Saturday, September 17, 2022

Binging TV

I won't bury the lede: I don't want to binge-watch TV.

I wonder how this became not just a thing, but, apparently, the thing. On Nick at Nite, you can cycle through all ten seasons of Friends in a couple of months. On FETV, Perry Mason is on four times each weekday. On Decades, at two episodes per weeknight, you can get through all of The Dick Van Dyke Show in about four months. Which means that I'm watching shows today that I just saw in May.

The binge concept is pervasive. Buzzr programs old game shows like Classic Concentration and Super Password in gigantic chunks, many episodes every day.

Not to mention that the relatively few older shows that are deemed worthy of re-running these days (e.g., Golden Girls, Two and a Half Men, Wagon Train (!)) are on multiple networks, multiple times a day, ad infinitum.

You would think with all the programs that have been on TV over the past 70+ years that a bit more variety could be mustered.

My own dream idea would be for a network like Decades to run a different slate of shows each night of the week, with each slate drawing from a single decade. For example, Monday night could be "50's" night, with episodes of Sgt Bilko, Our Miss Brooks, I Love Lucy, The Danny Thomas Show, and Leave it to Beaver (or whatever). Tuesdays could be "60's" nights (Get Smart, Bewitched, etc.). And so on.

It would be even cooler to re-create actual lineups from the past: I would totally watch an evening of 1973-74 Saturday night TV: All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show.

And once a week per show is plenty. When I see the same episodes over and over and over again, I get tired of them. Real tired. I would much prefer to savor these old favorites.

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