Tuesday 5 July 2011

in which I bare my soul unveil my television viewing habits

warning: a long post with no photos

I do most of my knitting in front of the television. Occasionally I listen to audio books but that's usually only if there's absolutely nothing on television and nothing recorded. Even if I'm not actually watching, I like to listen. It may sound crazy but DD's wedding shawl, the one with which I had a few problems because it is knitted lace (pattern on both sides of the work), was mostly knitted in front of the television.

Lately I have been analysing the things I watch. No, not analysing the programs; that would be too much like reliving my days at High School and Teachers College when we had to dissect literature (which was written for entertainment) for its deeper meaning - blah!

I have been analysing the kind of programs I watch. Here, for what it's worth, is a list of my viewing habits:
  1. My favourite program on television is the BBC produced series Who Do You Think You Are? It traces the family trees of famous people, usually British people but there have been a couple of series produced in Australia and one (that I know of) starring celebrities from USA. If you have ever tried to trace your family tree, you would know that the program gives a very unrealistic view of the process. The show makes it seem easy (which it isn't - even if you have a paid subscription to the show's sponsor) and, of course, the people screened always have fascinating stories. Nonetheless, I find it compelling viewing, and my family knows not to try to talk to me during the program.
  2. The second show which I never miss, even watching repeats of repeats, is another series produced by the BBC, Songs of Praise. I particularly like episodes that have people's testimonies intertwined amongst the songs. I love the scenery, I love the history and I love the fact that people come together to praise Almighty God. The only episodes I've been known to skip are the "School Choir of the Year" episodes - as a former school choir "mistress" who loves singing, you may find that strange but, read on, you'll understand why soon.
  3. I particularly like British crime drama of the "softer" kind, some of it is a little too dark for my taste. So I like Midsomer Murders, Miss Marple, Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, A Touch Of Frost, and Lewis. I used to like Morse but find him a bit arrogant and abrasive now. I don't like Taggart, The Wire, or Silent Witness. There are quite a few more but their names elude me right now.
  4. I loved the three updated episodes of Sherlock that screened in Australia in October last year. They starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. They were witty, fast paced and completely entertaining. I hope there will be more episodes in the future.
  5. My "normal, every day" viewing involves law and order, right and wrong, truth and justice (or the lack of it). I think what I really like is the methodical searching for clues and putting them together to solve a case (a bit like "real" family history research). The shows I watch regularly include: The Mentalist (if Simon Baker smiled at me like that I'd probably forgive him anything too), NCIS and NCIS Los AngelesCSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, Law and Order, Law and Order Criminal Intent (but not Law and Order SVU - abused children is not my idea of entertainment),  Lie to Me, Harry's Law, Without a Trace, and Rizzoli and Isles.
  6. I like "infotainment" and lifestyle programs to some extent. Burke's Backyard, The Cook and the Chef and Backyard Blitz (all Australian programs) were favourites but alas are no more. I still occasionally watch Better Homes and Gardens, Collectors, Food Safari, Food Lover's Guide to Australia (all Australian programs), the Urban Chef, some Jamie Oliver, always Heston Blumenthal, (never Gordon Ramsey), Sarah Wiener and the Kitchen Kids and Sarah Wiener's Adventures.
  7. I like my comedy subtle, without slapstick; I like the Australian pseudo-quiz show Spicks and Specks (although it gets a bit smutty at times), and re-runs of oldies but goodies like To The Manor Born, The Good Life, As Time Goes By and M*A*S*H (although Frank Burns drove me mad, but I guess he was supposed to!).
  8. As for sport, in January I watch about three weeks of tennis (the Brisbane International, the Hopman Cup and the Australian Open - that's what's shown on free-to-air TV).  I usually watch Wimbledon but didn't see a single point this year. I sometimes watch swimming and occasionally watch netball. Generally, I'm not a fan of sport - televised or otherwise. Of course, I do watch some of the Olympics (summer and winter), particularly the Opening Ceremonies.
I love classic period drama (Austen, Dickens, etc) but not things like The Potato Factory or Downton Abbey. In fact, I don't watch dramas very often at all; I have never seen (and don't want to) Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Offspring or Packed to the Rafters (the latter two are Australian productions).

Although I like law and order stories, I don't watch crime dramas. I have never seen The Sopranos, or any of the Underbelly Series.

Although I am by nature quite competitive, I cannot stand "talent" shows of any sort (hence my aversion to "School Choir of the Year") and I certainly don't watch shows where people's nastiness is on show - whether it comes from the competitors, the audience or the judges.

And finally, I never watch reality TV programs - I don't feel the need to look inside people's lives!

So, do we have anything in common? Or have I just alienated most of my readership?


  1. As you know, I like who do you think you are as well! In fact, I'm watching it right now!

    I also watch maybe half of the shows you've listed, and also watch some you don't like!

  2. Fun-I do not have 1,2 available to me, big YES to 345-they are my fav's; 678 I do not watch. Something that you didn't list is the old classic movies that is my other favorite and gets lots of viewing time. Do you have any sewing shows-they are on our local PBS stations.

  3. I also love Who Do You Think You Are! My husband and I record it, then watch it together when we need time to relax!

  4. I absolutely adore Miss Marple. I own "Let Sleeping Murders Lie," "The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side" and "A Murder is Announced." I, too, do a lot of knitting. But I found that I was watching too much TV. And not knitting! LOL. So, TV has gone in the bedroom. Now knitting to audio books.

  5. Very similiar tastes. WDYTYA is always high on the list, but I do get annoyed with how simple they make it seem - but that can suck in newbies :-)
    Only crime show I still like is NCIS, totally lost interest in CSI with the change in characters.
    And I do like Time Team - although it is getting a little same as same as lately
    Anything to do with history and has scenery and I am in - hook line and sinker - except for violence

  6. I watch the crime type shows and the cooking ones when I can and when I remember them! I'm not into the British Crime Drama but who knows it may grow on me over time. As for sport it's the Summer tennis and I have managed to catch a little of the Wimbledon this year so that was good. Sometimes the swimming and gymnastics if I ever notice it on.


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