When I was a kid, I enjoyed many beautiful summer days inside watching game shows and sitcom reruns. I watched so much TV, my older brothers would joke that I had a ‘TV tan’. While I played organized sports – baseball, football, and basketball – I was more the indoor-sy kind of kid and happy to plop down in front of the screen. I guess it’s no surprise I went on to a career which involved producing TV commercials!
While I look back fondly on the shows we’d watch back-to-back-to-back-to-back – like Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, the Beverly Hillbillies, or Leave it to Beaver – they weren’t the most compelling television by any modern standard. If there was ever a golden age of TV, we might actually be in it right now with all of the amazing options we have across 100+ channels of cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and all of the other streaming options.
I thought when I early retired, this might be the time to truly ‘binge watch’ some of the much-heralded TV series that are available. I could catch up on some of the great series people were raving about. That said, I can only think of 6 TV series that we’ve watched over the last 3 years:
- Mad Men – 8 Seasons
- House of Cards – 7 Seasons/skipped last one
- Mr Selfridge – 4 Seasons
- Making of a Murderer – 1 Season
- Outlander – 4 Seasons
- Stranger Things – 2 Seasons
Assuming there are about 12 episodes per season of most series, after three years of early retirement, I probably only averaged about 2 hours/week of these shows. That’s hardly ‘binge watching’ – and probably not too different than how many series we watched when when my time was limited by work.
As a couple, we tend to have just one series that we are watching at any given time. Right now we are enjoying the Amazon Prime show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. For us, it’s nice to have one series to be involved in that we look forward to watching on any given evening when we’re not doing anything else. Especially in the cold winter months in Minnesota!
It’s not that we don’t watch any other TV than these shows. I catch the news, watch sports (love the Olympics!), car shows, and documentaries on history or science. Often when I’m on the treadmill or have the TV on when I’m doing something else. Still, I tend to watch most of these catch-as-catch-can and certainly don’t binge watch them.
While early retirement has been kind of a second-childhood for me in many ways, I’m sure people that knew me as a kid are probably surprised to hear that I haven’t become a complete couch potato in my new early retirement lifestyle.
Are you watching/do you expect to watch more TV in early retirement? What shows would you recommend for our next series?
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