Our TV Viewing Habits during the Pandemic – Part One

So, in the past year, I’d guess I’d have to say that we’ve watched a bit more TV then we would have, had we not spent the last year in a pandemic lockdown. Rather than “binge watch” tv series, we tend to watch one episode a day, extending our time with the show over weeks or even months. At some points during the past 12 months, we have watched more than one series at a time, and during other periods we were exclusive to one show, and any additional viewing was from our DVR. Unlike a normal TV season, last year’s season ended rather abruptly for many series, and this year’s started late with sporadic episodes for many series, so we watched more “other stuff” then we might normally have, had shows ended with their normal number of episodes, and started on schedule.

I don’t want to make it sound like we are stuck in front of our TV every hour of the day, because we don’t spend hours a day in front of the TV, but do have a rather established pattern to our viewing. The first TV we watch everyday is during our first meal of the day. During either breakfast or lunch (we eat just 2 meals a day), our habit is to watch one episode of a series we are immersing ourselves in. Our mission is to watch from the pilot episode to the last episode, getting a real look at the whole arc of the show.

Once that one episode is completed, we are done with TV till sometime after 5 PM, when we settle into our evening routine. The 5 PM hour is the usual time for us to watch “other” shows that we have added to our repertoire.

So, what have we been watching, you ask? Well, here’s a look! Let’s start with what I’m going to call our First Meal Series.

Las Vegas – The first thing that we started watching soon after coming home from Florida last March, was the show Las Vegas, starring James Cann and Josh Duhamel. Las Vegas was on NBC from 2003 to 2008 and was comprised of 106 episodes, many of which we watched when they were first broadcast. Son Kenny had found the show on an obscure cable channel back in March, and we were able to record all but the last two seasons on our DVR during a weekend Las Vegas Marathon. Wanting to complete the entire series, I found the DVDs of season 4 and 5 on Ebay and bought them. After we watched them, I was able to re-sell them on Ebay for more than I paid for them! Win/Win!

Vega$ – Desirous of keeping our first meal viewing in Sin City, the next show we went to was Vega$ staring Robert Urich as Vegas Private Eye Dan Tanna. Those of us of a certain age remember Dan driving around the sights of Vegas in his red 57 T-Bird during the 69 episodes of the show that ran on ABC from 1978 to 1981! Lots of familiar faces from that era of TV and movies, and even the occasional big guest star like Dean Martin, Shelley Winters, and Tony Curtis. The entire DVD package of all 69 episodes cost me $19 on Ebay..how could I pass it up? We’ve passed that on to my cousin.

S.W.A.T. – Big fans of the new version of SWAT that’s on CBS staring Shemar Moore, and looking to stay within Robert Urich’s body of work, we got the DVDs of his earlier 1975-76 series on Ebay. I always remembered this show, and it’s opening of the guys jumping into the the SWAT truck, but never realized it was only on for 37 episodes over the 2 years it was on ABC. For comparison, the new version has far surpassed that with 78 episodes over the past 4 seasons, and is overall a much better show. We were shocked to see so many of the same locations used over and over again, the same footage used in multiple episodes, and even the fact that they started multiple episodes with the exact same footage, but with a different story line. Really looked like they’d given up as we got to the last episodes. The DVDs of that are up for grabs!

Monk – USA Network’s legendary “Defective Detective” show staring Tony Shalhoub as former San Francisco PD Detective Adrian Monk ran for 125 episodes from 2002 to 2009. Over the years, we definitely watched it, but not with any regularity, so since we get it for nothing on Peacock thanks to our Comcast cable subscription, we figured, “Why not!” Currently we’re in the beginning of Season Two, and since we watch just one episode a day, we will have a lot more time with Mr. Monk, Sharona, Captain Stottlemeyer, and Lieutenant Disher. Enjoying it!

And that list takes us to the end of our First Meal TV viewing. Those four series have carried us through the last year, and into the future, In Part Two, I’ll give you a look into our other viewing habits, and some of the shows that we have enjoyed since last March. Of course, whenever possible, we have DVRed and enjoyed watching our usual shows. This includes all the NCIS shows, SWAT, Law and Order SVU, Magnum PI, Blue Bloods, The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, The Good Doctor, Hallmark Movies, and several things from the Food Network.

See you next time.