Admit it…do you watch Jerry Springer?

NB: Boy, did I mess up yesterday. I gave the impression that Obama’s 100th day was today. Actually, it won’t be until next Wednesday. So on top of not keeping track, I can’t even count! Mea Culpa.

So I was thinking the other day about my television viewing habits, and why I watch what I watch. I began this exercise by trying to figure out which stations I watch most frequently. If I’m honest about it, movie channels seem to pop up most often. Not the HBO and Showtime pay variety, but Turner Classic, IFC, and Sundance. TCM shows some really great old stuff, and IFC and Sundance (though they repeat stuff way too many times) also have film fare worth watching. And oh yeah, Sundance is home to my favorite series, Shameless.

I then realized that for someone who follows news closely, I don’t watch a lot of cable news programming. The talk shows and banal and/or infuriating, but even the regular news broadcasts don’t hold my attention. I tend to follow the news arc on computer instead. For some reason it seems faster, even if it’s not.

Then I began to delve into the darker, less logical areas of my TV viewing. What could explain my pathological affection for “The Jerry Springer Show?” Most folks think it’s the dregs of the medium, but I find it wildly hilarious. When I told Jerry on meeting him for the first time I was a fan of his show, he looked at me with pity and said “You have my deepest sympathy.” Then there’s my love/hate relationship with reality television. Most reality shows I won’t watch. From American Idol to Flava of Love to Real Housewives of Wherever, I find most of them to be totally useless.


Yet a closer examination of what I watch makes me out a hypocrite. I actually have watched more than one episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter. Yeah, I should know better. I also find Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force oddly compelling. After all, those folks are based here in the New York area. And then there’s Cheaters. Trash TV at its worst, yet I’ll still catch it now and then. My wife and daughter, Idol fans both, are quick to point out the contradiction of trying to be high-minded and yet attracted to junk at the same time.

Much as I hate to admit it, they’re right. And never mind sports on the tube. I spend hours on Saturday morning yelling at the footballer on the Fox Soccer Channel, especially if there’s a game on with my favorite team, Arsenal.

Am I the only person whose tv watching doesn’t always match up to my ideals? How about you? Come on, admit it!


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