Watching TV working from home without driving yourself crazy

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You’re working from home, which, lucky you, you get to work from home, with so many others furloughed.

You need noise in the background to replace the loss of social activity, so, you turn the TV on.

Except that: the TV news is sensational.

You try sports. The sports people are just as bad.

And if you try to watch classic games, all that does is depress you, because it reminds you of what you’re missing.

Even The Weather Channel is giving updates every 10 minutes.

You need an escape, you can’t binge-watch while you’re working, and you’ve already listened to your 1,500-song list on your favorite music app 20 times through.

Let me help.

Suggestions for background noise on the TV

I’m generally at my desk by 8 a.m. A couple of good options for the morning:

“Seinfeld,” TBS, Tuesday-Friday, 8-10 a.m. Not sure why they do a longer block of “Everybody Loves Raymond” on Mondays. I don’t love “Raymond.” Four episodes of “Seinfeld” is a good way to get the day started.

“Friends,” TBS, weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I liked “Friends” back in the 1990s. Not as much these days, but, it’s there.

“Dog Whisperer,” National Geographic Wild, weekdays, 7 a.m. to noon. This has become a go-to of late for me. I’d been running my course on “Seinfeld” lately, and I’m a dog guy. And you can actually learn something from this, on those moments when you get caught up in what Cesar Millan is up to.

So, I’ve got you to lunchtime.

“The Golden Girls,” CMT, weekdays, noon-4 p.m. This is one that you’d never guess in a million years would be up my alley, but then, you wouldn’t know that I spent the bulk of my teen years with my grandparents. Every Saturday night, after “Hee Haw,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” the highlight of the weekend was: “Golden Girls.” Note to those who went to high school with me and barely knew me: this is why. Note: there’s also a 7-10 a.m. weekday block of “Golden Girls” on Hallmark Channel.

“The Simpsons,” FreeForm, weekdays, 4-7 p.m. I’ve gone back and forth between “Simpsons” and “South Park,” but it’s become clear the past couple of weeks of being stuck at home: “Simpsons” is a couple of heads and sets of shoulders better. Great background distraction, and with 31 seasons of material, you’re almost always going to see one you haven’t seen in a while. Note: FXX also has a “Simpson” block weekdays from 5-8 p.m.

Check your local listings

Occasionally you can get lucky. One day this week, I found a random block of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” one of my favorites from the 1980s and 1990s.

Other good finds can include blocks of “World’s Dumbest” on truTV, “The Office” on Comedy Central, which, on that topic, could do a better job of being consistent with its blocks of “Office,” “Parks and Rec” and “South Park.”

I don’t want to have to think that much.

You know, trying to get work done, and stay sane, and the rest.

If you’ve got good suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

Story by Chris Graham


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