What I’m Watching: Fall 2010

There’s boatloads of TV out there. Way, way too much to even account for, let alone watch. Despite the necessity of staying involved with the medium, even we media studies (and related) folks can only catch so many shows on a regular basis. Given my usual schedule–which, as a parent of young children, precludes any home-based viewing before 8:30ish pm, ever (no weekend DVD binges for me, alas)–I can only muster energy for a handful of shows at a time. And here they are:

SUNDAY: The Amazing Race, Mad Men (through October 17)

Ten years in and I’m still not entirely certain why TAR is so compelling to us, but it’s easily our favorite “together” show, and is never skipped. Mad Men ends the weekend on a thoughtful note.

MONDAY: Nada

Here I sadly must assume Lone Star will be no more. My spouse indulges in some DWTS, and I’m off taking in some SF via computer screen or printed page.

TUESDAY: Glee, Caprica

I may also join my wife with The Good Wife this season, but there’s also the DWTS results show to blaze through. Caprica will get banked on the DVR for likely viewing on its proper ancestral home, Friday night.

WEDNESDAY: Survivor, Modern Family, Terriers

It was great to rejoin Survivor Nation last spring, after a few years away. Modern Family is the closest TV gets to the sensibility (though not the visual style) of 1970s-80s sitcoms, and I’m fascinated how they pull it off. Terriers I’m already behind on, but fully intend to get into as soon as possible.

THURSDAY: 30 Rock, The Office, CSI, Fringe

A seemingly busy night, but the increasingly tiresome 30 Rock is expendable, and we only feel obligated to see The Office all the way through the Steve Carell era. Similarly, this may likely be the last season of CSI I watch, but I’m covering it closely for this blog. As for the delicious Fringe, again, I’m behind (at the end of Season 1), but will keep it on the DVR for when I’m ready for Season 3; my goal is to be completely caught up by May.

FRIDAY: Catch-Up Night

For now, this means Friday Night Lights (Season 3) and the occasional film via Netflix, but it could also mean other missed shows.

SATURDAY: Catch-Up Night, Football, Games

An early evening film or episode followed by some late-night Pac-10 football or video games.

My work schedule this fall also allows for a little bit of viewing during the day, if I’m caught up otherwise (this is how I’m taking in Fringe, over lunch), so there’s a chance I’ll be able to adopt another show or two. That said, I’m wondering if we can still be “television” scholars in the classic tradition of speaking about the medium in general. Have our tastes (which are necessary) narrowed our scholarly purview to the particular, or has this emphasis only made explicit what has been implicit in the field all along? By revealing my own weekly schedule, I’m hoping to understand more about how TV functions in my home life (alongside everything else there, of course, as ethnographic audience research reminds us), and consider more frankly how it limits (in both a positive and negative sense) my scholarship.

What do you regularly watch? Have you thought about why you watch what you do?

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2 Responses to “What I’m Watching: Fall 2010”

  1. bboessen Says:

    Seriously — what is TAR doing so well year after year? OK, admittedly, the who-will-it-be editing at the end of almost every episode started to wear thin seasons ago, but otherwise my wife and I too find it consistently watchable, season after season.

    The Mentalist is falling into the same category — “watch it together every week.”

    • dkompare Says:

      I think one of TAR’s key delights is the constant stream of armchair strategizing it prompts. As in “why don’t they get a map?” or “read the clue!” This also entails giving props to teams “doing it right.” The show invites us to identify with these travellers in a pretty direct way, in other words, and I know that’s what keeps us coming back to it.


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