You might remember that back at the end of May I gave up my commercial TV business with Time Warner. I had had it with poor customer service coupled with jacked up prices - my last bill was $180.00. Seriously, even if I won the lottery, I would not feel that commercial TV is worth $180 a month. I should mention that internet service did come with this, but, as I would find out, that's only a $60 value.
Even though I'd given up commercial TV, I still needed internet both to send emails, update Facebook, post blogs, etc but also to catch various shows. AT&T, my cell phone provider at the time, promised a pretty sweet deal - my cell phone and internet service for about $100. That was one of those "can't believe that" and without going into all the details, it wasn't true. This is why AT&T was my cell phone provider at the time, but not after this problem.
So, I was back to square one and so I sucked down my pride and went back to Time Warner for my internet. That would cost me $60/month which is also a little pricey but I was willing to go with it until I could find a comparable service.
During the summer, I spent my evenings binge watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show which was an amazing experience. First, I never noticed just how stylish Mary Richards was when I first saw the show when I was 8 years old. Second, Ted really steals the show and it gets tiresome after awhile and thankfully the show broadens him out quite abit so he's not the same cretin he is when the series begins. Georgette had everything to do with that and even she gets exasperated with him. Third, this show is fucking hilarious, and timely, especially an interesting episode where Mary does a segment about how easy it is to buy guns and sends Murray out to buy as many as he can in an afternoon. The results are hilarious and, seen through the prism of history, very very sad that decades later we still haven't solved this problem.
The real challenge to my cable sobriety was, of course, the fall season and baseball. I'm sure it's somewhere, but I can't find a site that streams live games (same with football) and that's kind of a bummer but thankfully there's a sports bar down the street where I was able to catch a few games.
Surprisingly, I found that there were only two shows that I actually sought out - The Flash and Once Upon a Time but even with the latter, I skipped the last couple episodes as I'd become tired of "Evil Emma". It's amazing to find out exactly what you miss by what you will seek out. I would have thought I'd have missed more.
Eventually I figured out how to use my 'smart TV' for more than a DVD player and binge watched season 9 of Doctor Who on Amazon, but haven't gotten around to starting a Netflix subscription especially once I found out that the service doesn't really feature recent programs. The TV also gives me access to You Tube which has a feature that rolls from one video into another based on some sort of mysterious algorithm (i.e. Sinatra to Louis Armstrong to Gershwin).
And just last week: I hooked up an antenna and now am able to watch CBS, Fox, NBC. Free. Yes, I'm missing the CW and ABC but whatever.
So, had I stayed with Time Warner, I would have spent $1,620.00 since June 1. But with cable-only, I've spent $540 (plus $25 for an entire season of Who). For me, that's quite a savings even if it's been a little bit of a rocky understanding how to make it all work.
I don't recommend this for everyone - aside from the sports things I've missed, I've also not been able to see award shows and other programs like the Kennedy Center honors. I'm also relying on websites for news but, given how poor and biased EVERY station and EVERY website is, I don't know that there's any kind of loss. I definitely don't miss commercials and hyper active marketing (you know, the crawl with an advert for the next show that appears in the lower third of the program you're watching).
Humorously, Time Warner has sent some "wish you would return as a customer" letters - a couple that I missed due to work travels - that promised "$10 a month" for a year and then a later offer that promised "$89 a month".. which made me laugh - shouldn't the deal get BETTER not worse? <shrug> When it goes back down to $10 a month, I may reconsider. Maybe.
But I'm enjoying binge watching Friday Night Lights and am looking forward to catching Orange is the New Black, VEEP, and the Kevin Spacey House of Cards. That should keep me busy through the spring and summer - anything to miss the Presidential election. I see enough of it on Facebook, that's quite enough for me (and frankly, my derision of this election is absolutely bi-partisan - I hate all the candidates - and their followers - equally. The first order of business for the new Prez should be to mandate that the election season can't start until May 1 of the year of the election. I cannot deal with this two year campaign cycle. Ugh.