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What I Watch on DISH

Since I switched to DirecTV (find out why here) I watch the same programs I used to watch on DISH. That hasn’t really changed at all.

This section of the site is one that is bound to be very uninteresting to many visitors. However, there may be some viewers who have similar tastes to mine and might find it useful to learn about the kinds of programming people can get via satellite.

It’s probably important to mention right off the bat that I am not a sports fan. I don’t watch any sports at all, although one of my sons is a basketball fan and as a result we have have had a subscription to “NBA League Pass” before.

I’m a big reality fan, and by that, I do not mean shows likeThe Bachelor or the one with housewives from New Jersey. I much prefer programs like Moonshiners, Alaska State Troopers or Gold Rush. Even though I enjoy those kinds of programs, it does not mean I am completely taken in by everything they do and think it’s all 100 percent “reality.” I think that there is a generous amount of drama added to those kinds of programs to keep them more interesting to the viewing audience, particularly on programs like Moonshiners and Gold Rush.

Spare Me The Drama

I watch very little “drama” or traditional series type programming. A few of notable exception were House, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Thankfully, the traditional “big three” networks have a lot of competition these days from networks like HBO and AMC that are able to produce very high-quality series programming.

Beyond that, I also watch American Idol. I resisted the hype and sensationalism of that show for about the first five or so seasons and in a moment of weakness decided to check it out one night and that was it. I was hooked instantly and have watched it ever since. I’ve had an interest in music for a long time and some of the kids that show up on Idol are quite amazingly talented.

I’m pretty open to checking out educational programming as well. The History Channel has some excellent content and the series that ran a few years ago on the Discovery Channel called Planet Earth was outstanding.

A subsequent series entitled Life seemed like a bit of a knock-off of Planet Earth but in my opinion, was nowhere near as good. Making matters worse, replacing legendary narrator David Attenborough with TV Diva Oprah Winfrey for the U.S. airing of the series was a blunder of monumental proportion. Sorry, Oprah fans, but that was not a gig for Oprah. Sigourney Weaver did an excellent job on Planet Earth, and even though replacing Attenborough was a ridiculous idea, Weaver would have been a far better choice if they were intent on a replacement.

Sometimes Things Change

Since this was written, I’ve lost the desire to follow some of the programs I mentioned earlier. I’ve had my fill of both Moonshiners and Gold Rush since it seems like they’ve taken those two programs about as far as they deserved to be taken. In defiance to what I said above about not being too interested in “drama” programming, I have indeed become interested in a few current drama series and have been watching them regularly.

Perhaps I got a bit tired of the drama on those reality shows I was watching, especially knowing that a lot of it was exaggerated for the sake of ratings. At any rate, I’ve been watching three current series. including The Americans, Homeland and Better Call Saul. All three programs are head and shoulders above the “traditional” network TV series that many of us watched back in the 60s and 70s. Thankfully, television has changed a lot in recent years and we are now seeing a lot of high-quality programming that we could have only dreamed about a few decades ago.

I’ve found myself enjoying these series more than I expected to and I am glad I decided to check some of them out and break away from my nearly-exclusive consumption of reality programming. After I kept hearing people talk about how good programs like Homeland were, I decided I had to check them out and see what all the buzz was about.

The Internet To The Rescue

Since I found myself enjoying some of these current TV series so much I decided to do a little research and see what other programs I might be able to watch via one of the online streaming services like Netflix. That opened up a whole new world of programming I was not aware of and I have watched a number of very good series that have aired on various networks over the last decade or so.

Programs I particularly enjoyed include Boardwalk Empire, Justifed, Six Feet Under, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad. I must admit that streaming TV shows “on demand” can spoil you pretty quickly. My wife and I “binge watched” some of these series on a number of occasions, although our version of that activity would probably place us firmly in the “lightweight” category among binge watchers since I think out record of consecutive shows watched in one day or evening was four or five. It was great to be able to take so much in in such a short time viewing this way and eliminating the suspense of waiting for new shows to show up weekly during their scheduled seasons. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off simply waiting for all current series we are interested in to run their course and then watch them “on demand” from now on.