According to Nielsen (via the AV Club), Americans watched 34 hours of television per person, per week last year. Apparently, this is a record.
Nielsen Ratings aren't necessarily trustworthy. Most people I know love television, and watch it frequently, but there's no way they're spending 30 percent of waking life in front of a TV. I know my in-laws big screen features an unending, ear-bleeding loop of Fox News, Seabiscuit and The Blind Side, but they're outliers. And even they aren't watching all the time.
There may not be 34 hours of quality watching per week, but there is some great stuff out there. We're in the Golden Age of television. Even Ira Glass says so. All you have to do is boil out all the impurities. This column intends to help.
Unfortunately, we're going to be sports-heavy with the debut. Hey, all I do is report.
The NFL Wild Card Game (Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles)—Sunday, Jan. 9. 2:30 PM on NBC
Nothing against the Baltimore/Kansas City game earlier in the day, but this game has Michael Vick. This means your wife will be onboard for some pro-animal invective spewing, and you can quietly ooh and aah when he does something superhuman, which is likely. There's nothing quite like the first two