Screen Time For Oldies

We older adults seem to be watching a lot of TV in January. There’s really not much else to do. It’s been too chilly, damp and windy to make walking fun. The malls are not an attraction because we filled our need to binge shop with Christmas gifts. We have been in touch with every single friend and family member to wish them a happy holiday season. We have baked and cooked and eaten at least a dozen extra pounds. The only place that’s calling to us right now is a couch in front of a roaring fire, with a cappuccino, or maybe a scotch, in our hands.

And there’s the TV right in front of us. But what a sad choice of entertainment it is these days. The news gives us updates on the ongoing horrors in Ukraine as Putin turns winter into a weapon against those poor, but resilient, people. Or we can watch the latest news about Harry and Meghan as they turn against the British Monarchy, wrapping us all in their dirty linen. Or we check on the chaos in the US House as those self-important Representatives vote 15 times before selecting a Speaker.

Turn to a different channel and find that another would-be Canadian hero has been defeated at Jeopardy! Watch a young athlete in his prime fall down from cardiac arrest on the football field. Go to our favourite nature show and learn that David Suzuki has announced his retirement. One dreary afternoon recently Peter and I settled on Elvis Presley in Frankie and Johnny, a 1966 film that won absolutely No awards. Elvis sings a love song about Petunia the Gardner’s Daughter as he woos several look-alike blondes with big boobs. Obviously we were pretty desperate for screen entertainment.

But there is worse – the ads. We stay tuned and see ourselves in promotions for hair replacement, weight loss, and wrinkle cream. Please NO – we already know all of this! We see it every day in the mirror. America’s channels are bad because the big pharma companies try to sell drugs to citizens who have no health care. What Canadian has ever heard of Mesothelioma, never mind pronouncing it? Or how about Ozempic – what IS Ozempic anyway and what does it cure?

Last but definitely not least are the ads for controlling bodily functions -ads that really don’t belong on TV. OK so that little teddy bear marching to the bathroom with his roll of toilet paper is kinda cute. But what about the girl swirling some Listerine in her mouth and then leaning forward to spit loudly into the sink.? Or the women dressed in silk gowns, shaving armpits and bikini lines? We do Not need to see this! Or the guys in the Pepto Bismal commercials who rub their tummies as they sing out the word “Di..a…rrh…ea!! ending on a high note. This is Not a Hight Note! And there are worse ones – too crude to even write about here.

Have our lives come to this – watching sights and smells that are inconsequential and downright Gross? Is there any worthwhile material on TV to keep us company as we while away the days waiting for Spring? How about streaming, for example?

So dear readers, in the interests of giving you a job, a purpose for January, I am asking you to share your best TV experiences with us. Please, Please send us some suggestions for quality television viewing.


PS Surely you didn’t want pictures of those ads?

5 thoughts on “Screen Time For Oldies

  1. Oh the insanity! Like you read my mind. Maybe it is the foretold apocalypse. My insomnia of late lets me watch the better programming that is in the wee hours. As for primetime TV, I look forward to America’s Got Talent (if you don’t mind the insane noise and backdrops). Heartwarming.

    Trapped at home, I sat down this a.m. to meditate (something I have neglected for years) and instead I got a “message” from 96.3 FM just before I turned the radio off. Two words: “facing southeast.” It reminded me of the film “Man Facing Southeast” and I see I can watch it for free on Youtube. This Argentinian made film from 1986 struck me during a formative time–have you seen it?–too many superb foreign films worth a second look: “Wings of Desire”…”Babette’s Feast”…


  2. You need to get a PVR or other recording device. I never watch anything live and that way I can fast forward all the commercials. Although the downside is that I’ve missed seeing the cute little bear. You might wish to subscribe to Prime or Netflix if you don’t like regular TV. I am pleased that January is bringing back all the shows I like that went on hiatus over the holidays. One show that we really enjoy is Hudson and Rex about a police detective and his dog solving crimes. If you’re a fan of Jonny Harris watch Still Standing. He goes to some small town that has lost its prime source of income and interviews the people that have found new jobs. It’s humorous. I tend to watch medical shows and detective shows of which there are many. If you get the Women’s (W) channel there are romantic comedies on the weekends. Disney on streaming also has National Geographic with a number of nature shows. I hope that these suggestions are helpful.


  3. Bones the entire series on Netflix. Its 12 seasons with 24 episodes each and Sheila just loves it. As a family we’ll join in an episode but beware. True to the name of the show its focus is on the mysterious happenings before you see a body in its macabre new look.

    Loved Wednesday. Kooky.

    Jack Ryan was entertaining and very positive for Russia ironically.

    You is glorious and truly terrible, I love it.

    I also love a variety of Japanese animations, and science fiction snafu’s but with streaming I haven’t watched a commercial unless I absolutely have to.


  4. Sue, I loved your piece as always.
    We don’t watch much TV, but one of the things one can do during January and February is visiting museums and galleries.


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