I finally did it.
As of Thursday, June 25, 2009, I am officially no longer a cable TV subscriber.
I've been loudly threatening to cut the cord for several months now, much to the annoyance of my friends, family and anyone within earshot. It's been a long time coming, but I finally took the box back to the cable company today at lunch (funny how they bring the box out to you, but you have to take it back when you don't want it anymore).
And you know what? The world is still here. It didn't end after I gave up cable.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to pull the plug. Cost was certainly a big factor. I got tired of paying $70 a month for 100+ channels that I never watch. The lack of viewing time was another reason. Lately I've been doing a lot more illustrating, as well as yard work & home improvement. I started noticing the amount of time I sat in front of the Idiot's Lantern was growing ever shorter.
I also grew weary of having to sit through at least 12 minutes of commercials in a supposedly 30 minute show. The networks can deny it all they want, but the number of commercials has mushroomed lately. Why should I even have to watch commercials on a TV network I'm paying to see?
But the main reason I finally summoned the gumption to dump cable is because I just have no interest in what's on anymore. I don't like to watch sports on TV, so there goes a huge swath of the dial right there. I don't care for most modern sitcoms or all the autopsy dramas either. I don't really like to watch people cook, or eat and then describe what the food tastes like. And I have absolutely ZERO interest in any kind of Reality TV. I'd rather eat bees that sit down and watch "Dancing With The Stars" or "John & Kate Plus 8" and their endless ilk.
When I started thinking about it earlier this year, I realized that out of all the hundreds of TV shows on the air, I regularly watched only 4. Yep, FOUR. Battlestar Galactica, LOST, The Office and The Daily Show. Galactica is finished; it ended its run a few months ago so it's not even a consideration anymore. Thanks to hulu.com and the internet I can watch the other 3 shows online. For free. With fewer commericials. And I can watch them when I choose, not when the networks decide.
I got tired of my hard-earned money subsidizing shows and channels that I don't watch. That's just crazy.
So I already had plenty of reasons to cut the cord, but the absolute last straw came last weekend.
This past Sunday I watched a show called Parking Wars. If you haven't heard of it (and I envy you if you haven't), it's yet another reality TV show and is about... parking meter police. I kid you not. The cameras follow various meter men & women around different cities for a thrilling half hour as they write parking tickets and slap them on car windshields, much to the dismay of the agitated owners. Occasionally they spice things up a bit by following a citizen to the impound lot in an exciting attempt to wade through the bureaucracy and reclaim their car.
And that's it! That's all there is to the show. They literally follow a city employee around on their crappy job as they write parking tickets. No plot, no stars, and most of all, no point.
So it's come to this. This is what passes as television entertainment these days. As I sat there watching in amazement, I thought to myself, "Am I really seeing this? There's really a TV show about parking meters?"
So that's it. I'm out. If that's the best that the TV networks can manage to come up with in order to entertain me, then no thanks. I'll be just fine without cable. I have hundreds of DVDs I can watch, and tons of books to read, and thousands of illustrations I want to draw. Or better yet, I may just get out of the house and go for a walk.