My cable box is turning into a giant, glowing beacon of shame. At least once a month, I think "man, we've got to figure out a way to cut our expenses," and the same idea crosses my mind every time: we should totally ditch our cable.
I mean cable is a complete luxury item, and between Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly (which is magic) we could keep up on a bunch of shows. Of the ones not available online, most are available on DVD within months after. Plus tons of people don't have cable, and the absence of Real Housewives and Ninja Warriors actually makes them better people. It's been scientifically proven that people without cable plant 73% more daisies and shovel 47% more old people driveways then those of us who gave up their entire last Saturday cherry-picking their favorite episodes out of Logo's Buffy marathon (don't judge me). Getting rid of cable is obviously a good choice.
But I can't do it. Every time I consider it for more than a few minutes, I look at the list series set to record in my DVR. I don't know exactly how many shows are on that list, but I know it's a big enough number that I always feel a little embarrassed about it. And that's exactly the problem. Because sure, I could watch most of the shows I really love on DVD (though if their ratings fell and they got cancelled, I'd have no one to blame but myself). I already do that with things like True Blood, because I'm way too cheap/broke for HBO. But what, I ask you, of the garbage?
They don't put things like Tool Academy on DVD. And even if they do, I couldn't Netflix it. Watching it casually is one thing, but to have permanent proof that you wanted it enough to have it mailed to your home? And then I would get DVDs recommended to be based on the fact that I enjoyed Tool Academy. And I can only just manage to survive America's Next Top Model on a week-to-week basis. A full disc of Tyra conducting eliminations whilst lounging across the judge's table in a velvet catsuit and 6-foot-long blonde weave is just Too. Much. Tyra.
Besides, I don't just watch garbage. I watch a good quantity of genuinely good shows, and I like being caught up, and getting to read what other people think about them. And even if I didn't have cable, I would still read reviews. And wikipedia entries. And...third thing that would spoil surprises for me.
So, the cable stays. And yes, it means I'll never learn to hand-carve wooden songbirds like the people without cable. But, on the other hand, they don't get to spend their Christmas season making gifts while watching hours of terrible Lifetime Christmas movies, so who's the real winner here?
Ok, them. But seriously - have you ever seen the movies Lifetime shows at Christmas? They're fantastic. There was one in which Steve Guttenberg was about to take over the family business of being Santa, but first he had to get Helen from Wings to marry him. That is an actual movie. And it has a sequel. And if it becomes a trilogy, damn it, I'm going to be there.