From stem to stern, the year 2014 will be 8,760 hours long. Assume eight hours a day for sleep and another eight hours for work, and that’s nearly 3,000 potential TV-watching hours. Because what else is there to do, right?
In all seriousness, my TV habits in 2013 were pretty terrible. Too much junk, too much judging. Time spent in front of the tube should be spent wisely, rather than as a default distraction. With that in mind, here are my five TV-related New Year’s resolutions.
I resolve to catch up on all the great shows I’ve missed.
Brace yourself, Netflix and iTunes, ’cause we’re going to get cozy in 2014. From Homeland to House of Cards to Sons of Anarchy to Downton Abbey, there are a ton of shows I’ve somehow completely overlooked in the last three years. Problem is, short of being laid up at home with a couple of broken legs, I have no idea when I’ll actually find the time. If only there were portable devices that people could watch TV shows on!
I resolve to remember that TV is its own medium.
I’ve been hard on AMC’s The Walking Dead in the past because it veered so sharply from the graphic novels it’s based on, and more recently I’ve bagged on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because it looks, feels and sounds nothing like the big-screen Marvel superhero movies. But TV is a different beast from comics and film, and both The Walking Dead and (to a slower, lesser extent) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have improved over time. Mustn’t be too hasty to judge.
I resolve to get into Doctor Who.
I haven’t watched a full episode of the BBC’s long-running sci-fi show since it starred the guy with the funny hat and colourful scarf. (Yes, Whovians, I know that’s Tom Baker.) But from seeing the odd snippet from recent seasons – not to mention the choked-up tweets from friends who were bowled over by the latest Christmas special – I feel like the Doctor would be right up my alley. But where do you begin with a show that’s been on since 1963? Tweet at me and let me know where I should start.
I resolve to stop turning my nose up at fantasy.
By fantasy, I don’t mean Game of Thrones – I’m counting the weeks until Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of the gang are back – but rather stuff like Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Dracula and other network series that seem silly at first glance. I hear good things about a lot of these shows, and if there’s room in a person’s heart for dragons and witches, there should be room for headless horsemen and vampires.
I resolve to watch less TV.
This might seem to contradict the rest of these resolutions, but I think they can coexist. It just means no more flopping on the couch and settling for whatever’s on because I’m too tired to skim through my ever-growing PVR list. When the TV is on, I’ll be watching something good. When it’s not, it’ll time to switch channels to the real world. Even if real life does lack a much-needed pause button.