I've always listened to TV while I sew and for a long time I thought I hated to do things without the TV on. After moving to our off-the-grid home, where we schedule our TV watching around having the power on or off, I discovered that it's actually the opposite--I hate to watch TV without doing something. I stockpile handwork to keep me busy while I watch--hand sewing, crocheting, knitting. I can't do handwork during depressing shows, because I associate whatever I'm watching with the finished product and who wants to think dour thoughts while wearing something they've made? Since I can't do handwork during depressing shows, I don't watch them. I think this has given me a cheerier outlook on life--something one needs when teaching junior high school.
I made my daughter a large single crochet afghan after she graduated college. It took me over a year to finish it and when I mailed it to her, I included a note that said, "There are hours of So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, Project Runway and Justified in this blanket." And there were--single crochet is not a speedy process when one is making a blanket.
After the year-long afghan was done, I had nothing to do because none of my sewing projects involved hand sewing, and watching TV with idle hands wasn't working. I missed my crochet hook. Therefore I had to buy eighty dollars worth of yarn and make a two-year afghan. Ah, the shows I watched during that one...
Do you need to do something while you watch TV? Or are you like my husband and happy to just kick back and focus only on the action on the screen?