A short story about lazy Jewish consumer behavior and HBO


When we moved to our house in May, Mr. B and I were given the option to get a free trial of HBO and Cinemax with our Verizon FIOS subscription.

“We’ll cancel it when it’s up in August,” I said, because there is no way I was going to pay for whatever HBO and Cinemax cost.  I don’t even know what they cost per month.  All I know is that they’re not free, which means my Jewish brain says, “Cancel.”

The problem is that once you have HBO, you don’t want to go back to not having HBO. Not because HBO is so great, although I’d have to say that Big Love, The Sopranos, and Curb Your Enthusiasm are my favorite television shows because they are full of complexity and depth that mainstream shows don’t have. The problem is that there is absolutely nothing to watch on the 5934589 channels that we have, except Anthony Bourdain on Monday nights on Travel.  I can watch, like, 10 No Reservations episodes in a row because I feel that they teach me something.

I hate watching sitcoms at the time they’re supposed to be on because watching TV on schedule when there’s Hulu and DVR and Amazon and iTunes and *cough* other means of obtaining TV shows WITHOUT ads is for freiers.

But HBO always has something cool on.  Usually, though, it’s the same cool thing a couple days in a row.  But you’ll still watch it because it’s better than all of the other channels. Also, you’ll keep it on for background noise if your husband isn’t home because you are terrified of your house ever since The Incident.

So lately, for example, I’ve seen Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Junior maybe 7 times part of the way through.  Mr. B has watched parts of The A Team at least twice.  And together we’ve seen Men in Black in fragments at least 3 times from the part where Will Smith goes into the woman’s house and she tells her story and he flashy-things her and he’s like, “And you need to get an interior decorator in here quick, cause…damn.” Kills me every time.

As a result, life is passing me by.  There are new experiences I could be having, other things I could be doing, even new, interesting non-mainstream movies I could be watching, but instead I’m watching the same stuff all the time.  Every time Mr. B turns on Bad Boys 2 (“We ride together, we die together. “), I make a mental note to cancel not only HBO, but also our entire cable subscription and buy a Roku box.

And then I watch Will Smith drive the van with the dead bodies full of cocaine for the fifth time and it’s totally worth it.