Pop Culture

What I Watched This Weekend: Insomniacs’ Theater

Sometimes I can’t sleep. It’s especially bad over the weekend because I know I don’t have to get up the next morning, so I have less incentive to try to fall asleep. When this happens, I end up watching TV.

Now, you may not know this unless you are a fellow Old, but TV used to end every day. It’s true. You’d be watching, not feeling even a little sleepy, and then the flag would come on the screen and the national anthem would start to play and you had about two more minutes before your screen was nothing but snow. And then you were stuck, thinking “Well, now what do I do?”

These days, that never happens. What with 24 hour programing, DVRs and on demand, one never need go without entertainment. Even if you don’t have cable, there’s Netflix and Hulu and whatnot. There’s always something. Still, I hoard certain shows to watch in the middle of the night, just in case. They are comforting, easy, and in no way scary. Scary shows are the one way to guarantee that I will not be sleeping – possibly ever.

This is my top 5 list of favorite shows to watch when I am suffering from an overabundance of awakeness, all of which I ended up watching after midnight over the weekend:

1. Murder, She Wrote. Seriously, I know you’ve heard it all before, but I really love J.B. Fletcher. And even though it is a crime show and someone always dies, compared to modern crime dramas, nothing really bad ever happens in Cabot Cove. It’s a happy place, where people die soon after talking to dear Jessica. I don’t think I’d ever want to visit, but I love to watch.

2. Phineas and Ferb. It’s the best cartoon in the history of all cartoons. There are none better, except possibly Freakazoid. I always have about half a dozen on the DRV, because I actually like shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, but I need some brain bleach afterward. When the world is too scary, there’s always Agent P.

3. Bonanza. I only recently discovered this show, and it is terrible in so many ways. There’s racism, sexism, and pretty much any other -ism you could think of, but the Cartwright family does its best to be fine, upstanding citizens. It is a veritable cheese buffet and, what can I say, I like me some cheese. Like Cabot Cove, nothing really bad happens on the Ponderosa, and Hoss is like a giant teddy bear who needs a hug.

4. He-Man and She-Ra. In theory, I know these are two different shows, but in practice, it doesn’t matter which one is on. Since Boomerang stopped playing Thundarr the Barbarian and The Pirates of Dark Water, the power twins are satisfying my retro cartoon needs. I miss Thundarr, though. He was my first introduction to post-apocalyptic fiction, and he made a big impression.

5. The A-Team. Not the show, the movie. I’m pretty sure that HBO shows it every night around one o’clock. Whenever Mr. B and I are both up late, he will search the movie channels and, sure enough, it’s there. We always say we’re only going to watch until Sosa says “No, they’re trying to fly that tank,” because it is the best part of the movie, but we almost always end up watching ’til the end. I don’t know what we are going to do when they start playing something else every night.

The runners up in my late night rotation are National Treasure, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Matlock, and anything Star Trek.

So what about you? What are your comfort shows?

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

9 replies on “What I Watched This Weekend: Insomniacs’ Theater”

I have a couple of shows I keep especially for when I can’t sleep: Frasier, Star Trek (Original Series – takes me right back to being nine years old and Sunday afternoon naps) and a series called Supersizers Eat… Basically it’s a food programme in which the two presenters (Sue Perkins and the delicious Giles Coren) try food from different time periods.


Here is the first part of one of my favourite episodes: Medieval. (I hope that link works – I’ve never used that link within a text thing!)

:O I’ve never even heard of those! Are they online? Yes, those two are wonderful together. I must admit…Giles dressed in various period costumes makes for compulsive viewing *happy Matz*

When I can’t sleep and end up flipping on the TV at 3am, I inevitably end up watching either infomercials or the religious channel. Both of these things are endlessly fascinating to me. With the infomercials, I think it is the ZEAL with which the hosts speak – they get SO EXCITED and are SO AMAZED at the fact that they can grill a greasy burrito in 8 minutes by using the whats-it. They’re trying to sell you on it, of course, but something about the frantic grins and really terrible acting just slays me in the middle of the night. And the religious programming that airs in the middle of the night is invariably of the kind where a ranting lunatic slaps some poor soul and clamps them in a headlock while screaming, “You are SAAAAYYYYVED! Ah HEEEEEAL yew!” It just…is fascinating to me, in a “lol wut” type of way.

Agatha Christie’s Marple or Poirot.  Rather like Murder, She Wrote, at least one person always dies, there are always deep, dark secrets, and the crime solved always brings a young couple together (in Marple, at least).  Plus it’s always fun seeing who pops up in them.  Or Sherlock.  Because even if he’s a high-functioning sociopath, he really is quite funny, and everything will be OK in the end.

I LOVE Finneas and Ferb.  I can’t get it on TV so I watch all the episodes on Netflix.  I talked about introducing my son to some Star Trek Next Generation, but he thought it sounded scary.  I am just going to have to put on for us one evening.

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