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I Am Thomas Magnum


When we first became serious about this debt reduction thang we decided that cutting out cable would be an easy first step.  Honestly, it wasn’t just about saving money though.  I had become more and more unhappy with the type of things my girls were watching, and the shows my husband and I watched had to be viewed when the girls were out of earshot.  They watched a lot of Disney, which sounds like it would be okay, but the more I paid attention to the Disney channel the more I noticed an unsettling theme.  On all the shows that my girls watched the parents were made out to be bumbling fools that the children could “get one over on”.  There are a dozen other reasons I didn’t care for cable but the bare bones of it is that it seemed like getting rid of it could benefit us both monetarily and keep our girls from getting messages that we didn’t care for.

The cable package we had was pretty basic and cost about $65 a month.  After we got rid of the cable we relied on Netflix and Redbox for our television. There is still stuff on Netflix that I don’t want them watching but I feel, somehow, like I’m more aware of what they are watching and can put a stop to things I don’t like sooner than I did before.  It’s been almost a year of being cable free and it’s worked fairly well.  My girls had Disney withdrawals for a few weeks but then settled into the Netflix offerings and were pretty satisfied.

It started out innocently enough.  We’d watch Family Ties or My Little Pony.  Then, the unimaginable happened.  My husband started watching Magnum, P.I..  Do ya’ll know how many episodes there are of Magnum, P.I.? A lot.  We watched a couple of episodes every single night for, I swear, at least a couple of months. I’m all for 80’s television but, oh my goodness.

Picture this:  it’s Easter, a couple of weeks ago, and there are children playing, adults sneaking candy out of aforementioned childrens’ baskets, and everyone having a wonderful time.  Then, all the kids start playing with some play mustaches that they got in their baskets.  It’s all fun and games until I see this:


and I hear, “No, I am Thomas Magnum!!!”  Ya’ll, my 11 and 8 year old daughters both had mustaches on and were arguing over who looked more like Thomas Magnum.  At one point my oldest daughter yelled “Higgins!” to prove that she was the one that was the most worthy.  The other kids were so confused.

Now I ask you, is it worth $65 a month to have your children turn into Tom Selleck impersonators?  My husband thinks so, and I grudgingly agree.



  • Reply Alice |

    Love, love, love this story! What an awesome way to show how saving money is beneficial in more ways than one.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thanks, Alice. Kids are often much more entertaining than television!

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    Oh my gosh…too funny!!! Rather they be Thomas Magnum than some of the “Disney Stars” of today. Just another added benefit in your debt reduction quest.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Love Netflix! We marathoned Cheers, then Frasier and are now working through Law & Order SVU.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      We are working through House right now. I find we watch tv a little more purposefully now, if that makes sense.

  • Reply Theresa |

    ha-ha! I think you are okay until your husband starts wearing short shorts like Thomas Magnum.

  • Reply Cathy D. |

    Thanks for sharing this Stephanie! I have had such a difficult time convincing my husband to get rid of cable. He’s a huge college football fan and has turned my kids into fans as well. Needless to say, we also do not like the choices available today and he has begun recording Hogan’s Heros and he’s seen them all at least three or four times. Maybe I can turn him onto Magnum P.I.?

    • Reply Walnut |

      Cathy, have you considered working out a compromise? We are huge college football/college basketball fans, but we are looking into suspending our Dish subscription for the summer months. In fact, effective today we will try to suspend it until kickoff Saturday. After all, summer is for being outside – not watching TV!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Is there a way to watch sports online? My husband doesn’t really watch them so I’m not sure. He loves him some Magnum P.I. though!

      • Reply Cathy D. |

        That seems to be my biggest problem. If I give up cable for the summer, how will they watch Wimbledon? They’re not daytime TV watchers, but at night our family spends our time together watching something. We love Netflix and that’s a regular with us, but how would they watch Wimbledon and the US Open? Then in August it’s college football all weekend long!

        • Reply Stephannie |

          I would have thought there would be a way to watch sports online. That makes it a lot harder for people who like to watch sports to get rid of their cable.

  • Reply emmi |

    That is hilarious!

    When I need to zone out I’ve been watching Cheers from the beginning. HOly mother there are a lot of episodes of that. 11 seasons of 22 episodes.

So, what do you think ?