I knit english, it's just what my grandmother taught me. I do knit and watch TV quite often, but it really depends how comfortable I am with the pattern. Lace takes me forever, I can whip up a set of mittens in an evening.
You'll find your stride, it just takes time. Knit at your own speed, your own comfort level, and you'll slowly find the knitting getting faster and easier
If you want to watch TV while knitting, I would just find an easy, repetative project. I even knit at the pub sometimes, but never lace!