by Andy Dudas-
There are a lot of options when it comes to our viewing choices. Streaming movies, DVD movies, even VHS for some still I bet. And then there is even the old brick and mortar cinema. Television shows offer up equally if not more options. To name a few – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube Red, and of course the old TV sets with their aging broadcast fare. Sites like Twitch provide live streaming services for an entire community of users ranging from makers and gamers to artists and talk shows. And of course YouTube offers up all of its user content…I’m looking at you Peter Brown!
Thousands, if not millions of opportunities exist every single minute of every single day. “What do I watch? Do I want to get personally invested in a show? How much of my time am I willing to risk on a show that I have no clue if it’s worth a damn?”
Binge watching…the new American pastime. For us, we tend to radiate toward classic TV shows. M*A*S*H, Star Trek(TOS), The Wonder Years, and The Cosby Show(which involved many conversations wondering whether or not we could watch Bill Cosby and not feel wrong by doing so-in the end we tend to separate the art from the artist-so yes we can watch Bill Cosby) have been our most recent trips down nostalgia lane. But we have also found some newer options and have had some wonderful results with the likes of Scrubs, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And some builder/reality programming holds a lot of interest to us as well(cough, Mythbusters).
Opting for older shows that have already ended their run, we have the benefit of history showing us at the very least the longevity of any particular show. As to whether or not we will actually like it is still up in the air. But for shows that are still in production…I am left to wonder how is it possible that a show can be considered good, as being popular is NOT the same thing, and run for so long that I have never watched even a few seconds of it.
Breaking Bad was on for 6 seasons, 62 episodes…never saw even one second of any of them. That show won like 15 Emmys. FIFTEEN!!! NCIS has been on since 2003. They have made over 340 episodes. I have seen none of them and surprisingly they have never won an Emmy and only had 3 nominations. That’s kind of hard to believe. 8 seasons and over 100 episodes of the Walking Dead since 2010 and I still haven’t got around to watching it. Grey’s Anatomy has been on for 14 seasons, to the tune of over 300 episodes and if it weren’t for the spelling, for all I know this is a show about an exhuming and subsequent autopsy of the late American author Spalding Gray.
Films are no different. Since 2004 there have been 8 installments in the Saw movie franchise. Over the last thirteen years there have been 9 motion pictures with the name ‘Madea’ in the title. From 2002 through 2017 we saw 5 titles each introduced from Pirates of the Caribbean and Ice Age. For crying out loud, in a stretch from 1984 to 1994 there were 7 Police Academy movies produced! Of everything I have just mentioned, I think have seen 3.
Since 2002 there have been more than 20 Marvel superhero films released. At least Star Wars has had the decency to take 40 years to release what will be their ninth film in just over a month. James Bond/007’s 25 films in just over 54 years gets due credit for most films in a franchise. While Star Trek, the mother of all franchises has produced 13 movies and a total of 713 episodes over 7 different TV programs since first hitting the airwaves in 1966 and one still has one in production.
Where does all of that lead us? What in the hell am I supposed to be watching? Not to mention all of this has been made all the more confusing when my cable provider just recently rearranged my channel order. Or at the very least, I have managed to enter an option on my remote that moved everything around and I am not smart enough to know that I have done so and if that is the case I wouldn’t be savvy enough to correct it anyway.
While some of the titles/franchises I have already listed are nothing I have any interest in participating in, obviously there are a great many people who choose to do so. I suppose it all comes down to what you define as ‘worthy of watching.’ How do any of us define what we want to watch? Single people have a different take on this than those who live with a partner and those who live with children. Finding something everyone can agree on could become quite the difficult task when you are figuring you may have as many as 5 or 6 different sets of preferences and ages. But then again the average American household has nearly seven different screens to choose from ranging from TVs to tablets, so maybe getting everyone to agree on what to watch is a thing of the past.
Then there are those shows and films that when you are dialing around, when you come across them you stop what you are doing and you will watch it to the end. No matter what it is. We all have those favorites, for better or worse that we are compelled to watch. It doesn’t matter at what point you find it: in the middle, near the beginning…YOU ARE GOING TO FINISH THIS SHOW! For me this includes, Road House, any Rocky, probably SpongeBob and Armageddon.
There are no absolutes when it comes to any Art form. A favorite of yours may be something I hate and vice versa. Crime, reality, drama, sports, comedy, politics, sci-fi, military, courtroom, animated, anime, competition, hospital, documentary, mockumentary, sports entertainment, DIY, news, religion…the genres are endless. And that to me is what Art should be about. What ever you want it to be.
So…what do we watch?
Andy Dudas 11/7/2017
Andy Dudas has interests varying from painting and singing, to photography and prop making. Pretty much anything that has a creative element. Amateur status in all endeavors, he finds art everywhere he looks. Always seeking his next inspiration.