TV. I don’t watch much of the stuff anymore. This wasn’t always the case. As a kid growing up in the 1970’s I got to enjoy what truly has to be considered the Golden Age of television programming. I was there, perched on my parent’s sofa watching raptly as shows like “Happy Days”, “The Brady Bunch”, “Barney Miller”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Welcome Back Kotter” and “WKRP In Cincinnati” made pop culture history. I was there watching as Billy Crystal portrayed the first openly gay character in television history on “Soap” and, less awesomely, as John Ritter pretended to be gay on “Three’s Company” so he could cohabitate with Suzanne Sommers and Joyce DeWitt. I heard Archie Bunker make history of another sort as his flushing toilet shocked and outraged the more prudish viewers of “All In The Family” viewers across America. I guess it did seem kind of risque at the time. I saw “The White Shadow”, “Starsky and Hutch”, “Laverne And Shirley” and so many more. It was definitely a more innocent time.
My family joined the hordes of people who chose to “cut the cord” recently. After decades of having cable and/or satellite service, I finally got so fed up with having hundreds of channels and still finding nothing worth watching that I canceled the whole thing. Goodbye, Direct TV! Goodbye, satellite TV bills! At first, I was actually worried that I would miss having access to all that programming. Nothing could be further from the truth! We now use Netflix and Amazon Prime instead, and if I thought I could do it without my family staging some sort of violent uprising I’d cancel Netflix, too. Prime has tons of free movies and programs.
The trouble is, I’m too busy actually doing things to watch a lot of television. Between work, household chores, raising kids, being a husband, and an endless litany of interests and hobbies I don’t find much time for it. A lot of my friends are deeply into television. The discuss the latest happenings on “The Walking Dead”, “Game Of Thrones” and other popular programs with great excitement. These folks can talk for hours about what’s happening on these shows. It seems like TV is as much a social phenomenon as it is an art form or entertainment medium. These shows seemingly exist primarily to give people something to talk about, or post about on social media.
It’s all lost on me, as I just don’t give a shit. The only thing I really miss about TV is live sports when something big is happening like the Super Bowl, the Olympics or the World Cup. Or election night coverage. I have zero interest in what’s happening on contemporary television shows. I try. Really, I do! I have given several shows that people assured me were really good a chance. I was promised that “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” was hilarious. I have some bad news, Kimmy. Your show is fucking horrible. “The Big Bang Theory” is supposed to be amazing. Sadly, it too sucks big donkey balls. None of the shows I’m told are wonderful are funny, engaging, or entertaining. At all.
I think maybe I watched so much TV as a kid that now I am just over it. Perhaps my brain, exposed to so much legitimately awesome television back in the good old days, developed an immunity to the so-called “entertainment” that is currently being peddled on TV. As a result, I am physically unable to enjoy the second-rate pablum being foisted on the public as quality programming.
TV, I’m sorry. I’ve decided to see other people. It’s not you, it’s me.
It’s totally me.
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