Why is it that I don’t give a damn about television these days?
Is it me, or is it TV? I think it’s me.
I strive not to be one of those people who drone on and on about how much better stuff was back in the day. I definitely don’t feel that way about television. I watched TV irregularly, and went for long periods without owning a set, before the mid-90s, and although I saw enough of shows such as Star Trek and Seinfeld and other sitcoms and dramas to know what they were about, I’m not nostalgic about any of it.
My TV consumption picked up when I met Zachary, who likes crime dramas and watches a lot of sports. For a decade or more I watched much TV with him, but I’ve lost all interest in the dramas. In sports, I now watch only bike racing and the occasional soccer game.
As for my own favorite TV genres and shows, decades ago I adored Blake’s 7, and I liked Babylon 5 and Firefly, Buffy and Angel. I’ve watched Doctor Who intermittently and enjoyed it, but never so much that I cared whether I saw or missed a particular episode, and it’s fallen off my radar since the end of the Amy and Rory era. There have been and still are shows I like–Archer and Futurama, Community (well, until the last season), documentaries about travel and nature, some of the Masterpiece things–but I no longer feel the urgency and excitement I used to feel when I discovered a new episode of a favorite show. Several recent shows interested me for an episode or two, maybe even a season or two, and then not: Fringe, Dexter, Castle, The Walking Dead.
The same thing has already happened with two new shows I had hoped to like: Agents of SHIELD (boring, too teen-angsty and cutesy) and Sleepy Hollow (biblical horror, yawn, although the Ichabod actor is fun). If I have nothing to do and they’re on Comcast’s On Demand menu for free, I might watch an episode while I eat lunch . . . but I might not.
No compulsion, and I kinda miss it. Maybe I’ll feel it again when Z and I start working our way through Breaking Bad, which we never watched in its run.
Or maybe I’m simply no longer capable of feeling that “must see” excitement. As I mentioned to a friend the other day, the Game of Thrones shows have been amazing, but I never watched past the first half of the first season because I’ve read the books, and it seemed like so many hours of TV to see a story I’d already spent so many hours reading. I watch movies on Netflix, Comcast, and Amazon Prime, but even in that realm my viewing has fallen off a bit in recent years.
Maybe I should regard this lack of enthusiasm as liberating rather than troubling. More time to read and write. Or maybe a new show will come along and reignite it. Unless, that is, I convince Zachary to cut the cable cord completely.