The dreaded idiot box: The adults

TV has to be one of those best and worst inventions of the 20th century. It really does. It has brought us information that we may not have otherwise been able to access and it has wasted more hours than can be fathomed. It opens up news and information to those who can’t read, brings us together in times of tragedies, both here and around the world (Beaconsfield Mine, Threadbo disaster, Christchurch Earthquake and the Pike River mine disaster, the Haitian Earthquake, the Twin Towers and so many more besides) but it has also brought us news of wonderful events. TV in Australia was brought online in time for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, we then got to watch the first footsteps on the moon, the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana, then of Prince William to Kate Middleton, Nelson Mandela being released from prison, the reuniting of East and West Germany and the Wall coming down, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and  Australia winning the America’s Cup.

But TV has wasted more hours of time than can be believed or understood. Think about it, how much of what you watch is something that you could not have lived after if you had not seen it? Would the world end if you missed seeing that episode of Sex and the City? Or Neighbours? Or even the News? How much of the news these days is just doom and gloom?

I’m not saying these shows are necessarily bad, or that they shouldn’t be watched but I do question myself and the tv I watch. And that includes films etc. My current addiction is to watch the British TV series Hustle. There is nothing educational in it but it’s a great switch off from the real world. Both Martin and I have had a great time watching The Gourmet Farmer which is the story of Matthew Evans, a prominent (and as he says, Sydney’s most feared) food critic and his move to country Tasmania and trying to live a life of self-sufficiency, raising his own meat and vegetables. I’ve been known to laugh, cry and expostulate at the screen many times. His interest in gourmet food cookery doesn’t always appeal but there are so many things I would love to do too. If nothing else, he’s pretty funny at times.

We’re also fans of Escape to the Country, another British program that takes couples through 4 houses to help them find a home they would like to purchase in order to move from suburbia to country living. I can take or leave the program, but it is the same journey in some ways as we are making which can make it interesting viewing.

Another favourite can sometimes be Grand Designs, although most of the time I end up shaking my head in disgust at the extravagance and sheer wastefulness of the housing designs. The only episode I have watched where I sat there silent and glued to the screen was the Brittany house, built by an owner builder couple Darren and Adie in Brittany, France which is based on Earthship design. You can watch it here with Part 1 and Part 2.

Another show we watch on occasion is Super Nanny. I don’t always approve of how she does things but there have been some great ideas I’ve picked up from watching the show. It’s one of those, if it’s on we might watch it shows, although we rarely actively seek to watch it. Same goes for Embarrassing Bodies. Yes, we watch some eclectic programs. 🙂

I used to be a huge fan of One Born Every Minute, yet another British series of a Southampton hospital documenting the journeys of mothers birthing their children. However, as a homebirthing mumma (Orik was a planned home birth baby) I found much of the medical approach to birth would have me hurling disbelief and commentary at the TV  Loudly. NOT conducive to keeping aforementioned homebirthed baby asleep.

Gardening Australia is another program we enjoy, although we usually watch it on iView these days. Gotta love TV programs available on the internet. Sure beats the days of programming the video recorder hey.

Most of the time now though I read blogs. I was always a books over tv person as a kid, although I definitely had programs I loved to watch. I’ve a great list of blogs, many along the same principles I hope to follow once we move or already follow as well as others outside the box somewhat. I’ve listed some of them to the left of the screen.

When we move we don’t plan to attach an aerial or connect the TV to fee to air or cable and we will see how we go with streaming what we do want to watch. We can always add it later but somehow, I think we will move away from the TV and not go back.

Square Eyes

Well, time for me to get off the other time-vacuum of my computer and get out and do some gardening. Time to re-pot some broccoli seedlings I reckon. 🙂

13 thoughts on “The dreaded idiot box: The adults

  1. Paul - The Kind Little Blogger says:

    Hustle is a brilliant show. So clever. But as you say, it can be taken or left. I’m finding myself reading more lately. Sometimes the sound of the TV in the background–a peril of living in a sharehouse–is too much to take.

    • Hustle is well brilliant, although Danny gives me the irrits. I’m working through series 3 at the moment and I’m desperately looking forward to finding out why the crew changed
      I HATE the TV on in the background if I’m reading. I find my eyes are magnetically drawn to whatever idiocy I am totally uninterested in and I never get any reading done. Happy to hide in the bedroom though. Ah, the bliss of a fine read, a comfy bed and snuggly doona, uninterrupted by kids. Bah, who am I kidding, kid free time when I’m not too exhausted to read? 😉

  2. Mama Veg says:

    Love your blog and nominated you for a sunshine award, 🙂
    Liz x

  3. Mama Veg says:

    by the way we pretty much watch the same shows, except Hustle, don’t know that one.

  4. narf77 says:

    I don’t actually watch a lot of television. I end up talking sarcastically to the screen and poor Steve feels put upon by my derision of his channel choices…I mean who on EARTH wants to watch shows about hog catchers and alligator wranglers?! I would love to watch some better television but to be honest I have better things to do and as I get up so early now I can’t seem to stay awake much after 9pm any more. I often listen to the television from my seat in the living room in front of my massive monitor where I disect the world one magpie beakful at a time. I LOVE learning and occasionally when Steve has the “How To” channel on or perhaps Discovery I get something out of it but the big television tends to be a chick free zone by my own personal choice and tends to revolve around horror…car shows and alligator wrangling Texans with beer guts and YEEEHARRRRRRRR accents 🙂

    • You should hear the commentary I hurl at any birthing shows! I definitely froth at the mouth there, although NEVER in real life. TV just begs to be bellowed at though. To be honest I’m a vocal reader though and my poor husband gets woken by all sorts, giggling, all out belly laughs, commentary and loud expostulation. Never mind it’s 1 am or 3 or 4. I’m a terrible insomniac so I’ve been known to play words with friends or read or even eBay at the strangest of times. It’s one of the reasons I love my phone.

      • narf77 says:

        I can’t believe that you don’t sleep like the proverbial log with all of the activity that you pack into your days! I guess Mozart only slept 4 hours a day… can you write sonets? 😉

        • Snort! I’d sleep but I have this little milk leach that likes to come and join us either at midnight or 4 am. I’m also a chronic night owl and I really appreciate quiet time alone before I go to bed. I try not to stay up too late but some nights I crave that space too much. And when my wonderful hubby gets up and occupies the kids in the morning, who can resist a lil sleep in? 😉
          MOst of the crazy busyness is weekends at the moment – I sleep like the dead then!
          As for sonnets, of cour… NAAAAAAA

          • narf77 says:

            I had 3 of my own milk leeches as well so I know where you are coming from. The son and heir was a “live while I’m alive and sleep when I’m dead” type of kiddo and was awake all night, asleep all day. Funny how we soon learn to adapt the kiddo to the family after that first precious bundle lays down the law and you learn to retaliate ;). I was always a chronic night lover and often went to bed way after Steve in the wee small hours of the morning for the very same reasons…precious special time spent with yourself and your thoughts BUT I learned that I can’t outlast Steve when I am active and I really REALLY appreciate my time to myself before even the dogs get up so I sacrificed the habits of a lifetime and although my eyes often feel like I have been rubbing onions in them and I can’t function or focus until that first 2 teabag cuppa enters my blood stream I am slowly learning to appreciate the mornings. Who would have thought it eh? ;).

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