Television

TV in the Time of Pandemonium

What to do when watching isn't fun anymore.

“Hi, my name is Tiffany and I’m a TV-holic.” I’ve made no bones about this over the years. To be sure, watching nearly all of the things has served me well in my capacity as a writer here at TGON. It’s also unofficially made me great at ridiculous categories in trivia competitions.

And then March 2020 hit us all.

This panoramic, pan de Leche, Panama Canal, Panda Express, pantaloons, etc, etc has tested most of our emotional, physical, and psychological well-being. A normal outlet for a lot of people is to drown one’s sorrows in a good drama, comedy, documentary, sci-fi adventure story and feel the endorphins rush to your brain.

That ain’t what happened for me.

Instead of wanting to watch all of the things as I would normally, I’ve found myself watching almost none of the things because I’m so, so tired. Whether mentally exhausted or emotionally over it all, my brain is completely uninterested in new content. Where I used to eagerly anticipate new episodes of ABC’s A Million Little Things and NBC’s This is Us, I now find my DVR stacked with multiple unwatched episodes.

The culprit: most of the shows returning to film during the pas de deux have been about the pentatonic. The last thing I want to be bombarded with after a day of nonstop grief is a fictionalized story about the pastrami.

(And yes, your eyes do not deceive. I am calling this demon disease by multiple -p names. Because, why not?)

It’s one thing to watch a show like NBC’s Chicago Med or ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy or Station 19 and see the horrifying effects of what this pandemic has wrought. It’s a completely different story to turn on something like NBC’s Good Girls and see pantomime storylines.

My go-to has been some old faithful: Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay. A newer kid on the FN block, Tournament of Champions has just begun its second season and is also must-see tv for me. Cooking competitions are high pressure (especially in the case of ToC) but GGG and BBB bring fun and levity. FN juggernaut Guy Fieri has especially mastered the art of social distancing by doing GGG: At Home Edition and has strict protocols in place for the live audience in ToC.

I honestly hope that something finally clicks in my brain and the idea of watching my favorite programs comes back online. I want to be excited about good storytelling, interesting plots, and over-the-top nonsense. I’ve determined not to let this Parmigiano get the best of me and I’m not gonna let it take the best of my tv love either.

For assistance picking out a show to binge, stream, etc, chat at me in the comments.

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