I never watched reality shows before I met Adam. He got me started on American Idol, which we watched faithfully for about three seasons before our schedule interfered. He also got me started on Hell's Kitchen.
Last spring, we decided we were watching too much television and we needed to give it up. Ironically, that was the week after Easter. I felt like we spent too many hours simply vegging out in front of the TV and not enough on productive pursuits and interactive involvement as a couple and as a family. So, we threw out our rabbit ears and limited ourselves to watching DVDs.
I knew Adam would be missing the final few episodes of the season for Hell's Kitchen, and I was somewhat bummed on his behalf. I didn't mind watching a carefully selected show or three, it was the mindless evenings we wasted staring at whatever was on that bothered me. About that time, I discovered Hulu. Actually, I'm pretty sure I read about it on a blog somewhere as part of Works for Me Wednesday. I checked out the site and saw that they had episodes of Hell's Kitchen. I e-mailed the link to Adam, telling him I knew he'd really like to see how it all turned out.
He watched the rest on the season online and even began watching a few other shows. Meanwhile, the summer passed and football season started. We repealed the moratorium on television watching and we bought a new set of rabbit ears. We watched football on Sundays (when it was on, *sniff*), but we still don't watch much else on our TV besides movies. Then the new season of Hell's Kitchen came on couple of months ago.
I missed the first episode or two, but one night as Adam was about to start the show, he asked if I'd like to watch it with him. I said, "Sure," and we started watching the rest of the season together. It's become sort of a weekly togetherness ritual for us. On one of the nights that Adam gets home a bit earlier, we put our daughter to bed, snuggle up on the couch in front of the laptop and watch Gordon Ramsay yell at the hapless would-be executive chefs. It's the closest we get to a date night every week.
This isn't the sort of tradition I would have necessarily thought to start, but it's been really fun. We can watch whichever evening is convenient for us, and, best of all, it's free! If we wanted, we could even go all out and eat homemade gourmet popcorn while we watch. Actually, that sounds good. I might have to make some this weekend.