I wasn't a snob about not watching much television. It was just something I warned people about when they started to talk about characters on a show. Someone told me I'd like The Sopranos,so I got the discs from Netflix, which was fun because the show had been on for fours years. I watched a couple of episodes per night until I caught up -- no commercials to interrupt the rhythm. It is pretty upsetting to hear Nina Simone music used to sell a car so I love not watching ads. The marathon watching of The Sopranos made me a tad cynical about the world and there were a couple of nightmares, but it was a great show. Up until August of 2011, I was just watching three shows on Hulu: Louie, 30 Rock and The Real Housewives of New York and as a writer, I was focused on the rhythm of speech and conflicts between characters. Housewives I watched briefly for a play I was working on.
I like to listen to a story before I see it and that doesn't happen with television. I listen to a lot of podcasts and talk radio and make short films in my head to accompany the text. Real life films are too expensive to make and the equipment is heavy. . . And you need a driver's license and a car and a crew.
Writing is the intellectual equivalent of running - low startup costs and all you need to do is pace yourself and have a high threshold for pain.
Someone told me to watch The Wire - gonna look into that.