It was June 10th, 1991. The last episode of Twin Peaks final season had just aired. There was nothing left on TV to hold my interest. It was then I gave up television. It wasn’t until May 2001 that I returned to the boob-tube. Yes, I went an entire decade without TV.
During a few of those 10 years I had a VCR to watch rented movies. And I would on occasion watch a show as a guest in another household or in a hotel room. Giving up TV in the 1990s may have been radical, but in retrospect it was really quite easy.
During the early 1990s, I was finishing up college and spent most of my free time working numerous jobs. By the time the mid-1990s arrived, it was all about creating web sites.
In March 2003 I wrote this:
From 2001 till a few weeks ago I had basically the 5 networks and MSNBC. Now I’ve got 135+ channels. To say it’s overwhelming is an understatement. Almost everything is new to me. We’ve watched a lot of the Discovery Channels, TLC, and Comedy Central. Old David Letterman shows from the 80s, South Park, and Sanford and Son are also favorites.
So why is a person who was so anti-TV for a decade now have 135+ channels? The simplest answer is TV today is so much better than it was in 1991. In 1992, the dreadful Mad About You with Paul Reiser was considered a good show. Today we’ve got programs like Junkyard Wars and The Worlds Strongest Man Competition. Maybe I’ll get bored with the current selection of shows in a year, but for now I’m enjoying my DirecTV.
Well now I’m officially bored again with television. Starting August 1st, I’m going to start a new round of going TV-free. Instead of a decade goal, I’ll try this on a month to month basis. Almost all the shows I watch end up on DVD a year later anyway. I didn’t have that safety net in 1991.
You couldn’t pick a better time to take a break from TV. One horrific reality-tv clone after another…very little original writing. If it wasn’t for the DVR (and the ability to skip the inane commercials) I’m not sure I’d watch anything either. Even still there’s not much worth recording.