Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Finding a Go-To-Sleep Show

The Wife and I have developed the habit of going to sleep with the television on. We do this for three reasons:

1. It acts as a nightlight so I can see when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
2. It drowns out the screaming of the kids in the other room.
And 3. Sometimes we just like to watch a show together.

For these things, it works pretty well. However, there is one main difficulty in watching as you go to bed. You have to find a show interesting enough that you want to watch it, yet boring enough that you can fall asleep while it's on.

Actually, this isn't much of a problem for The Wife. She can fall asleep to almost any show. The exception is sporting events. No matter how low I turn the volume, she complains that the commentators are yelling at her and not saying anything useful. (She has a point.) This is too bad, because baseball, soccer, and especially golf are all things I can somewhat enjoy and easily fall asleep to.

While she says no to sports, I protest against the "real life" shows she likes, such as Sister Wives, Little People In a World of Tall People, and That One Family with the 23 Kids. I can't stand those kind of shows.

This leaves us mostly with scripted shows to choose from. Over the years we've tried a few, with varying degrees of success. We prefer to find shows that have ended their run, so we don't feel obligated to continue to follow a show once we've gotten caught up on it. The biggest problem is that I get sucked into the story and end up watching two, three, or four episodes before finally falling asleep.

Remember when there were just three channels to choose from?

We've tried some shows that one of us liked better than the other. My wife watched Party of Five, but it was too soap opera-ish for me. (Private Practice was even worse, but I somehow got sucked into it anyway. I've never seen a show where every single main character has slept with so many of the other main characters.)

Meanwhile, I tried to watch The Incredible Hulk, but The Wife would occasionally be bothered by either the many explosions or the bad 1970's clothing worn by the actors. I also watched all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but I could tell she wasn't very interested so I tried to watch it mostly after she was already asleep.

We have found a few shows we both liked. We enjoyed Veronica Mars, Smallville, Life, and Numb3rs. Lois and Clark was one of our first go-to shows, mostly because one of us thought Dean Cain was very attractive, and the other of us felt the same about Teri Hatcher.

Recently we've both enjoyed Leverage (my choice) and Drop Dead Diva (her choice), two silly shows in which the good guys usually save the day.

There haven't been many sitcoms on our watchlist, because a one hour show is generally more conducive to falling asleep. But, I've been surprised by how good of a go-to-sleep show the sitcom Reba is: amusing enough to watch, yet formulaic enough to send you off to slumberland.

Of course, no show will be the perfect sleep show for everyone. Some might like to go to bed watching The Walking Dead, while others would rather go for Full House. People are different, and each person will prefer different things. But, at least we have choices. Back when I was a kid the only thing you could watch at two in the morning was static.

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