According to Nielsen US, adults spend 6 hours watching video a day on average. “That includes time spent watching both live and time-shifted TV, watching videos in an app or mobile website on a smartphone or tablet, watching video over a TV-connected device like a DVD player, game console or internet device such as Roku, and watching videos on a computer.”
That seemed like an absurdly large number when I first read it. If one thinks of a day as 8 hours sleep, 8 hours working, 8 hours doing other stuff…do people really spend ¾ of the other time watching videos?
Let’s think about this more. 6 hours a day for a year. That’s 2,190 hours. That’s 131,400 minutes. Let’s say you switched between watching shows that are 22 mins long and 52 mins long, so your average episode length is 37 minutes. That means you are watching 3,551 episodes! If the average season of something was 18 episodes that is 197 seasons of something in one year!
That similarly seems absurd. Is watching that much TV a real thing? I wanted to see how much TV I watched this year so I tracked it more closely.
Here is my scale:
5 stars---The Wire, Breaking Bad, the Americans, the Sopranos…one of the best TV shows I have ever seen
4 stars---Good show I would recommend to others…Gilmore Girls, the West Wing when you take into account the later seasons, Game of Thrones once you factor in season 7 and 8.
3 stars---Fine show. Guilty pleasures. This show is coming up short on the plot or the acting or has too many boring episodes or something like that.
I generally don’t watch things that are 1 or 2 star beyond an episode or two.
Here is what I watched and how much of it, and my thoughts:
The Magicians (seasons 1-3)---3 stars
I saw this show in January, and I should have jotted down what I thought at the time. Nothing I am recalling is very flattering. It kind of felt like a weaker version of Buffy. I wonder if the books are better. Does what the characters do make sense given the extent of magical options available? No, not really.
Big Little Lies (season 1)---4 stars
Good. Surprisingly funny in spots. Is this book better than the show??
Superstore (season 1-5)---4 stars
I dip into sitcoms because I need short episodes to break up the slog of shows that are 48 to 60 mins per episode. Expectations were low for this network sitcom. Laughed out loud a noticeable amount. Pretty much all I am looking for from my network comedy shows.
Travelers (season 1-3)---3 stars
Woof, complicated time travel show. Cancelled when season 3 didn’t really wrap anything. The premise of this show is people from the future can occupy people in the present. The future has decided the most ethical way to do this is to only do it to people right before you knew they were going to die (so if a person in the present was going to step in front of a bus the future would take them over 5 seconds before that happens and not do that). Now the future people have to live like the new people they just took over + do stuff that is supposed to stop a cataclysmic event.
What is not to love?? How did this show flop?? I am not very good at poking holes in things like time travel shows, but I am sure there were a lot of issues with this one.
Sex Education (season 1)---4 stars
Watched this in February I think. Good. Funny. Heart-warming in spots.
Medici (season 2)---3 stars
I only watched this because I saw season 1 and saw Sean Bean was the bad guy for season 2. Moves too slow throughout to be a strong recommend from me.
Younger (season 1-5)---3 stars
This show has three virtues. One, the episodes are 19 mins with Hulu no ads. Two, I will watch Hilary Duff in anything. Three, Sutton Foster is very charming. If you are into fashion costumes this show has that too, but it is lost on me. Is this book better than the show??
Barry (season 1-2)---4 stars
Not an all timer, but one of the best shows I watched in 2019. Go watch it. Bill Hader is a treasure.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (season 1-6, rewatch)---5 stars
So good. The characters are unique and hilarious in their own ways. Halloween heist episodes. Infinitely clip-able series. Can go on YouTube bender for hours with this show. In the pantheon with the Office, Parks and Rec…maybe other things.
Riverdale (season 1-3)---4 stars
A guilty pleasure that might just be good. Most people complain that the acting is over the top. When you view the show in an accelerationist lens it makes the whole experience much better. Was the story the same for the first 3 seasons? Yes, it was. Is it fine because a show full of beautiful people doing beautiful people things is fun? Yes, yes it is.
Ozark (season 1-2)---4 stars
This show was like condensed Breaking Bad. It is pretty good because Jason Bateman is great and as Laura Linney and Julia Garner get more to work with it gets better. But this is a poor man’s Breaking Bad and everyone can see it.
Leftovers (season 1-3)---4 stars
Season 1 is objectively bad I think. Season 2 and 3 hit the hard reset and are way better. Despite not being on solid footing with Season 1, the show gets more experimental and more out there. This show really melted my brain. One of the best final episodes of a TV show ever.
Veronica Mars (season 4)---4 stars
Just inject the nostalgia right into my veins. Good mystery. Weird character conflicts. Better to treat it as a different show compared to the first 3 seasons.
The Crown (season 1-2)---3 stars
First, the sets and shit don’t matter. It is 2019. Anybody can create a prestige TV show that looks good. Second, it is very very hard to care and relate to the problems of the British monarchy. I just can’t bring myself to care about people in such an absurd institution with so much money. Third, the inconsistency with Phillip from episode to episode is maddening. Fourth, this show obviously moves slowly with some dud episodes given the subject matter. Any scene without Claire Foy is almost dead on arrival and she is not a part of season 3 so fuck this show.
Game of Thrones (season 8)---3 stars
Look, it is not great. Why couldn’t it be longer? Most of what people complained about week to week didn’t resonate with me. Three breaking points for me. First, the dragon being ambushed and dying. Irredeemably stupid. Second, the way they did Dany. Unforgiveable. Third, Bran the Broken. Fuck Bran the Broken.
Jane the Virgin (season 5)---4 stars
I love it. It is a telenovela so anything can happen and I don’t have to worry about it. Good finish. If Gina Rodriguez could stop getting cancelled so I could rewatch this show that would be great.
Succession (season 1-2)---4 stars
Really good. Difficult to wrap my head around how absurd the shit that happened in this show was while still being very believable. They just made ultra-rich people do wild shit episode-to-episode and I definitely think that is how rich people work. Hilarious show.
Orange is the New Black (season 7)---4 stars
After the first few seasons I think this show fell off for me (mainly when Poussey died I think). But everytime I get sucked into the next season and watch it in like two days. This finale was pretty uneven for me. Particularly Taystee’s fate in the final season.
The Boys (season 1)---4 stars
This show was pretty awesome. The villain in this show generated a visceral reaction from me unrivaled by other characters. Truly loathsome.
Grey’s Anatomy (season 15)---4 stars
I think I have seen like 340 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy so far (haven’t seen any of season 16 yet). When did this show peak? I have no idea. I wouldn’t say it peaked per say. The later seasons suck me in like the old ones, although it takes a few more episodes. I would say Christina leaving was the worst and probably the peak of the show for me.
Stranger Things (season 1-3)---4 stars
Does it matter the story is the same every season? No. Does the nostalgia get me as much as other people? No. Is any scene with Eleven awesome? Yes. Is the show funny? Yes indeed. Just good clean fun.
Bojack Horseman (seasons 1-3)---4 stars
Am I in the proper mental state to get so many rants about life, existentialism and the nature of happiness from anthropomorphic animals? No, I am not. Is the show funny? Eh, sometimes. Not enough. The internet calls it a tragicomedy…yuck. But can’t say I have watched a show like it and it does get better with each passing season.
That is 51 seasons of TV this year. Is it a lot? How much do you think you’ve seen? What should be in my queue?
I am Lincoln, retired debate coach . This site's purpose is to post my ramblings about policy debate.