I don’t watch much TV, mostly because as a freelance writer all these years, most of my free time was either spent researching a story, or writing one.  Plus, my kids ruled the TV channels, and as long as they obeyed my TV watching-time-limits, I was fine with my two shows a week: The West Wing and ER.  But with one kid in college, my other watching her computer, and my husband  already asleep by 8 pm for his 4:30 am wake-up call, I find myself with free time in the evenings, in front of the TV, and looking for something entertaining to watch for maybe an hour before bed. 

I remember cable TV being the “end all” of TV…everyone wanted it, and it would surpass network TV.  Last night, I grabbed the only remote control I know how to work (OH, and our remote control collection — fodder for another blog, for sure) and clicked on channel 23, the first cable station we have.  I went from there to 68 without stopping.  (We don’t have the plan with unlimited stations….ye gads!) 

What amazed me was the number of just plain “what were they thinking” kind of cable shows, like the pawn show, or the exterminator show, or the teen mom show, or the mom with 8 kids who I just don’t get show, or the storage wars, and the ones where they find alligators in the swamps show (WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO FIND IN THE SWAMPS)  And after weeks upon weeks of bad news, I just didn’t want one of those cable let’s talk about gloom and doom shows.

But I wasn’t giving up.  Let me see what’s on network TV.  And, on Channel 7, Diane Sawyer was hosting a two-hour feature show on the Jackie Kennedy tapes.  These were eight hours of recordings made by Mrs. Kennedy four months after her husband’s assassination.  They are unedited, and provide a personal glimpse into the early 1960’s politics, what it was like being a Kennedy, and how she protected her kids.  Caroline Kennedy joined Diane for a tour of the Kennedy Library in Boston, then played excerpts of the tapes.  They give fascinating insights into a first lady who, despite how you felt about her husband, was smart and courageous.  For the next two hours, I watched quality TV, and you know, I didn’t even mind the commercials.  Despite having TIVO (which can pause live TV, a feature that just baffles me), I was happy to do what I used to do when a commercial came on — go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea.  

Cable TV..what’s happening to you?