Give this a try.

Don’t watch TV for 4 to 8 weeks.

Or even longer.

Then go back and take a look at TV with fresh eyes.


I did this almost by accident recently.

Because of being busy.

And because of being with Izobel.

What I mean is that I didn’t do it on purpose.

I just didn’t happen to watch TV for 8 weeks or so.

At all.


My return to TV was interesting.

I noticed something new about TV.

(I noticed this because I was looking at the whole ‘TV experience’ with fresh eyes).

What I noticed was that.

Almost every part of the TV experience.

Is crap.


Adverts that we are learning to shut out completely.

Because they are lazy and interruptive.

(Younger people are not tolerating these crappy interruptions.

And neither am I).

I also saw new programmes made from old programmes.

And just plain old, old programmes.

I saw documentaries about police.

Documentaries about ambulances.

Documentaries about factories.

And documentaries about documentaries.

I saw game shows where pickled celebrities patronise members of the general public so the contestants themselves start to dumb themselves down to fit in.

(They can’t be that stupid in real life can they?)

And I saw lots of people famous for nothing worthwhile, doing nothing worthwhile.

And that was about it really.

That was my TV experience.


I’d like to see more creativity.

I love different.

I love brave.

I love weird.

I love challenging.

It’s nice to be challenged.

It really is.

Challenge is what we as humans are built for.

It brings us to life.


TV still turns me on sometimes, I suppose.

But – for me – TV has become the intellectual equivalent of a massive KFC Bucket of chicken.

And I like KFC actually.


But if I sat on the settee.

Every single night.

With a massive bucket (how the hell did we ever get to serving food in bloody buckets?!) of KFC.




On the same samey, bland, greasy mouthfuls.

I’d feel sick.

In just the same way as, after 8 weeks TV-free.

I felt little bit queasy watching Stephen Mulhern bent in two and laughing at yet another part-exposed animation on Catchphrase.

That looked a little bit like two cartoon characters shagging.

It was funny when it happened once, Stephen.

To Roy Walker.

In 1990.

But not now.

It’s been done.

Like I’m done.

With TV.

1 Comment

  1. Shaughn McGurk Reply

    You need to watch better TV. Try Chernobyl for a start. Decent drama and real documentaries. The night I definitely don’t watch TV is Saturday night, the night when everyone is meant to watch TV. Like you, if I do, I end up feeling a mix of regret and nausea – the same as eating too much fast food.

    But great television, like brilliant food, can transport you somewhere else, illicit sensory experiences you didn’t know existed and just deliver the visceral thrill of a well told tale.

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