It was cable and bad tv that got me through the winter of 2011. A newborn River in my arms, and the fury of one terrible winter snow storm after the next. When we moved into our third floor walk-up it was my non-negotiable. I needed cable to keep me company. I had a few shows that I was embarassed to consume (and still am), but that befriended me nontheless. The winter with a newborn is a strange strange magical world.
I learned my lesson that winter. By some cosmos, sex or biology, my next child arrived in the summer. So my relationship to cable didn’t need to be on the table to keep my postpartum self satisfied…
Sun and New York had called, and I was eager to walk less wobbly in lieu of siting on the couch. And anyway, we had made a commitment born out of lack of funds and new careers, that we’d rely on Netflix and other inexpensive sources when we did go for a show.
The lack of shows-at-my-fingertips-that-I-didn’t-watch-but-had-on-in-the-background, proved that my watching wasn’t essential, or true to me per se. It was something I did. It silenced the noise in my head that lives in especially quiet or difficult times in life. I didn’t watch them because I cared to really keep up, I watched to keep out. A necessary deed if your mind runs on a treadmill of it’s very own.
Since then, I’ve used meditation and all sorts of things to develop or slow down. But this winter, I found myself looking for tv again. And it’s not to get out of my own head, or even to keep me company. Rather, it’s because I forgot how nice it is to have something like a “show” to look forward to when you get time alone. You know?
I spent every Sunday this fall keeping up with The Watchmen. Besides the list of everything to ready for the week, it was something else that was so simple (and complicated, no spoilers!) that got me giddy. And this winter, I’ve started Season 1 of A Different World!
Of course, I’m going back in a time a little before me. And maybe that’s what’s magical about it? Sitting for a an episode each evening and cackling alone over things that happened before I was thought about, but remain equal parts current and hilarious. This winter isn’t looking too bad, afterall. It’s A Differen’t World.
What are you watching lately?
Top photo Gary Null/Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
I love this post. My TV watching ebbs and flows. I read a lot. But something about watching a show in the evenings like you described feels like the ultimate self-care. I’ve been watching How To Get Away With Murder. So good.
Love this! Thank you, Nina!
I love this show so much! “Way way back in a time before me”? It was the late 80s and early 90s. I do tend to forget that there are adults now who were Born in 2000 😆
i was born in 89!!!! but the show existed before me!
updated for clarity! x
What a sweet post – I SO relate! And Different World gets SO much better in the later seasons! Would love to hear your take when you’ve finished the series!
I remember some of the later seasons! But eager to watch it with a new eye from the start. Will keep you updated!
I gotta say, I’m addicted to good TV. I honestly feel like Watchmen was far superior in both plotline and production to any of the potential oscar contenders I’ve seen so far! Much more thoughtful, accessible, and entertaining, and the flexibility to choose something really suited to your liking, or even try things that are outside of your box! and if you don’t like it, stop watching! I have so many recommendations, but knowing you and some of what you’re into (not sure which streaming networks you have?), I would suggest you check out the following on Netflix:
The Get Down (only 2 seasons but worth it for NYC nostalgia and costumes)
If you are ok with subtitles, you must try Babylon Berlin; you will need to pay attention, but the historical context of the years leading up to WW2 in Berlin sets the stage for an incredibly suspenseful and impeccably produced show with stellar performances and the COSTUMES. It’s GREAT!
I have more recs-just shoot me an email lol!
Thank you Sabrina!!!!
i LOVE this so much! I have netflix, hulu and now amazon prime tv. Which all seem to be more than enough! Going to watch The Get Down, and I’m heading to Berlin on Thursday, so gotta watch the Babylon Berlin (which another friend recommended!)
Not going to lieeeee, I love Love and Hip Hop and Real House Wives of ATL. I used to watch them religiously. Now, not so much. I’ll watch a random episode here and there just to keep up with the drama of ppl I’ve grown to “know”. lol! We purposely do not own a Tv. We usually get on our laptop and watch something right before bed as a way to fall asleep. But recently I started to implement a no screens after 10p and traded tv for books. Our fav shows are Mad Men ( we rewatch this), John Oliver, Bill Maher, Succession, Atlanta. If I’m at my mom’s we binge watch murder mysteries or the HGTV as a family.
I came back to laugh a few times, because Not goin to lieeeeee is so me!!!! SAME SAME SAME.!!!!!
I love the no screen after 10. Mine is 11, which has been good for my mental health I think. I HAVE to check out Atlanta, people keep suggesting it!
The show I have been faithful to recently is the Crown. I love the drama and the costumes! And the history! It’s a fictional portrayal but based on real events and I just love it. In 2019, I had a goal of reading 52 books, and I succeeded, but it also meant that I didn’t watch a lot of tv, and I didn’t watch any movies so I’m thinking I need to get back to it!
52 BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!! YES!
I need to hear more about that! I think I’m a bit more conscious of the times I’m not reading when i’m watching tv, which has been good. Like i kow it’s time to turn off so I can read. Instead of not watching tv OR reading.
I am so glad to read this! I am currently nursing a winter newborn and I’ve watched sooo much television (it’s not just me!) We are just now able to get out the house for small stretches of time, but I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of Netflix and Hulu. I had started feeling kind of bad about it (infant screentime?!) and rented some books on tape, but ultimately I needed the visual stimulation when we were getting up every one to two hours to feed. I love looking at him, but also needed to stay awake lol.
I think tv is so so so helpful in those early days. Like nothing else matters for the first few months except rest, relaxation, some sort of community (which I did find in tv in a weird way) family and food.
Don’t feel bad!
I am new to your blog, but this post really spoke to me. I love television in winter., especially in the evening with a hot cup of tea. I work so hard that staying in and curling up to enjoy a show is a form of self-care for me. Favorites this year :
1. Watchmen (HBO), I watched it multiple times, especially episode 8
2. Trevor Noah, This show keeps me sane. 🙂
3. Unbelievable, Was just that. One of the most important shows out there. today.
4. This Is Us. Randal’s story at every stage just moves me.
5. Sleepy Hollow, such a missed opportunity. I miss Nicole Beharie . Did I mention it’s a total guilty pleasure?
6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, wonderful yet powerful.
7. She’s Gotta Have It, Spike Lee has done it again.
I wish Julia starring Diahann Carroll was on a streaming service. I loved this show.
And a shout out to Katie for the goal of 52 books. It has inspired me to read more. Plus now I am reading your wonderful blog.
Thank you Linadria for being here! I lvoe this list. I have watched 1, 4, and 7. And totally inspired by 52 books, too! I am finsihing book one! My goal is 12. A book a month is all I can manage with work anad kids, but it’s also an exciting goal!