When I was a kid I loved prime-time network television shows. Sitcoms mostly, but I’d also watch stuff like 20/20 with my parents, and fell in love with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” when it started.
In high school I’d be up late on Sunday nights trying to do a week’s worth of journaling for my English class in a single night, and would leave the TV on well after the latest episode of “The Simpsons” had finished. That way I discovered a few of the Star Trek shows, which were on in syndication, as well as Seinfeld, which I never actually watched in its prime-time slot.
Anyway, I took a lot of comfort in TV, and then after breaking up with a girlfriend in 2011 who was a casting agent, with whom I watched lots of TV and movies, I quit TV and focused almost exclusively on books and music as media to consume. TV was great if you had a job and had to find a way to numb yourself on the couch after your workday was over, but I had quit my job and was just playing music for hours every day at that point.
Cut to November 2018, when I was coming down with a respiratory infection, living with my brother and his wife in Buffalo with no car, no job, no money, etc. Well TV and I became very quickly acquainted again, and since then I’ve developed a new appreciation for it. It helps that there re loads of streaming services where you can watch pretty much whatever your mood dictates (as opposed to having to download season after season of “Lost” on bit torrent, only to be devastatingly disappointed by the ending). Anyway, I watched a lot of stuff that fall, and continued once I moved to Memphis in 2019. That was a rough year, but one of the few things I had to distract me from my misery while I got my life together was the abundance of TV that I had access to without paying anything.
Anyway, I just finished ”Leaving Neverland”, which is a two part documentary on some of the kids that Michael Jackson abused. Definitely not comforting, but kind of crucial given how important a cultural figure he is, and was for me growing up (I still think Prince is a more powerful artistic force). Anyway, that’s on HBO so you gotta pay the big bucks.
I’ve also discovered a new favorite show which is pure escape and hilarity. ”Still Game” is the most popular TV show in the history of Scotland, and the first eight (out of nine) seasons are on Netflix and I am obsessed. Of course you have to watch it with subtitles on because you’ll have no clue what they’re saying half the time, but you’ll also learn tons of new and hilarious Scottish slang.
What should I watch next?