Paralysis Of Choice: How To Decide What TV Shows To Watch Next

It is a question older than time itself. What should I watch on TV tonight?

Whether you have rid yourself of cable or have a long list of shows to watch, the digital world is at your fingertips. Yet, there you sit with the remote in your hand trying to decide. The solution is to give yourself a set of guidelines that will help keep you on track.

You Are The Head Of Your Own Network

When you click on your streaming service, endless choices fill your screen. Each one offers you a way to bookmark them (so to speak) so can save them in a type of Playlist. Netflix called it “My List.” Hulu calls it “[Name]’s Watchlist.” Amazon Prime calls it “Your Watchlist.” We’re going to call it a Playlist to keep it simple.

Think of your Playlist as your own personal network and everything else you see is pitching you their show. Unlike with a real network, you are not spending thousands/millions of dollars on this. But, you are spending your time which is far more valuable.

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Create Your Own Pilot Season

You may have noticed that the first episode of a series is sometimes called “Pilot.” Typically, a network will approve one episode to be filmed. They look it over and then decide if they want to order more or not. During Pilot Season, there is a whole bunch of shows filming their Pilot with the hope of getting picked up for more episodes.

In your case, you are going to add a bunch of the shows you have been wanting to see in your Playlist. Then, you will watch the first episode of each until you have gone through them all. It may be tempting to immediately continue to the next episode, but you must be strong.

If you find that after the first episode you aren’t thrilled by it, then you can remove it from the Playlist. Be as merciless as you want. It is your time that you are spending. Don’t waste it on something you aren’t interested in. You gave it a shot and now you can move on to the next show.

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Balancing Your Watching

Think about the different kinds of shows you enjoy. You may primarily prefer drama, but like a nice sitcom every now and then. Or you mainly watch reality shows and like a nice cop drama to balance it out. Make sure you add some of those types of shows in the mix as well.

While there are lots of new shows still airing, add a few that are off the air. I’m sure there are a few shows you always meant to check out that you never got around to watching. There are many great series that people still talk about you might have missed like The Wire, West Wing, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Breaking Bad, and the list goes on and on.

Don’t Forget About Re-Runs

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Most networks will re-run episodes in the evenings when people would get home from work or ready for bed. Some days you will not be in the mood to add anything new to your brain. You just want something familiar that you know all the lines or jokes. I recommend having a couple of shows in your Playlist that you want to re-watch from the beginning or something that you can watch a random episode.

Rinse & Repeat

Once you have finished watching a few shows, you can repeat the whole process again. While Pilot Season is usually an annual thing, you can have one as often as you like. With all the new shows added almost daily, this might be every couple of months.

Now you have your plan to keep you from the endless scroll. The question remains will you be merciful like CBS (because how else did JAG get 10 Seasons)? Or will you be merciless and cruel like Fox cutting down good shows in their prime? Only time will tell.

What will be on your line-up? Let us know in the comments.

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