New Year's resolutions for TV: Give up the phone and on lame shows
New Year's resolutions are hard. We've all attempted to follow through on healthy intentions. Sure, I'd love to become a better person. I could lose weight. Save more money. Use my hamper and stop stacking dirty clothes on that one bedroom chair.
However, this year I'd really like to change some of my TV habits. No, I don't mean watching less and going outside and socializing more. Let's be realistic here.
It's the era of Peak TV, and I'd like 2017 to be the year of TV productivity. I need to be mindful of my time. I'd like to value quality over quantity. But I also need to keep everyone impressed with my vast television knowledge and invaluable recommendations. So before a bunch of new stuff drops, here are my TV resolutions:
Put my phone down: This is a big one. It's embarrassing to admit the obscenely high level of Candy Crush I'm on. Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is how I get through long bouts of boring boob-tube binges. (One thing I will always do: Look up IMDB trivia. I love having the ability to tell you who those semi-recognizable actors are and what they've been in.) But thanks to a game of candies, I have no idea what happened in the Episodes 4-7 of The Man in the High Castle. So what was even the point? Which leads me to my next resolution ...
Give up earlier: If I need distractions from a mundane series, then it's probably time to give up. No matter if "it gets better," according to everybody. The heart doesn't want what it doesn't want. A couple years ago, I watched the first season of Breaking Bad and realized it wasn't for me. And since then I've been met with gasps and outrage that a TV-consumer like myself hasn't seen the whole thing. I have my reasons, and I'm sticking to them. There are so many fish in the sea, as they say; however, I will never give up on Grey's Anatomy. I'm a lifer.
Prioritize: Grey's is one of the few shows I actually like to watch live. But who has the brainpower to remember when things are on? Before I know it, the DVR queue is full of episodes of Modern Family I'll never watch. Because I'll be embracing the practice of quitting, it'll also be important to prioritize what I am watching. And streaming channels have really complicated schedules for those of us who also like to watch shows currently on air. Now it seems vital to squeeze in an entire new season over a weekend as well as catching up on current shows. Balancing my weekly watchlist requires thought and dedication. That's funny since watching TV is an escape from real-life responsibilities. But I'm severely Type-A, so this is natural for me.
Check off shows on my bucket list: And naturally, I have a long list of shows I'd like to get to, eventually. It includes shows I've seen a few episodes of (thanks to press screeners) but never had time to catch up on (Goliath, Good Behavior). Others are classics (Deadwood, The West Wing) that need to be part of my pop culture repertoire. And some are the awesome shows few people watch (Teachers, Rectify). More shows get added than get crossed off, and that will always be the case during Peak TV. Sigh. But I need to try a little harder.
Keep an open mind: I'd also like to make time for shows other people recommend. I do a lot of vetting before diving into a show, and I have my TV comfort foods: Period drama with great costuming? Add it to my queue. Sci-fi series starring sexy teens? Cancel my weekend plans. A critically-acclaimed, under-appreciated show? Yes, please. It's a scary world without my TV security blanket. But it's clear I need a little more spontaneity in my life. So in the true spirit of New Year's resolutions: It's good to try new things. I've heard good things about HBO's Vice Principals from a few friends, but I'm not a Danny McBride fan. And Mindy Kaling really loved Narcos on Netflix, so I should give it a try. And here I go adding more to my watchlist.