Top Ten things Not to do When Trying to Decide What to Watch on TV

I originally published this list on October 6th, 2014. I hope you enjoy it.

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Top Ten Things Not to do When Trying to Decide What to Watch on TV

This list was inspired by a recent visit to a friend’s house and observing how the friend decided which shows to watch.

10 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, do not take a suggestion from anyone ages fourteen to eighteen. If you do, at best, you will be lost in the translation. At worst, you will see and hear things that will keep you up at night.

9 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, do not use the newspaper reviews as a guide to good programming. If you do, at best, you will be asleep earlier than usual. At worst, you might find yourself wondering if you should discontinue your cable service.

8 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, don’t ask someone else what they want to watch. If you do, at best, you will get an icy stare when you ignore the suggestion. At worst, you may end up watching this and other shows in the privacy of the garage.

7 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, do not scroll through the guide hoping something good will jump out at you. If you do, at best, you will have to review one-hundred and sixty channels that are basically the same. At worst, those in the room may call an audible, and you will lose your remote privileges for heaven knows how long.

6 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, do not call a friend for a suggestion. If you do, at best, the friend will want a report on the show. At worst, you will hate it and either lie to the friend or hurt their feelings.

5 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch and your in-laws are there, simply hand over the remote. If you don’t, at best, they’ll miss their favorite show and hate you forever. At worst, they might like your selection and decide to return on the nights that it is on since they can’t remember which channel to tune.

4 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch and your significant other wants to do something else, turn the set-off. If you don’t, at best, you will be watching the show alone. At worst, you might be watching the show, and it will be your only company for the long cold winter.

3 If you are trying to decide which TV show to watch, do not rely on the network hype about the “best new show of the season.” If you do, you do, at best, you might waste a half hour. At worst, you might waste a whole night depending on how many network hypes you followed.

2 If you are trying to decide which show to watch on TV, do not think the DVR will help. If you do, at best, you may end up with a bunch of shows and no disk space. At worst, you may have recorded all the clinkers of the season and, while reviewing them, miss the best.

1 If you are trying to decide which show to watch on TV, do not use any gambling prop like dice to help with the decision. If you do, at best, the odds of getting something you want to watch are the same as getting a lousy program. At worst, your prop will be no more favorable to you in selecting an excellent show to watch than it has been in delivering your sure thing, lotto win.

73 comments

  1. Absolutely GREAT, dear John 👍
    Now we know why we don’t have a TV.
    Wishing you a happy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Very smart decision , Klausbernd. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great list, John! I never have these problems with books.😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good point, Jill!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Very true, Jill. 😂

      Like

  3. No decisions necessary here. It’s a great list, but I tossed the televisions in 2011.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good decision, Linda. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always think #7 will work–but it never does.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That one is always a disappointment. Thanks, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Like

  5. Good advice John. I read them so closely I missed the best programmes on TV.. Oh well, there’s always the radio.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The radio might be the better choice. Thanks, David.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love all these, John. We recently disconnected Dish network and haven’t regretted it. All those channels and nothing on! Had to chuckle about number 10.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And the fact that we pay through the nose to have nothing on is what gets me. Good for you on the disconnect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We honestly haven’t missed it.

        Like

  7. Good list, John. I think I’ve done No. 9 at least a few times. I’ve also flipped back and forth between a good show and a good game, missing the best parts of both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was doing that Saturday. Notre Dame, Baylor and WVU all took a loss.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I only saw WVU, but it was sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it was. No more sad than Notre Dame and Baylor. Both were outplayed.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve had the failure in #2 happen to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we all have. I love it when all the recorded shows are old reruns that the DVR picked up. We used to be able to set the DVR to record only new shows but that feature is no longer available.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Not sure about #10. I’ve seen the mysteries and crime shows my parents watch. Those can get really messed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, indeed. I could add don’t take the advice of any one over 60 as well.

      Like

      1. True. Only listen to us maniacs in our 40’s.

        Like

  10. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    This is a great list, John! #10 had me laughing out loud. I’m not a TV person, though I watch movies with hubby. BUT I rarely understand ads. I think they must be created for the younger generation or maybe the aliens among us. 😂 Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ads are a bit of a mystery for sure. Thanks, Gwen.

      Like

  11. Hubby does #7 regularly – drives me crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Drives all women crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Good one, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tim

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Good advice, John! #9 is almost obsolete. Does anyone have cable anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of it around here. Always hear the hue and cry when it goes out.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a scroll the guide girl and it seems I may need to increase the font a bit. 🤣 And spent the better part of my evening in another area of the house because its October and teenagers watch things that keep me up at night. The joys of parenthood. Read this list then and now and it is still fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it again, Audrey. You have a remarkable memory. I didn’t even remember writing it in the first place. 🤣

      Like

      1. Haha. Well my memory fades in and out innthe moment. Things I read stick with me and when a talented friend writes who could forget?! ♡

        Like

  15. So true, John. We often fail miserably by relying on newspaper reviews and network hypes. We must be too gullible.

    Like

  16. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Fun post, John 🙂 If I can’t decide it’s time to shut it off and read.

    Like

  17. Great list, John, and #10 cracked me up! 🙂

    Like

  18. There are so few programs I watch on TV nowadays that I’d probably be ahead by tossing the entire thing out the window, John. Good list, though, and I appreciate your reminding me why having a TV can be … controversial(?) … um, challenging.

    Like

  19. This list was outstanding – never could yu be more right on each one!! lol

    Like

  20. 💕💗😇

    Billy Ray Chitwood

    https://www.billyraychitwood.com http://about.me/brchitwood

    On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 2:01 AM Fiction Favorites wrote:

    > John W. Howell posted: “I originally published this list on October 6th, > 2014. I hope you enjoy it. * * * Top Ten Things Not to do When Trying to > Decide What to Watch on TV This list was inspired by a recent visit to a > friend’s house and observing how the friend dec” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Billy Ray

      Like

  21. This post had me wondering what my system for watching a show is. And really, it could probably be Number 11 on your list because it’s so random as to almost be gambling itself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They should have chambers on the remote that we could twirl.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not too much to ask.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Could be called the Peacemaker remote.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’re a genius.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. LOLOL!
    #5 is a Gem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Resa. I remember my in-laws coming over for TV.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😂🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Good advice, John. And your last one highlights the fact that watching television is a gamble at best!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Super list, John! I would say that #4 registered the most with me. No television program is worth messing up your marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If a marriage can be messed up by television, you have to wonder. Thanks, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. petespringerauthor · ·

        True. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 😊

      Like

  25. I love your “Top Then Things”, John! Thank you for sharing another one, also for fun. 😉 xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always nice to hear you like them, Michael.

      Like

  26. My vote is for #5. A very smart move.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I know I’m breaking the rules but there are times where something is suggested and it turns out fabulous (something I would never have considered watching in the first place!)

    Always a fun list (and I am so far behind!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had that happen. Not often though. Don’t worry about being behind. You are okay though ,right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are some pleasant surprises, for sure.
        Oh, I’m fine. No worries. I’ve been trying to step away from the computer. Which I did when I went up to my aunt’s for part of the weekend. Felt nice.

        Like

      2. Stepping away from a computer is always is a good thing. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think so. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Haha! The remote is as complicated as the five million choices on TV.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Reading this post reminds me of that Bruce Springsteen song, “57 Channels and Nothin’ On.” 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good song for sure. Thanks, Mark.

      Liked by 2 people

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