I never get tired of having friends and colleagues tell me about new TV shows. With all the new shows, stations, and streaming services (not to mention web series) out there, it’s difficult to keep track of all the new programming. At the same time though, the sheer number of new shows makes it impossible for me (or anyone else for that matter) to watch them all. So as a public service, let me tell you I’m sure your favorite show is awesome but don’t feel bad if I don’t watch it or even try watching it. This probably applies to your friends too although you may have a snob or two among them that refuse to watch anything with an audience over four people. “I liked that public access show featuring real-time plant growth until the producers sold out.”
The days of three networks airing a handful of shows every night are long gone. Even Bruce Springsteen’s “57 Channels and Nothing’s On” is quaint. Just as Gene Simmons sang, “So many girls, so little time,” there’s just too much out there. Even binge watching won’t put a dent in TV’s vast array of programs (notice I didn’t use Newton Minow’s terminology). Even an Olympic-level coach potato doesn’t stand a chance of taking it all in.
While TV has always copied other successful shows (and to be fair, this happens with any form of entertainment be it music, film, books, or TV) it’s so easy to do so now and almost necessary to fill up airtime. Like zombies? We have The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, iZombie, and Z Nation. Like superheroes? We have the CW which currently hosts Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (with Black Lightning scheduled for 2018). Netflix has its Marvel series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. Personally, I love comic book adaptations, particularly TV series that can spend time building up characters and story arcs in a way that’s impossible in a single film. However, I have to pick and choose and barring the addition of eight hours in a day, I’m never going to see any episodes of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD or Legion for that matter. Although I would watch Gotham if the show featured a certain Caped Crusader rather than everyone but him.
So, please tell me about your favorite show. I started watching Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia because people told me how good they were. I’m tempted to tune in to The Leftovers and Longmire too should some time open up. Sadly, there’s just not enough time to watch it all. I’m sure you watch some great shows and I appreciate you telling me about them but don’t feel bad if I don’t tune in.