago when I first say someone's blog post go "viral" because - I thought - I don’t want that to ever happen to me. Mainly because the more traffic you get, the more likely you get mean comments. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am a wee-bit sensitive. (Hence all of the: DON’T BE MEAN! blog posts.) I’ve been blogging for 10 years and have only gotten 3 really mean comments and THAT IS PLENTY. An online magazine wanted to republish something I did several years ago (Something about my Dad) and I was all Aww…that’s nice…but no. I don’t trust the people you send over not to be mean. Welp! Yesterday’s blog post got a little traffic and as soon as those <---- Facebook like/share number got amount of shares/likes this blog had ever seen? I immediately started moderating comments. I didn't want even one hint of nasty from new people to ruin the great vibe I have over hear. You are all my friends, I know most of you by comment handle, I'm not going to let some newbie who popped over from Facebook ruin that. Thank God I did. Because before that number hit 1000, I had THREE people leave mean/snarky comments. The funny thing is? They were all saying the same thing basically: Approving Of This Type Of Consumerism Is What Is Wrong With The World. But here's the thing - I didn't approve of it. I didn't approve of anything. I was just pointing out A) We don't all celebrate Thanksgiving the same way and B) Don't Judge. And the second I saw that some of the newbies popping over were TOTALLY missing that point? I turned off comments. Because I don't have time to argue with everyone and it BUGS ME when people get all argumentative for no reason. And one of the comments was directed at another commenter and Oooooh....Hell No!. So! I turned comments off. My point? Thank you for being awesome and if you had time to chime in yesterday before I closed comments? THANKS! I’ll be moderating comments today too, because the traffic hasn’t slowed yet, and that means comments on THIS post will be moderated too. Sorry! The traffic will fade and we can go back to talking about Bullet Journals in peace.


SO! Do you watch Scandal? Please tell me someone watches this show! I think a lot of people last year did, but maybe some people have stopped this year because it’s gotten a little far-reaching? And while I agree – it has – the insanity is still being performed by some amazing actors so I’m totally ALL IN and last week’s episode BLEW MY MIND. I won’t post spoilers here but I’m dying to talk about last week with SOMEONE…So! We’ll have to do it in the moderated comments (Sorry!). I’ll post my thoughts as the first comment and then we’ll talk! Just remember, I’ll have to moderate yours and I’ll try to do it quickly but forgive me if I delay. You should get emailed responses if I reply to it!

What We’re Watching: ORPHAN BLACK

Spoiler Free! I promise!


We don’t watch a lot of TV lately. I watch So You Think You Can Dance but I watch it the next day and I fast-forward through everything but the dancing. That bring a 2-hour show down to about under an hour. I watch Franklin and Bash because it’s light-hearted and funny. That’s my basic weekly TV schedule lately. Less than two hours a week. That’s unheard of for me.

I do like to have shows on OnDemand or Netflix or something that I can turn to when I want to watch something. Right now it’s Merlin. I’m irritated the show got cancelled so I’m trying not to get too into it. So, it’s mainly just a show the kids and I curl up in bed and watch periodically.

Basically…right now…there’s only one show I’m really into. And that’s Orphan Black. It popped up on my radar a few times recently on list of “Shows You Should Be Watching”. We decided to start watching it this weekend after seeing several people online outraged that the lead – Tatiana Maslany – didn’t get nominated for an Emmy. That’s a good compliment to a show right there. And – of course – we love BBC American, so why now?

We’re four episodes in now and we are hooked. First of all – we both like it which is nice. Donnie usually likes all of the grown-up shows everyone else likes (Walking Dead, Game of Thrones…) and I don’t like those shows. Orphan Black is a good middle ground. I don’t feel like it overdoes the sex and violence (I’m a prude!) and he doesn’t feel like he’s watching The CW.

But that girl – Tatiana Maslany – is amazing. She’s basically playing four+ different characters and I’m constantly forgetting it’s the same actress. Not only that, but sometimes she’s playing one character who is playing another character and she pulls it off. For example: The main character is Sarah, but in one episode Allison had to pretend to be Sarah. Well, Maslany managed to play Allison-being-Sarah instead of just being Sarah and DUDE. It was AMAZING. How does she do that? She gives each of these characters enough of their own individuality that she can even play them being each other and make you forget it’s the same actress.

Plus…the story is super-fascinating. Clones finding each other? And then finding out they’re being hunted? There’s some great secondary character not played by that actress too – including Sarah’s sassy brother Felix who I want to come live with me forever. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Anyway…we’re still only four episodes in, but if you’re looking for something gripping to watch at your leisure? I think the first season just came out on DVD. We’re watching it free on Xfinity.

Unless you’re already watching it…and if you are…can you reassure me the whole season stays awesome? LURVE THIS SHOW.

Putting Way Too Much Thought Into My Entertainment Choices

Alphas - Season 2
It’s no secret that I love television, but I have mixed feelings about getting hooked on the type of shows everyone gets hooked on. In actuality? I get very angry at 99% of television. I hate it when I am hooked on a show that then lets me down after giving it several years of my life. (I’m looking at you Downton Abbey). Or even worse, if I dedicate a lot of my interest and love and enthusiasm and then a third party takes it away from me. (I’m looking at you SyFy for taking away Alphas). I want a show that stays relatively constant in my affection (I allow bad seasons, look at my dedication to Glee.) but gives me a nice, solid ending to walk away from.

But do you know how often that happens? HARDLY EVER.

I started watching Merlin this summer, but after being burned by Alphas, I decided to check to see if it was still on. Turns out? It got canceled after the last (fifth) season and evidently ended pissing off a lot of fans because it opened the door to so many future storylines. So you know what? Now I don’t even want to watch it anymore. DAMMIT.

But here’s the thing – even if a TV show stays consistent and gives me a clean ending? That only works for PAST shows. It doesn’t work for present shows so I’m stuck taking a gamble on them and hoping they won’t turn crappy or won’t get unexpectedly cancelled.

And you know what? This is the same thing I hate about series books. Either I dedicate all this time to them waiting for each book in the series only to be let down when it ends crappily (Hunger Games) or I invest time and then give up because it starts to piss me off and I don’t want to waste any more time with it (City of Bone). I honestly try to avoid all series books for this reason until the series is over and someone (several someones ideally) can guarantee me it was good.

But sometimes I give in, like with Shadow and Bone because I was told the first book had a decent ending that didn’t leave you hanging too much. And they were right! But now it’s been a year and the second book came out and I started reading it and realized I didn’t remember much of the first one. So – now I have another reason to avoid serial books. Even if they’re good and don’t let me down and wrap up excellently, I still have to wait between each one, forgetting everything in the previous book.

So…basically? I’m going to just give up staying up-to-date in pop culture. I’m going to read and watch serial things only when they’re over and trustworthy people assure me they’re worth the investment of time. Everything I watch or read as a current release has to be a stand alone book or show.

Because – this is what it boils down to. Time is precious to me. I don’t want to waste time on TV or Books that I end up regretting. I keep trying, hoping for a Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV show or a Harry Potter book series. But the truth is? I’ve been suffering through too many failures looking for that level of enjoyment and I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT.

So. Is there a TV series you loved that you watched and it ended well? Can I get it on Netflix? What about books series that are over that you think are/were worth the time? Or even better – what about shows that may not have had a nice clean ending, but didn’t really need one as each episode was satisfactory on it’s own? Or books that are stand alone? I’m just sick of investing time and energy and really enjoying things that turn sucky or that end without an ending.