I gave up cable TV for Lent two years ago.

Well, that’s not exactly true.  It was more like Christmas day.  We’d installed our Apple TV, and my ensuing cable boycott may have been largely due to the fact that we dislodged the infrared receiver during that installation.

Anyway, that was definitely the day I gave up cable TV.

At first it was mostly due to inconvenience.  I missed all my regular shows, the ones I recorded and watched on my own time, but I stuck to my guns.  Sure, the DVR was still doing its part, but to access it I had to go around the corner, use the remote on the cable box, and hope I managed to hit the right series of buttons without having the screen to guide me.

Besides being ridiculously cumbersome, there were some glaring problems with this system.  I couldn’t pause the TV when young people entered the room without hurdling the coffee table and skidding around the corner.  A lot can happen in those 5.2 seconds, things I might not necessarily want to explain to my kids.

Plus, there was Netflix.

It was after I fully embraced streaming Netflix shows that I realized how completely idiotic most network and cable television is.  And the commercials.  Man, don’t even get me started on the commercials.  We visited an AT&T store where there was a TV running in the background, and I very nearly punctured my eardrums to escape the drivel.

So as you can see, it takes a lot to get me to tune into a real time TV show these days.  I won’t watch any old pilot that comes along, and the ones I do?  I’m brutal about whether a show makes the cut.  Right now there isn’t a single one I tune in for, which naturally begs the question: what kind of shows would I be pitching the networks if I wanted to woo viewers back to cable?

Secret Life of a Minivan Mom

Ten woman form a support group for minivan moms.  They share stories of desperate heartbreak about the fabulous cars they gave up to make room for diaper bags and snack cups.  They support one another through toddler tantrums and tween years, bringing wine and Hostess cupcakes to their weekly meetings.  They even swap kids when temperatures run high.  The season culminates with a road trip to the beach – moms loaded in a minivan, packed to the gills with box wine, frozen pizza, chips, chocolate, and danish.  Shenanigans ensue.

The Tween Whisperer

If Cesar Milan can tackle everything from biting to canine anxiety then surely, surely, there is someone out there with the skills to sooth the savage beast that is The Tween. Moody by day, erratic by night, and all over the place for the hours in between, today’s modern tween exudes mystique worthy of an extinct species.  They speak a cryptic language that requires translators and a modern dance interpreter if you want any hope of gleaning the true gist of their complaints.  The Tween Whisperer moves into a family’s home for the week, acts as a tween’s interpreter for five days, then spends the last two negotiating peaceful coexistence in the home.

Suburban Twilight Zone

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.  It is a dimension as vast as a three mile super mall and as timeless as the school’s drop off line.  It is the middle ground between high rises and pastures, between double espresso and herbal tea, and it lies between the pit of trash magazines and the summit of professional journalism.  This is the dimension of suburban survival in an area we call the Twilight Zone.”

Survivor: Walmart Zombie Apocalypse 

Two teams of eight competitors will be selected at random from Walmart consumers across the country.  In the ultimate showdown between discount shoppers after midnight, the competitors will be sleep deprived for 48 hours straight before being set loose in a Walmart Supercenter at 2:00am with a list of items to retrieve.  Any available retail item may be used either offensively or defensively; a medic will be on hand to treat any injuries incurred.

Wildest Dreams

Many of us have those secret desires tucked away.  The “someday I’ll” items that have only the slightest chance of becoming reality.  Owning a pack of dogs.  Driving a Lexus.  Having access to limitless funds.  Buying a farm.  Flying off to Tahiti at a moment’s notice.  Owning your own company.

“Wildest Dreams” will make your desire come true for one week – seven days during which you’ll discover if reality lives up to the dream.  Is a dog pack fabulous or a crazy mess?  Does a farm fulfill you or make you realize you aren’t up for 5:00am wakeup calls?  Do you thrive being in charge, or does making the decisions for thousands of people give you an ulcer?

WWE: PTO versus Soccer Mom

(Not necessarily my cup of tea, but I think it would sell.)  Two women, intensely competitive in their own ways, set loose in a 15′ by 15′ arena.  They each enter equipped only with possessions typically on their person – the PTO mom holds her fully loaded Coach bag, 17-month planner, water bottle, pen, and agendas; the soccer mom carries a water bottle, camera, and folding sports chair.  Extra points can be earned by trash talking your opponent to the point of tears.

A Day In The Life

A show with the power to draft public figures onto its airways.  Place a state legislator into the classroom for one month.  Trade someone from local government into the life of a blue collar laborer working three jobs to make ends meet.  Send Joe Schmo down the street – the one who rants about how they never get nothin’ done in Washington – to work in the Senate for one month.  The combinations are endless as well as both entertaining and educational.


As far as I’m concerned, TV offerings on the whole have gone down the crapper.  Until they start putting programming on that’s worth crossing the room I’ll just stick with my (commercial free) Apple TV, thank you very much.