James, how much tv do you watch in a day? I’m just curious is all.
Because I think my job is just so tremendously fascinating, I’m devoting a post to this. I get asked this all the time, and I never know whether to be embarrassed because I watch so much or because I watch so little. Some days I do nothing but watch screeners, then a night’s worth of recreational TV. I could log eight hours or more, easy. If I’m on deadline, writing a column, I might watch almost nothing the whole work day. Let’s say five hours, average. Does this make me a bad person?
To wax Clintonian, the number depends partly on what “watching” is. I’m a big fan of the mute button, so my desktop TV is almost always playing something–news, MTV, whatever–whether I’m paying attention or not. And half the time I’m “watching” TV as a civilian (e.g., not taking notes for a review), I’m multitasking, with my laptop open. On the other hand, since I’m usually watching preview DVDs or shows on TiVo, I’m skipping commercials, so 44 minutes of my TV-watching equals an hour of yours. Finally, there’s the secondhand TV exposure I get through Tuned In Jr. and Tuned in Jr. Jr. (This morning: Johnny and the Sprites! Because if there’s one thing today’s preschoolers love, it’s contemporary Broadway showtunes!)
And to answer the next question in advance: yes, I actually went to college for this.