Remember the good old days of television watching? There were certain nights of the week when certain shows were on and you probably based your family’s schedule around it.
If you’re as old as I am, you can probably reach back far enough to remember that Wednesdays were reserved for The Rockford Files, Thursday nights were all about M*A*S*H, Saturdays were back-to-back joy with The Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island, and Sundays were for 60 Minutes or The Wonderful World of Disney (depending on who was in charge of the dial – you know, before we had remotes).
As a kid, we also had our designated viewing times: Saturday morning cartoons and the afterschool hour which usually included Tom & Jerry, or reruns of I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons, or if we were really lucky, we got to watch an afterschool special.
Times have changed. We used to rely on our routines and schedules. We used the TV Guide. And in the later years, we used the online channel guide (remember when we thought that was a neat idea?)
Now, our kids don’t have designated viewing times and neither do the adults. We live in an in-demand society and we watch what we want, when we want.
So what do you do when you have a family of three people with three very different tastes? (For the record, let me just say that I’m thankful we ONLY have to accommodate three people in our family with our viewing).
Here’s some advice to make sure everyone gets a chance to watch what they want.
1. Find some common ground.
We try to find a few shows that all of us like. That means it’s got to satisfy my husband, me, and a 10 year old boy. Some of our favorites include Once Upon A Time, The Flash, Agents of Shield, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (okay, it’s not totally kid-friendly but a lot of it goes over his head). Oh, and we love all of the Jim Gaffigan stand-up shows.
2. Carve out some adult time.
There are so many awesome shows on Netflix that are rated TV-MA and, trust me, they are TV-MA. We like to watch them when our son is not only out of sight but also, out of earshot. Since we both work from home, we’ll sometimes sneak in an episode or two while he’s at school. Or when he’s in the next room with his headphones on playing Xbox One, we’ll turn something on. And finally, when he’s at a friend’s house, we might also catch up on shows like House of Cards, Sense8, or Travelers.
What about after my son goes to sleep? Yeah, we’re lucky if we can stay up much later than he does but occasionally we’ll do a little Netflix and chill as well.
3. Schedule some me time.
As a woman, I find myself feeling guilty if I’m simply sitting and watching TV. And I’m trying to get over that. So I find some me time where I don’t feel like I’m doing nothing when I’m watching. I might turn on Netflix in the bedroom while I’m folding laundry and watch Orange is the New Black. Or I might take an official lunch hour and watch 13 Reasons Why. I’ve even been known to sneak a little viewing time in late at night on my phone with my earbuds in.
4. Watch it on the go.
I asked my friends where they watch Netflix and most said through their TV, either directly on a smart TV or with a streaming device like Xbox, Roku, or Apple TV. But many of them also watch it on their phones and tablets when they’re doing things like working out at the gym.
My personal favorite (and one that I’m probably doing as you read this) is downloading a few things from Netflix onto my iPad so that I can watch it on a plane or train. You did know you can do that, right?
I’m currently scheduled to fly from Baltimore to Portland, Oregon and back this week and plan to download and watch The Keepers at my sister’s recommendation. I’m a sucker for true crime stories and this one took place practically in my own backyard.
So how does your household Netflix? How many people and tastes and age ranges do you have to deal with and how do you handle it?
This monthly post is part of my role on the Netflix Stream Team. All thoughts and opinions are my own.