The habit of a lifetime





I am, of course, referring to our previous two blogs/Chloë’s love letters to television. She’s made watching TV an art that I am quite envious of. This blog is about the paradox of choice – and why it stresses me out.

If you’re anything like me, your TV viewing habits might have become almost non-existent over the last few years. It’s not because I hate TV, I love it. But with the rise of catch-up TV – and an ever-increasing number of channels – I find myself with a growing viewing library of clutter and with even less time to watch it. Call me a Luddite, but I miss the days of ‘appointment-to-view’ television. There are few shows that make me physically sit down to watch on a big screen (either at their scheduled times or on demand). Shows like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Only Connect’, and ‘Bake Off’ (may it rest in peace).

For everything else on my Sky+ hard drive (other on-demand facilities are available), as soon as the numerous drama/comedy series recordings start to build up, the thought of getting myself up-to-speed by binge-watching starts to fill me with panic. Please don’t suggest that I should watch them during my commute to work – I tried but found it hard to concentrate while stuck under a stranger’s armpit. So I now choose not to invest the time as it’s easier to miss out altogether. This is why I’ve never watched an episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ or whatever else the cool kids are into. This is why I can hardly take part in Chloe’s office conversations about the latest must-watch drama.

But Christmas…that’s a whole other thing. If I treat TV viewing like tapas throughout the year, December is a time to treat myself to a full platter. First of all, I ditch the EPG and get my hands on a copy of The Radio Times’ Christmas TV Guide. This in itself is an event. Flicking through each page, picking out the films and shows I want to watch in REAL TIME. If I’m feeling ultra-nerdy, I’ll whip out my highlighter pen or sticky tabs and mark certain pages. I don’t even care how sad this makes me sound, it gives me a sense of calm in a world full of technological chaos. There’s an element of nostalgia too. I’m old enough to remember the days of having to buy The Radio Times for the BBC listings AND a copy of TV Times for ITV and C4.

Four TV Channels. Ahh, those were the days. But buying TWO TV GUIDES! Can you even begin to imagine the inconvenience?!?!