It’s been nine months now and we still haven’t come crawling back to cable TV. I’d say the hardest part has been trying not to crow about being morally superior. What’s the good of self-denial if you can’t brag about it? But that’s not how I roll.
Besides, it isn’t quite truthful to claim that we’re now immune from the blandishments of pay TV. Just a few days ago I broke down and purchased some Season 3 episodes of Breaking Bad on Amazon. Before that, the brunette bought the most recent season of Mad Men on iTunes. We’ve flirted with Hulu, too, but it’s true what they say — you don’t get that couch-potato high unless you’re actually sprawled on the couch.
Since April, I guess we’ve shelled out a total of $30 on TV viewing, compared to the $900 minimum we’d have sent to the cable company otherwise. But of course it can’t all be measured in money. We’ve paid in other ways: We can’t watch the NFL playoffs in real time and we’re largely clueless about the new season of American Idol. We missed the whole Bristol Palin thing on Dancing With the Stars. The star-studded Larry King finale passed soundlessly, like the proverbial tree falling in the woods when no one’s around. Years from now, people will ask where we were when Larry hung up his suspenders, and we’ll be unable to say. The truth is, most of our pop-culture knowledge now derives from careful parsing of Facebook updates and YouTube videos.
Has it been worth it? We wonder. No telling how many infomercial deals we’ve missed out on, how many great Lifetime movies came and went, their timely lessons about kidnapped children unlearned. No telling how many lifelong friendships failed to germinate because we could contribute no insights about the last episode of Lost.
Worst of all, there’s this: If Trivial Pursuit ever comes back in vogue, we’re screwed in the Entertainment category.