Given the range of TV choices we have before us, it’s a baffling reality that sometimes, you’re just not sure what to watch. Of course, that doesn’t really make sense. The amount of choice should make us feel like the TV world is our oyster, but the sheer amount of choice can actually feel somewhat stifling. It’s theorized that too much choice can actually be a bad thing, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever looked for a new TV show, exhausted themselves, and ended up on their ninth rewatch of an old favorite like Friends or Sex And The City instead.
Not only are we spoilt for choice when it comes to the amount of shows available; we’ve also got more options than ever for how we watch TV. Whether you opt to cut the cable and get a single streaming service like Playstation VUE or Hulu or find yourself tempted by the new info about Optimum, there’s a way of watching TV that can fit your lifestyle in the most convenient way… provided you can figure out what you want to watch, that is.
It has often been said that we’re living in a golden age of TV. No longer are TV shows the poor cousins of movies. Now, TV is invested in, watched, enjoyed, and celebrated– all with good reason. There’s so many good shows to watch, pushing through the choice paradox is a decision that will be richly rewarded– but how exactly can you do it?
#1 – The IMDB Recommendations Section
Head to IMDB and look up a TV show that you’ve enjoyed in the past. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a section entitled: “People who liked this also liked…” and then a list of titles.
See those related shows as a jumping off point. They might not seem related; for example, you could find a drama recommended when you were looking for a comedy, but there will often be tonal, actor, or director similarities. So even if the link isn’t obvious, it might be worth taking a punt on the “related” section of your favorite ever shows.
#2 – Make Your Own Version Of Pilot Season
Choosing a new show to watch tends to involve a feeling of “bedding in”. You can give a show a few episodes to see if you like it or not. If you later realize that you don’t like it, those few hours that you’ve already invested feel like a waste.
So refuse to take the time to “get into” shows by creating your own pilot season. There’s too much choice for you to waste a few hours watching episodes of something that, ultimately, might never grab you. Instead, select 10 shows and watch the pilot episode for each of them, then rank them in order of how much you’re interested in continuing. This encourages you to break out of your normal comfort zone for shows and give something a try that you might otherwise have overlooked. My husband and I recently finished watching season 3 of Dark Matter on Netflix.
#3 – Random Letter-Based Selection
Finally, if in doubt, pick a random letter and search for it on your cable guide or streaming service. Then, watch at least one episode of everything that comes up under that letter. This can be surprisingly successful and help you find great shows you might otherwise have missed. However, a word of warning; avoid ‘T’ — there’s so many shows titled “The [something]” that you’ll never move to another letter!
Given the televisual delights on offer, hopefully one of the above will help you to narrow down your options and find your new favorite show in double-quick time!