That little box with a glass front has been my friend since I can remember. It kept me company through war movies and cowboys and Indians and mystery movies and even late night black and white shows that were live in the local television station. Television would come on in the morning and shut down at night. There were only a few channels so we watched whatever was available. There were no remotes so you stayed on the same channel rather than get up and go over to the tube and turn the knob. A giant metal pyramid tower that sent a signal was a landmark in the city.
The television presented Howdy Doody dancing on strings, Roy Rogers riding Trigger, and Walter Cronkite announcing the death of a president. In it’s blurry visuals television showed the English invasion and the civil rights movement. The boomers were introduced to classical music through silly animated cartoons.
In ’79 I moved from the little box to a 29” color with a remote control. That was a big time splurge for me. Then, I decided to try out this new cable television thing. Another remote wired to a box and a hole in the wall.
Movies and lots of channels and most important MTV, but soon I found out I was wasting more time searching the increasingly variety of selections and being unsatisfied with the results. When I started watching bad movies in the darkness of the morning only to see how it would end, I decided cut the cord.
So today as television is nothing but background noise until the news comes on or watching a variety of cooking and travel shows but not really hungry or feeling the urge to wander, even it’s constant motion and babble become boring. The latest season of new programs present…
* 2 Broke Girls * 30 Rock * America's Next Top Model * American Horror Story * Aqua Teen Hunger Force * Arrested Development * Arrow * Big Bang Theory, The * Blue Bloods * Bones * Criminal Minds * CSI: Crime Scene Investigation * CSI: Miami * CSI: NY * Desperate Housewives * Dexter * Downton Abbey * Dr. Phil * Frontline * Friday Night Lights * Family Guy * Girlfriends * Glee * Gossip Girl * Hawaii Five-0 * Hell's Kitchen * How I Met Your Mother * Law & Order * Law & Order: Criminal Intent * Law & Order: Special Victims Unit * Law & Order: UK * Modern Family * NCIS * NCIS: Los Angeles * NYPD Blue * Once Upon a Time * Parks and Recreation * Revolution * Saturday Night Live * Two and a Half Men
From what I see there are insulting comedies, bland animations, stress competition shows, bloody court and police shows, and unbelievable fantasy adventures. Then there are sports. It is simple and the gabber-gabber can be turned down so the only action is the ball, whatever size it is. Play a little music over it and it is eye candy.
So I check out the Emmys to see what was the best-of-the-best in television and this is what I found.
DRAMA SERIES: Breaking Bad, AMC
(AMC? I don’t get that channel. Why would I want to watch breaking wind anyway?)
COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family, ABC
(I do get this program, but it is too late for me to watch and it looks formulated)
MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Behind the Candelabra, HBO
(HBO, not getting it, so whoever stars on this series is not in my friends list)
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
(Showtime? What is showtime?)
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
(I know Jeff Daniels, but have never seen the show)
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS
(Cute show, but I don’t relate to the 20 set so…)
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
(Another HBO that I don’t watch. She is a clever actress as I remember from Seinfeld)
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra, HBO
(Liberace with Mike Douglas? I wouldn’t have watched it anyway.. )
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime
(What about the Big D? or the Big Z? Or the Big 9????)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
(Broadwalk empire? Would I want to watch that? I don’t think so.)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
(More praise for a drug dealer? The times they are a changing??)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Tony Hale, Veep, HBO
(Another show making fun of the Vice President of America. As if the news media didn’t do that enough)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, Showtime
(We seem to like nurses. They are caregivers. They are supposed to take the gap between the doctor coming in quickly and giving the shot and the family who don’t know what is going on. I’ve always like nurses.)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals, USA
(Can’t watch animal shows)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
(Why do we watch shows that scare us? There is enough things in reality to scare us without the extra adrenaline rush.)
REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice, NBC
(Hey back to antennae television, but I wouldn’t watch this chatter unless strapped down to a chair)
VARIETY SERIES: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
(Political comedy? It is funny if you believe what they present or you can watch FOX news)
VARIETY SPECIAL: Louis C.K.: Oh My God, HBO
(Have absolutely no idea what this is or about)
DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: House of Cards, Netflix
(My flush beats your two pair)
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family, ABC
(Back to a show I could watch. I’ve seen clips and snips of it. It reminds me of the old “All in the Family”)
DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Behind the Candelabra, HBO
(I’m sure this was very interesting, but again, not within my reach)
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: The Hour, BBC America
(Now this is getting ridiculous. An English channel dedicated to showing an hour? An hour of what?)
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES: Saturday Night Live, NBC
(From what I remember back in the day, this show was fresh and a bit edgy. Today I find it just a formula)
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
(And yet another formula)
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Homeland, Showtime
(Don’t get Showtime so I don’t get Homeland)
WRITING FOR COMEDY SERIES: 30 Rock, NBC
(Understand it is good acting and good writing but it comes on too late for me)
There were probably much more, but as you can see I’m bored with what comes over the airwaves. What is exciting to the visual eye is like what is exciting on the computer screen.
As a society we follow whatever the media trends lead us. A bigger screen must be purchased. A faster connection is a certainty. Connection to all the mobile devices is a necessary. The upgrades must be kept up with to insure the lead in the populace fantasy.
With the constant barrage of request to buy new phones and new cars and some pill that will (maybe) make you feel better than you do now; thank goodness for NPR and PBS. So I missed the end of “Breaking Bad” and even reading the reviews did not understand it. I don’t know what all the fuss is about “Game of Thrones” or even “Homeland” or “The Blacklist”?
Maybe I should just unplug and get a book.