I haven’t had cable TV for many years. In fact my TV at home pretty much only gets one channel. Luckily, it happens to be our fabulous local public broadcasting station, OPB. Every time I see cable television, at the gym, at my parents’ houses, etc. I’m once again shocked and appalled by the lousy (I might go so far as to say “execrable”) shows that are on. The one possible exception would be the food network, which often has some pretty cool stuff on, but they have their share of garbage too.
Which isn’t to say that nobody is making good television! There are some truly great shows on TV. I’m just not willing to put up with the 99% that’s awful. Luckily, more and more shows are being released on DVD, and I’ve become an avid fan of TV-on-DVD. I’m more that willing to shell out $40–$50 for a season’s worth of good TV. I must admit though, that’s about my limit. There are a few really great shows out on disk that are just too expensive. I love the Sopranos, but $75 a season is too much. I was a huge X-Files fan in the early days, but there’s no way it’s worth $100+ a season. But there are lots of shows coming out for a reasonable price that are well worth checking out
I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, so I’ve got all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now (say what you will, it’s a fantastic show!) and the final season of Angel comes out in February. I’m also a huge fan of Firefly, Joss’s sadly short-lived Sci-Fi series, which is a great on DVD and includes some shows that never made it to the air.
For Christmas this year I got the first two seasons of Roswell (great stuff) and the first season of Dead Like Me, which I find completely hilarious. My wife got the first two seasons of the BBC classic Red Dwarf, which she and my kids totally adore.
There are also some “vintage” shows coming out on DVD which I think is pretty cool. I’ve picked up 21 Jump Street, Quantum Leap, and Northern Exposure so far. 21 Jump Street is worth it for the clothing styles alone. Those were the days. If only they’d put Miami Vice on disk.
So as you can see from the list above, it’s not that I don’t like TV, I’d just rather put my $40 bucks a month into content that I know I like rather than bet it on the drivel the networks pump out.