Cutting the Cable Cord

We got rid of cable.

The summer is the perfect time to cancel. We don’t watch reality shows, we don’t watch USA’s oh-so-breezy summer programming…and not much else is on until fall, when, according to the last few commercials I saw, electricty disappears and hack jokes about guys having to be parents – THE HORROR! – are all the rage.

Except for Breaking Bad, there’s not much I can’t wait for.

The stuff I am gonna miss without TV? Sports, filler, and the kids programming. Oh wait, we have plenty of kids programming. No shortage of inane, annoying, loud, bright, anthropomorphized animals and songs about brushing your teeth here.

It’s not all that often that we have the TV on when our son is around. Typically he gets to watch an episode of Sesame Street or Yo Gabba Gabba about 3 times a week just to get him to shut up about it (“Elmo! Abby! Gabba!”). Occasionally the TV might be on while he’s playing with his guitar or pegs or Tupperware, but he never seems all that interested in the Today Show. You’d think Al Roker looked enough like Grimace to hold a toddler’s attention but maybe not since he stapled his stomach.

But we aren’t comfortable with the TV being a go-to distraction for the boy or a built-in babysitter for us. So while the recent elimination of cable from our house has been a new experience (kind of like Lent without all the Jesus), the inability to turn on the TV just to waste time or fill the silence is a good thing. Because believe me, the temptation to – and the ease of – throwing the television on just to keep the kid occupied while you masturbate do the dishes is a dangerous thing.

Thankfully for the kid, we still have Netflix Instant, and so far it’s been doing the trick. They offer plenty of Elmo and Magic Mike (I think that’s what the DJ on Yo Gabba Gabba is called – though this trailer leads me to suspect I may be wrong). But while the lack of filler is good for my son’s developing mind, it’s not so good for my interest in terrible TV shows from my youth or four-hour specials about the NFC Central featuring extra shouting.

If I want to watch something, I have to either put in a DVD or select a title from my Netflix queue, and the serendipty of finding just the right show – or something ridiculous you never would have even considered if you hadn’t stumbled upon it – is totally gone. Usually, when I wake up slightly hungover on the weekend, I’m not really that psyched to veg out with Downton Abbey.

It’s definitely better for my son that TV’s presence in my home is limited, but when will these outrageous sacrifices end?

Oh, right: Never.

Stupid parenting.


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13 thoughts on “Cutting the Cable Cord

  1. We’re “cord cutters” too, and I don’t miss it much. We watch most of our sports through ESPN3 and that’s been great. If we had a decent laptop we could hook up to the TV, but we just watch on the computer or ipad.

    My son watches TV on Netflix – favorites are Sesame Street, Bob the Builder and the damn Gabba, but there’s a lot of randomly interesting crap on there. He loves this old show “Mighty Machines” that has different segments about construction trucks, trains, etc. But I do think there’s something important about having to actually CHOOSE to watch something. He can’t just go to the TV and turn it on (though he tries!!).

    It’s DJ Lance, by the way 🙂

  2. DJ magic mike is one of the inventors of ‘Miami Booty Bass’… you’ll need to free up space in the conversation pit to fit the stripper pole for that. We’re cord cutters too in a Netflix-free nation… just going in cold turkey is the only way in my books

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