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I started this challenge on a Friday. After leaving work, I took the subway into Brooklyn and got my first tattoo. One day without Netflix had made me a true rebel. (Not really — I'd been planning to get it before I knew I'd be doing the challenge.) It did keep me occupied, though, so I didn't miss streaming services yet.
When I started the no-streaming month, Shonda Rhimes' new TV show, The Catch, had just started. If I had been able to go home to Hulu, I probably would have watched the first couple of episodes (though I have to say, I wasn't terribly compelled by this trailer). I'm really into Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, though, so…
I should note here that I'm a true introvert — social activities tend to require energy from me, rather than providing me with it. A few lunches, dinners, and phone calls a week are enough for my social needs, and the majority of the other times, I'm watching TV. That is to say: Day Two was a Saturday, I had nothing planned for myself, and not being able to stream anything was alarming.
My Saturday mornings are typically spent enjoying a leisurely brunch at home and watching Hulu or Netflix. Since I couldn't do that, I decided to see a matinee showing of The Boss. I won a fairly generous Fandango gift card in a contest last year, so I've seen a lot of free movies in the last few months.
When The Boss was over, I was dismayed to see it was still early afternoon. What was I going to do with the rest of my day? I panicked and used my contest gift code to buy a ticket for Zootopia at the same theater. The sad part was that my fiancé and I had already seen Zootopia a couple weeks earlier.
It didn't take much contemplation on the walk home from the theater to second-guess taking on this assignment. The "I Have Friends" song from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came to mind. Was this article going to read as a cry for help from a TV addict so lonely she had nothing better to do than keep seeing a children's movie? (When I got home, I proceeded to fall into a rabbit hole of watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs on YouTube, because Rachel Bloom is a true genius.)
The Zootopia situation was a true wake-up call. I needed a plan for this whole month-without-streaming challenge. I realized I had been looking at it all wrong. I didn't have to become a social butterfly, per se — I could use the TV streaming time to pursue other entertainment interests.
I almost never read for fun these days, and actually working through some of the books in my bookcase sounded pretty satisfying. So, that morning, I started with a copy of How to Be Single that I'd taken off the free table at work. (It's not a great book or a great movie, tbh.)
Later that day, I went to the Met Breuer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new space at the former Whitney Museum — something I definitely wouldn't have done had streaming been an option. While I was there, I saw Allan McLeod, immediately recognizing him as Paul from You're the Worst. I have no shame when it comes to celebrity sightings, so I asked him for a selfie, and he obliged. I couldn't rewatch any old episodes, of course, but seeing him in person was almost as good!
When I started this challenge, I honestly believed The CW was a cable channel. I usually watch Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend the Tuesdays after they air on Hulu. So I missed this week's episodes, even though I later realized I could have watched them on a local New York channel. I could have actually seen what happened at Jane's bachelorette party, after all! But alas, I did not.
The next day at work, I overheard a few of my coworkers debating whether "Oh My God I Think I Like You" was the best song to air on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, yet. I watched the video — and the one for, "I Gave You a UTI" — on YouTube later that night. I wish I'd seen the context of the episode, but it's a pretty great song. (My personal favorite, though, is still "Put Yourself First.")