As much as I love to read, my wife and I nearly always fall onto the couch and watch some TV before bed. (Then I read until I realize I’ve been repeating the same paragraph over and over again, and maybe it’s time I go to sleep.) There’s a lot of good storytelling on TV now, and we enjoy most of the same things, recording a lot of it to a DVR to watch later when we have time.
Lately I’ve been wondering what we can cut out of our budget. It’s an exercise I go through when I start contemplating seismic activity in my work environment, or a career change or how much money it would take to pull my weight supporting my family if I decided to write full-time. Also I’ve been wondering if our internet access could be faster if we shell out more money, somehow without paying for a cable upgrade.
My wife is always up for a good bargain hunt, willing to shop around and crunch numbers. We’ve started making lists of: programs we might access via other (legal) means; programs we would be willing to wait for Netflix or Amazon Prime to pick up; programs we would want to watch immediately. We’ve started weighing pro’s and con’s like the DVR included in our current package vs. buying our own and doing homework about program schedules. In the end, I think it will happen either with our present provider or one we used to pay. We seem to pay for a lot of TV we don’t watch and get low bandwidth as a bonus.
As I age and my memory gets worse, I could easily watch programs I’ve seen before as if for the first time. I look forward to it, as a matter of fact. Others I just want to watch over again with my son when he’s old enough: Breaking Bad (not so long ago), Farscape, Firefly, X-Files, Lost, Freaks and Geeks, Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc. Most of these are available on Netflix. I have some of them on DVD (that thing that preceded Blu-Ray, son).
So why haven’t I done it already? There’s more homework to do about a replacement DVR and what I might need with it, like a programming guide service. We’re also anxiously awaiting “Better Call Saul” on AMC, and I’m anticipating that we’ll need to buy that along with “The Walking Dead” if we cancel cable. “The Strain” really hooked me last season and will be returning at some point. “Fargo”, which I thought would be only a single season mini-series, blew me away and will be returning.
There’s a trend here. I could really get by with just a few channels and continue watching everything I enjoy. Unfortunately, the cable companies know this, too, and they really don’t want me to be able to buy just AMC, FX, and a couple of other channels. Maybe one day this will be a reality. I think it would really weed out the junk, but in the meantime perhaps outright purchases of specific programs will have the same effect in the long term.