The Golden Age of TV

There’s never been this much good TV on so many different channels and platforms ever. I love some of the classic shows but the sheer volume of high-quality tv nowadays is mind-boggling. In terms of quality, tv is handing movies their ass. I grew up watching mainstream movies. I used to love them.

And I still love going to the movie theater. It’s my temple. It’s literally the last activity I engage in that I’m not trying to do something else at the same time. If I’m driving I’m listening to a podcast. If I’m eating dinner I’m watching Hulu and working on job research (I have a really big monitor so I can side by side). If I’m out with friends I’m secretly sneaking a peek at my phone to write down blog ideas in case they come to me. Shit, even when I’m on the can I’m reading the news on my phone or scrolling through my Facebook feed.

But now I’d say I can only tolerate watching about 1 out of 15 mainstream movies released. The shot is overflowing. Just like our medical system, I don’t think the right people are making the important decisions anymore. Just like doctors have to jump through bullshit insurance company constraints and crazy facility quotas for procedures so they can’t just simply do what they think is actually best for their patient, I think studios are increasingly relying on algorithms and accountants and what they think would translate well to the foreign box office. It’s not that studios haven’t always been in it for money. I’m not naive. But I’d say in the last ten years the greed has gone off the rails and the quality has plummeted. Before these dark times, studios took chances on original stories and odd stories and they just focused on making them WELL because, surprises, the movie-watching public responds to quality stuff. It doesn’t just respond to formulaic shit.

Besides the quality of movies being so bad the experience now is schizophrenic. The advent of reserved seating is great. Have you been to one of those theaters where they have the lazy boy sized seats that you can extend all the way out? That’s amazing. And the sound and effects are always improving.

But what makes it dissonant is that people have lost most of their basic manners. I know I sound like a grumpy old man. But that’s just not true. I’m a grumpy middle-aged man. Nowadays everyone is texting or talking on their phone or talking to each other or letting their baby scream or just being teenagers, who are generally the most loathe some creatures on the planet. The people aren’t so bad at the indie theaters or the theaters ignored by teenagers but even they talk frequently and treat the theater like it’s their living room. It sucks.

With tv more and more stars are flocking to it and more and more creative stories are being told. As opposed to movies, the tv universe isn’t beholden to the foreign box office or an insane overuse of focus groups to find the least common denominator. Tv shows are cooler if they’re smarter and weirder. Most people look down on network tv because it’s viewed as safe and mainstream. And it’s forced the networks to start upping their game.

And you get to watch from the comfort of your home. With no Assholes around. That’s a big plus.

For over a year all I did was watch tv. It’s all I could do. I was a zombie. I’m thankful there was so much good stuff to watch. I wouldn’t say I was enjoying it though. Even though I was watching excellent storytelling I found almost no joy in it. But I guess it was enough to keep me numb and distracted enough to avoid making horrible choices.

What do I watch? Send me what you watch. I probably watch it already but you never know!

My jams:

I’m on Hulu+, Netflix and my Amazon Prime subscription includes a shit ton of content, too. Also since I would volunteer to be Kristen Bell’s gimp, I also use go90 to get my Veronica Mars fix. Oh, and I might have access to CBS’ new streaming-only content to watch Star Trek: Discovery (I’m a casual Trek fan but this show is the f*cking sh*t! Fun as hell and well done in almost every way). Oh right I also pay protection money to PBS to get my Downton Abbey and Ken Burns fix (if you want your f*cking hair blown back, watch the Vietnam 10 part series. Let me put it like this: a lot of people think Trump is evil. I know I do. He’s not even minor league compared to LBJ and Nixon. He’s t-ball.). Oh, and I got access to all the premium cable networks’ streaming sites, too (I rewatch the Wire in its entirety once a year and Insecure is way overrated and overhyped but it is very good and it’s going places most shows are not. Also, the Harry Potter and LOTR flicks are imminently rewatchable- especially if you’re only wanting to have some tv on the side while you’re working on something else.) showtime has a couple new sweet joints now too but i’mma stop now cuz this has officially become the world’s longest and most annoying diatribe. Did I mention I didn’t leave my room for over a year cuz I was in a severe depressive episode? Probably TMI but just trying to say that every cloud has a silver lining!

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