It’s day nine of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.

In the history of the battle for our collective attention, television feels like it was an early player. From a few channels in the early years, to the tens and then hundreds of stations which proliferated over the years with cable and satellite.

I can’t profess to being a big television watcher, but there’s certainly some shows I enjoy. Streaming is my preferred mode, because I like to watch one episode at a time, and I like to do it whenever I feel so inclined.

I also have a history of enjoying certain reality TV shows, which I try to keep a very critical eye on nowadays, given how much our world and news cycle has taken the extremes of performative reality TV shows into our very real, and very much not-supposed-to-be-performative, lives. Of those reality shows I’ve enjoyed, they’ve most often been competition-based (Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race, HGTV shows back when they were good, and some cooking shows, the best being the Great British Bake-Off). I mention HGTV “when it was good” because it used to be more than inspiration porn masquerading as makeovers. My favorite was Color Splash, followed by For Rent, Income Property, and occasionally something like Design on a Dime. I liked these because they offered different points of view and ways to learn.

YouTube is an interesting aspect of television nowadays, because it’s offered just about anyone a way to create their own TV shows. Of those channels I find worth watching, a few spring to mind:

  • Ali Abdaal, a doctor and entrepreneur in the UK, offers lots of insights on tech and life.
  • Ask a Mortician is a long-time favorite. Caitlin Doughty is amazing, and her channel is the one I point to when people want a great example of camp. But more than that, I love how much comes from the heart, and her insights (shared on her channel and her books) have helped inform so much of my work when I’m working with patients who may be facing end of life situations.
  • The Financial Diet has some interesting discussions on finance and modern life, and I always enjoy Chelsea Fagan’s unapologetically blunt commentary.
  • Bryce Langston’s Living Big in a Tiny House is a great look at the tiny house movement. I don’t necessarily want to live in a tiny house on wheels myself, but I definitely am interested in simple living and sustainability.
  • Matt D’Avella offers insights into minimalism and simple living, and does some interesting interviews with people along the way.

Of course, one has to be careful to find that balance of learning, enjoyment, and being mindful not to let watching videos become all one does (h/t Shawn Blanc for that link). Of course, it’s okay to realize, as Austin Kleon wisely often points out, reading is a great way to get ideas to write more.