This is Not Your Parents TV.
Surprise! This Might be a Golden Age for TV.
I have friends who proudly proclaim they watch no TV. Some even make a point of saying they do not own one. On the one hand, I can understand that. There is a lot of junk on TV. There always has been. But there are also amazing feats of programing going on today. My biggest problem is not avoiding the junk. The problem is catching, or even knowing about, all the good stuff that is out there.
If we are going to talk about this, we should have clarity in our definitions.
“Watching TV” used to mean watching something on one of three commercial networks, and eventually a public network, at prescribed times. Those days are long gone.
Those same four players are still present and influential. But they have been joined by dozens of other providers. There are premium (pay per view) outlets such as HBO and Showtime. There are countless specialty and narrowly focused networks (DIY, Food, etc.). DVRs and various boxes such as Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV open the door to hundreds of offerings, anytime you wish.
Of course, you don’t actually need a TV to watch most of this. You can also watch it on a computer, tablet, even your smart phone. I expect those with super vision will start watching it on their smart watches any day now.
Amazon, Netflix, and Apple are pouring billions of dollars into original programming. So much is being produced that it’s like a wild game of darts. Shots are landing all over the place. Some of this stuff is terrible, some is forgettable. Much of it is excellent by any standard.
Game of Thrones reinvented the drama model. How about The Vikings, Handmaidens Tale, and Breaking Bad? Or True Blood, Preacher, The Americans, and hundreds more? The Big Bang is still great comedy with every episode. The Science Channel is a constant marvel and a visual feast. On a more mundane level, How Things Work and How Do They Make That? satisfies the handyman in me to no end.
I became hooked a year or so ago on something I get on my computer, Curiosity.com (https://curiosity.com). For a couple of bucks a month, I can watch at any time great educational, scientific, historical programs. Now that same amazingly cheap subscription gives me access to a tv network, Curiosity Streaming (https://curiositystream.com/), with enough material to keep me engaged for years. Anytime I want to watch something, I tune them in and find a winner. There are programs and topics I never even thought about but now enjoy.
If you are not cruising via your TV, your smart tv, and your computer, you have no idea what you are missing. There are programs out there worth your time and attention. There are programs your kids could benefit from as well. Look around a bit more. Treasures await you.
How about you, dear reader? What are your favorites these days? Any that are gone you would love to see come back? It’s showtime!
If you find this blog worthy of your time and curiosity, I invite you to do two things:
(1) Join the conversation. Your voice counts here.
(2) Share the word about this post with friends and colleagues. Share a link in your emails and social media posts. Let’s grow our circle.