There was a time when any self-respecting educated person would have cringed at the idea that anyone should be watching anything on TV. Sure there were a few purists who kept their dial -- yes, there were dials on TVs way back when -- on the PBS station. But then along came cable and original programming and suddenly, our TV indeed started to have some "must-see moments."
Today, we watch shows on our laptops, our tablets and smartphones -- and yes, sometimes on our televisions too. According to the Labor Department, more than half of our daily leisure time -- 2.8 hours -- is spent watching TV. And who is doing the most watching? People 65 and older, the uneducated, and why yes, the unemployed.
As "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey, recently told TV executives in his keynote speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival's 37th meeting, everything about how we view content has changed. "If you are watching a film on your television, is it no longer a film because you're not watching it in the theater?" Spacey asked his audience, reported Gawker. "If you watch a TV show on your iPad, is it no longer a TV show?"
Spacey's point: The device and length of what you are watching is irrelevant and TV execs better get hip to the change.
But it got us thinking: What are Huff/Post50 readers watching? We asked you that question on Facebook, and the response was large -- and pretty interesting. Absolutely none of you said "Breaking Bad" (which we happen to love) or "America's Got Talent" (a guilty pleasure we prefer not to admit to). Here is what you told us on Facebook about you are watching:
Many of you turn the clock back for your TV viewing, preferring to watch reruns of old shows. Janet Garee Drapalski tunes in to reruns of "The Golden Girls" and "Frasier." "Frasier," the Kelsey Grammer spin-off of "Cheers," stopped broadcasting new episodes in 2004 after 11 seasons, but as Lori A Doyle commented, "This show is excellent for chuckles and silliness."
Lots of our readers are watching shows on the History, Food, TLC and Discovery networks. Others like talk shows. And many, like Susan Clow, spend a lot of time watching PBS shows such as "Doc Martin" and "As Time Goes By."
We had a few fans of "Dexter" and "Game of Thrones," but nobody was rushing to TiVo HBO's "Girls" -- sorry, Lena.
"Downton Abbey," of course, hit some high notes, as did "Modern Family," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Parenthood."
Maybe we all just want to watch shows about ourselves? Then again, maybe, as Catherine Meguire says, "I quit watching conventional TV nearly a year ago and cancelled my DirecTV account, as most of the programming is just too stupid to watch."
What do you think, readers? What's the best show on TV today? And to answer the question of what should you be watching on TV, we think the answer is: Whatever you want.