So, I was watching TV this weekend and I was tuned to a live talk show. I’m not going to say which one because I detest them all. At any rate, I was doing my version of watching TV. I seldom tune in to a loser show just because of the way I watch. I have my own way of viewing and it has yet to fail me.

Now, 9 times out of 10, when I watch TV, I’m also working on another project. I may be in the middle of writing a song or trying to whittle down a chapter in my book, but the TV is on; I just don’t turn up the sound. They call it “closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing”, I call it “closed captioned for the mildly interested.” That is to say that, from time to time, I will look at the TV, read the captioning and, if it interests me, I’ll unmute,

Since I began watching TV in this fashion, I have not only not tuned in to any turkeys, I have also discovered programming I never would have watched because it just didn’t look interesting. I’ve learned that, there are a lot fewer disappointments with TV and movies if you read them first.

By reading the movie for a few minutes you can learn everything you need to know whether to hit the “Mute” button or just change the channel. Let me tell you, a TV show you wouldn’t even want to look up and see on the screen, sans audio, is not going to be the source of conversation at the office the next morning.

Now don’t think that I’ve got a grudge against TV or anything. It’s the cable company’s fault. They’ve gone and given me far too many choices. It’s like trying to order dinner in a restaurant that has a 10 page menu. There’s going to be some real trash in there, but you’re also going to miss out on some real delights as well. See? Too many choices and it’s exactly like watching TV.

There are so many choices on TV and who has time to read the “menu?” those descriptions they provide don’t really help. I’ve seen some real turkeys that seemed promising when I read the two-sentence synopsis, but turned out to be a real snoozer when I watched it.

On the other hand, every now and the, I’ll be working away and when I start reading, I find myself drawn in. Ah, that hypnotic glow of the TV in a darkened room will seduce your eyes and beckon you to watch. Well, that test number one there. I ask myself, “Do I even want to look at this?”

If the answer to the first question is “yes”, I’ll put it to the old reading test. I’ll just read along for a few minutes and if it get past that, I ceremoniously unmute and watch. Now, I won’t be modest about the results. I haven’t spent two hour I’ll never get back watching something because so and so was in it. On the other hand I’ve discovered some really great movies and such.

I’ve summed up this acquired knowledge in one very simple rule of thumb which I now share with you. The rule that is, not the thumb.



I’ve learned from experience that I now share with you:

“If it don’t read good, it don’t watch good.”