What? You’re one of those people who works out all the time and doesn’t even own a TV/has no idea what Hulu is/thinks all television is a waste of brainpower? Move along, nothing to see here.
1. I wrote about TV professionally for almost three years, from December 2006 through August 2009, before I started grad school.
2. When your job is to write about TV, you can never, ever complain about your job to anyone whose job isn’t also to write about TV. When you say “No, I can’t go to happy hour tonight, I have to watch Grey’s Anatomy,” most people will laugh at you.
3. When I applied for my TV job, one of the shows I wrote about was Friday Night Lights, which had just premiered the night before I wrote the application. Among other things, I wrote that the pilot made me cry my contacts out, which was 100% true.
4. Even after switching careers, I keep finding ways to watch TV for work. I did a research internship largely based on the fact that I knew a lot about TV. My master’s thesis was about practices of TV-watching. I worked on a project about Twitter and Glee that was just presented at a conference. I love what I’m doing right now because it’s my first job away from TV in more than five years, but I imagine I’ll find my way back eventually.
5. Hulu didn’t exist when I started my job. Most of the networks were just starting to stream shows online. TV execs were still trying to figure out how to deal with people watching shows on DVRs, much less all the sanctioned and unsanctioned ways that exist now. It honestly blows my mind how much the industry has changed.
6. When people ask me what shows I watch, I have to go by days of the week, even though we DVR almost everything and watch it whenever. Right now, it’s: Sunday, Luck; Monday, Smash; Tuesday, Dance Moms, Switched at Birth, and Parenthood; Wednesday, Modern Family, Suburgatory, Top Chef, and Revenge; Thursday, Parks and Rec, The Office, Up All Night, Project Runway, and Grey’s Anatomy. I also recorded the whole last season of Chuck on Fridays but I haven’t watched it yet.
7. Yes, that’s a lot of TV. I can own that.
8. I also watch tons of stuff OnDemand and on Hulu Plus on my phone at the gym.
9. Shows currently not on the air that I can’t wait to see come back: Breaking Bad, The Big C, the BBC show Twenty Twelve, Homeland, and — honestly — the ABC Family show Make It or Break It.
10. I used to watch The Hills and the new 90210 and a whole lot of ABC Family shows for work. I no longer have a concept of a “guilty pleasure.”
11. The most personally heartbreaking cancellation I encountered during my time covering TV was Pushing Daisies, and that’s mostly because Chuck and Friday Night Lights somehow managed to keep getting renewed.
12. I used to go to the Television Critics Association press tour twice a year, where all the networks trot out their stars for interviews with TV critics and reporters. I live by the idea that what happens at TCA stays at TCA, but get a few drinks in me and I will tell you some stories.
13. Some of my all-time favorite shows (not currently on the air): The Wire, Six Feet Under, Friday Night Lights, My So-Called Life, Significant Others, the first few seasons of The West Wing.
14. Other than my encyclopedic knowledge of My So-Called Life, I don’t have a strong memory of many of the TV shows I watched as a kid. I didn’t watch Seinfeld. I didn’t watch much Friends. (I did watch Frasier, because apparently I was always a 40-year-old woman.) A whole lot of TV references get lost on me.
15. When the DVR gets backed up, I watch competition reality shows first, because I don’t want to get spoiled on Twitter.
16. So you also like TV? Awesome. I recommend reading Sepinwall and Feinberg (and listening to the Firewall and Iceberg podcast), Mo Ryan, Tim Goodman, and Vulture’s TV coverage, and following Emily Nussbaum and Jace Lacob on Twitter. If you like pop culture generally, add Pop Culture Happy Hour / Monkey See to your list. There are more, but I’ll stop there.
17. If you ask me for recommendations of things to watch, I need a lot of context first. I don’t play fast and loose with my recommendations.
18. The first show I dropped cold-turkey when I didn’t write about TV anymore was American Idol.
19. I have a very hard time quitting shows with plotlines, but I think I’m done with Weeds.
20. I started tweeting in 2008 because I was going to the Emmys. I wore a purple dress from Banana Republic on the red carpet. Clearly I am very fancy.