Turning into My Parents: Network Television

Welcome to “Turning into My Parents”. A series on how I’m slowly becoming more like the people who raised me.

Since venturing out on my own, I’ve paid for cable or satellite television.

For most of my 20s, I have gravitated toward cable channels like FX, FXX, AMC, Comedy Central and TBS. When I started making more money, I got HBO and Showtime. Not facing the same restrictions ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC go through, shows on cable are more creative, raunchier and words like s**t and more recently, a f**k or two is now allowed by the censors.

At one time, NBC’s Thursday night lineup was a must-watch. The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and Community (still waiting on the movie, Dan Harmon!) was an amazing two hours. But after those shows got cancelled, I stopped tuning in to the night NBC called “Must See TV”. The peacock also got on my bad side after the way they ruined Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show.

With all the great shows on cable throughout this decade, network television was secondary. Sporting events and local news were main reasons to tune in.

A couple years ago while on a trip to South Bend, Indiana to see a Notre Dame football game, my uncles couldn’t stop talking about ABC shows like Modern Family and The Goldbergs. Not too long after that, I caught Modern in syndication on USA Network and then started watching new episodes on ABC. Then I started watching The Goldbergs and “Hey! Patton Oswalt is grown up Adam! I like Patton!” so that became something to follow.

More lately, Wednesday night has become ABC night at my apartment. The Goldbergs, its spinoff Schooled, Modern Family and Single Parents takes up two hours of my night.

I used to be ahead of my parents and relatives when it came to television. I got my dad hooked on Family Guy. I knew how King of Queens ended before my parents even started watching it.

Maybe I’m the one who is behind now?


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