Does anyone else watch things on television that they know are not doing them any good? I get sucked into watching some programs again and again despite feeling worse off when they end. I usually defend to the death what Bird loves to call ‘trashy’ TV by arguing that if it entertains me then that’s all I need, I don’t think every program should have some educational value. After a recent budget review I spontaneously cut our satellite package to the lowest available and so now with no more Good Food Channel to entertain me I’ve been watching some other programs and I have come to the conclusion that I need to look at my viewing habits and cull the programs that are torturing me.
Some offending programs are:
Wanted Down Under – I am too fragile at that time of the morning (9am-ish) to handle watching a family blub over videos of their family in the UK putting on brave faces as they say, “we’re happy for you to follow your dreams and move thousands of miles away. We will be just fine here shivering and missing our grandchildren”. No, I find myself crying at the end of every single episode. I ask myself if this is entertaining me?
Location, Location, Location – and I include all fantasy property porn television here. I LOVE the snoop factor of checking out peoples’ houses but I always feel disappointed that I am not buying a house right now and when I do it is highly unlikely that I will have a Kirstie and a Phil to hold my hand, select a top three from the thousands on offer and then negotiate a bargain price while I sip wine in a pub garden. Does watching these shows serve any purpose?
Emergency with Angela Griffin – and I include all medical reality series here, even Sun, Sea and A&E (points awarded for brilliant title). It introduces me to the many, many ways we can find ourselves in life-threatening situations. This then adds fuel to my insomnia fire as I lay awake at night worrying that a street sign might fall on my child’s head and kill him. Entertaining? Er, no.
Who Do You Think You Are? – This hurts. I may need to wean myself off this one slowly as I love this program but, again, it makes me cry. Maybe it’s the music. Or the old photographs. It makes me mourn for the family I don’t know and upsets me that I know very little about 50% of my genetic make up. I want to discover I come from a long line of world-class ballerinas but as I am not a celebrity I fear the BBC will not be interested in doing an episode on my family history so I will never know. Damn.
I’m sure there are more programs I am forgetting but these are the main culprits that spring to mind. I need to be strong enough to say no. I need to get more episodes of Masterchef and One Born Every Minute on my recordy-box-thing. These make me happy.
One change I have made that makes me very happy is the recent blackout I have imposed upon CBeebies. Six weeks and counting since I’ve been tortured by the Mighty Mites theme tune. When Shine was born I was told that there was no such thing as ‘too much CBeebies’ when you are trying to keep a new baby and a toddler alive at the same time. CBeebies is necessary, obligatory even. Then I found myself with a six month old and a preschooler who demanded the TV be on but wasn’t actually watching it. I was, while he pottered around playing in the next room. I was also feeling guilty and lazy when it was on. Like somehow the Good Parent Police would know I was using more than my allotted sensible quota. So when Sun’s behaviour took a nose dive a few weeks ago I threatened to turn off CBeebies permanently if he didn’t pick up his game and I was happy to carry through with the threat.
Problem is that I may have replaced CBeebies with television that tortures me in other ways. It has to go. Now I have divulged my feelings I will think twice before I get sucked into watching a family prance around flying kites on a beach in Queensland as they ponder whether to change their lives and move Down Under. I’ll change the channel and watch Come Dine With Me. That never makes me cry, except maybe from laughter, and it is on loop all day and night so no more excuses.