How to Watch TV and Stay in Love
They prepare you to share your home. They prepare you to share your family. They do not prepare you to share your television.
It might not seem crucial to read the TV shows that someone lists on their profile. But be it a prospective spouse on JDate, a friend on Facebook or an axe murderer on Craigslist®, your TV compatibility is more important than you may think.
For the vast majority of us, TV plays an important part in our lives. Some are entertained by reality TV and sitcoms, others of us are riveted by dramas and serialized stories, while others are completely misinformed by the alleged news. But whatever we watch, the point is that we watch, and it’s ingrained into the fabric of who we are.
If you don’t yet agree with me on how important TV is, walk into an electronics store and go to the video camera section. Odds are you will see someone using one of the cameras that’s hooked up to a television set, thrilled that the friend they are pointing the lens towards is now “on TV.” How exhilarating. It reminds me of the scene from “The Jerk” where Steve Martin is excited to have his name in print, after he picks up a phone book.
I like to think I have good taste in TV. My favorite shows are “The Office” and “30 Rock,” and I’m a big fan of “Arrested Development,” “The Daily Show,” and “The Colbert Report.” And you can never go wrong with “Law and Order” – unless it’s followed by the words “Criminal Intent.” As an aside, how did Jeff Goldblum’s career come to this?
“Jeff, we’ve got two offers. One is for ‘Law and Order: Criminal Intent.’ The other is for ‘Jurassic Park: Havana Nights.’”
“Hmmm. How much does the ‘Jurassic Park’ one pay?”
When we first started JDating®, I joked with my fiancée that our TV taste was going to be a problem. I’ve never been into reality television, and her TV was permanently set to VH1. Okay, I’m exaggerating – many of her reality shows air on other networks.
Yes, she also likes meaningful and clever shows. But she watches frivolous TV to unwind from a day job, something I will never understand. I’m a standup comedian – my entire job is unwinding.
“Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “The Real Housewives of New York,” and “The Real Housewives: Criminal Intent.” If the show is about train wrecks with money, she watches it.
Both of us love a cozy evening in watching TV. But nights where I make her watch “The Daily Show” or she makes me watch “Dancing with the Stars” would be anything but cozy. Though at least one of us would get some sleep.
Now that we’re engaged, we share a TiVo®, and the poor thing is schizophrenic. If we record “Mythbusters” and “The Dog Whisperer,” the TiVo searches for two guys trying to blow up a dog (which I believe was the plot of “Air Bud”).
We do have some shows we can agree on. We both love “The Office” and “30 Rock,” and we simultaneously stumbled on “Ninja Warrior,” to which we’re inexplicably drawn. But the real solution is that we’ve promised to give each other’s shows at least one try, and if that try fails, we won’t force it.
It turns out I enjoy “Desperate Housewives” and “Glee,” and she kind of likes “Family Guy.” And we both love “Golden Girls” and “Mad Men” – we find them to be equally edgy and well-written. We must really enjoy characters born in the 1920s.
We also both loved “Jersey Shore,” and bonded over how we were both equally embarrassed that the crazy stalker was Israeli. Come on, Jewish women – you can do better than Pauly D.
And yes, there’s still plenty of TV that one of us wants to watch that bores the other. When I’m on the road, she’ll catch up on various shows about vampires. When I’m home and she’s at work, I’ll catch up on politics (which is odd, considering both involve blood-suckers with no regard for human life).
If she wants to watch a documentary about a two-legged dog, I will use the opportunity to write. If I want to watch the Mets game, she’ll check her email (which is also odd, considering both involve wounded animals with no chance of finishing first).
By giving each other’s shows a chance (and not forcing anything that’s not working), we have found a way to compromise for each other without compromising our tastes. Also, we have found that Tivo makes an XL model.
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