On Men: Their Sucky Taste in TV Viewing

I just realized while paying bills the other day, that our Comcast triple-play promotion will be expiring soon–meaning that the half-decent rate we’ve been paying for cable TV, phone, and high-speed internet will soon be wildly, hugely, exorbitantly more expensive.  And so we may have to cut some of the premium channels they included for free (to get you hooked on them).  This is a shame because I haven’t had the opportunity to truly enjoy this feature, because I live in a houseful of men that do not have the attention span to watch many movies, let alone a new or entertaining movie.

Ninety percent of the time, a sporting event is on.  I’ve learned to accept this and even like watching sports.  Part of this is because I can sit there with the family and still get other things done.  Watching sports does not require you to use all of your attention, unless you’re a guy.  I can sit there, read the paper, pay the bills, fold clothes, and cut out coupons.  And when I hear the guys cuss or cheer, I can look up and catch the important parts of the game.

The rest of the time, they will watch something that they’ve seen a hundred times before.  Guys’ brains are quite similar to kids’ brains.  They obviously find it quite comforting to watch a show over and over until they can quote it verbatim.  I worked with two guys who would lapse into dialogue from the movie “Dumb and Dumber.”  They both had the entire movie memorized.  My kids, when they were little, would watch the movie “All Dogs Go To Heaven” just about every day and also knew every line.  Today, they and their father will watch the stupidest and most inane sitcom reruns on TV until I know every line and my head wants to explode.  Even the few good sitcoms they watch (Seinfeld and King of Queens) have lost their entertainment value after say about the 50th viewing.  But if I want to watch something new or slightly more entertaining, I have to listen to their groaning and complaining.  The few movies they watch (usually on Sundays) are also hauntingly familiar.  Here is the usual repertoire:  “48 Hours,” “Major Payne,” or some Jackie Chan flick.  A good fresh HBO movie?  Naaah.  No way.

So when Big Daddy and the boys are out of the house, I sometimes celebrate by watching a whole movie in peace.  Tonight I watched a documentary on HBO and a Woody Allen movie (which sadly was not one of his best).  One night I caught “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and enjoyed it like I never could have with men in the house.  I also got to see “The Devil Wears Prada.”

I could always go upstairs and watch TV by myself.  Sometimes I do.  But it’s lonely up there.  So if there’s nothing on that I really have to watch, I guess I’ll just deal with my guys and their sucky TV shows.


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