"It's OK, You Don't Have to Watch All Those Shows"

This Men’s Health bit really spoke to me about quietly quitting my unwatched stack of must-see TV.

Daniel D’Addario, a chief TV critic for Variety, about all this—and he handed me the keys to freedom. “There’s so much TV that no one show is going to be a must-watch or must-discuss,” he says.

That’s right. Unburden yourself of the idea that you need to be up-to-date, because it’s now impossible to be.

“If you’re not instantly gripped by the idea of watching it or you don’t have time, just move on,” D’Addario says. Fans argue that a show “gets good in episode 4” or that “Season 2 is better than 1.” (Network TV didn’t require hours of buildup—it had to earn its keep, every episode, or risk cancellation.)

D’Addario recommends going Marie Kondo on your TV habits. If it doesn’t spark joy, zap it. If your inner dad can’t bear the idea of the drugged-out teens of Euphoria, then why bother? If you watch the first 30 minutes of The Rings of Power and it doesn’t compel you, let it go.

It was getting to the point where I had to run a spreadsheet to track what shows I was watching and what I was up to. Or I would have if I knew how to run a spreadsheet. Instead, I kept lists in my notes app.

And since I only watch two or three hours of teev a week, those lists get longer and more depressing ever week. So I’ve deleted them and decided to just rewatch Reacher (and really just the prison shower fight scene, over and over).