Sometimes that's not a bad thing.
I do a fair amount of culinary work at home, so I might not fit the pattern described, but I had occasion to watch The Food Network a good bit a few years ago. It helped pass the time as I sat with my mom in hospital rooms on a few different occasions, and I recalled that as I perused Mr. Pollan's article.
My mother was a home economics teacher for most of her career, an expert on food preparation, and sewing. Her memory had faded by the time she neared the end of her days, so I sought things that might seem familiar to her such as food preparation.
She never really developed much of an interest in the shows, but I sat watching, whiling those endless hours between doctor visits as she fought one condition or another. In a trapped situation, any diversion becomes more engrossing.
It winds up being an oddly fond memory now that she's about a year gone, not the best of memories by far, but a pleasant moment. Sitting with her, watching Emeril prepare a chicken dish or one of the other hosts dishing pasta or barbecue rubs.
Watching those shows provided peaceful lulls between the strife-filled moments. They were just entertainment, not instructional shows. They were something we could share in a strange way, something my mother might once have appreciated but couldn't fully on her slow journey toward the end.
I printed out some of the recipes from the web later. They're in the folder with all of our recipes, but I've never attempted any of them.