I have a problem these days. Let it be known this is not a serious problem; it’s actually a pretty great problem. It’s a geek problem. It’s not meant to be taken seriously or compared to like…real problems. I actually love having this problem. I just have too many things to watch, TV in particular. The emergence of geek culture into the true mainstream over the course of this past decade or so has really flooded the airwaves and movie theaters with tons and tons of genre shows and films, and they’re raking in the big bucks. It’s pop culture. It’s the norm.
Seeing people of all ages and backgrounds wearing superhero t-shirts in public is not a rarity by any means. It feels…odd. There’s no sign of slowing down any time soon, either. I think a lot of it is simply the fact that the technology is there to make these fantastical and far-fetched realities come to life. Even most of the TV shows with much smaller budgets are churning out impressive effects on a weekly basis. Just look at The Flash or The Walking Dead, for example. Droves of people are watching these shows and heading out to theaters for these movies and tuning into and/or recording these shows. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Therein lies “the problem”.
You see, I’ve become something of a slave to my TV/DVR. I have to include DVR here because I very rarely watch anything live when it actually airs. My DVR and I have a very complex relationship. We usually get along fairly well, because I watch most shows within a day or two. Other times its hard drive becomes large and bloated like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life, threatening me with the likes of “I can’t take one more show, I’m absolutely stuffed.” I haven’t reached that threat of explosion just yet, but it’s always ominously looming.
While I do watch a good deal of shows on my own, I also watch a decent amount with my fiancée. So sometimes coordinating that can be a little challenging. As a result, things can really start to pile up. Pretty soon, you’re 2-3 deep in episodes of Legends Of Tomorrow or Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. How did this happen?? We don’t even have any kids either, so what’s our excuse? It’s not like we’re super active socially either. We’re both homebodies for the most part. I’m also not one of those people who can multitask and watch a few things at the same time one their TV and iPad, etc. – I need to give whatever I’m watching my full attention.
Another aspect of this that needs to be pointed out, is that it seems like when one show ends, two more are coming back. The days are gone where you can count on a summer break. That’s not really a thing anymore. Shows now run year-round with different start dates. Breaks for a few months are especially popular on the cable channels.
I now have to keep a spreadsheet to track of what shows are currently airing and when they are expected to return. It’s almost a necessity. I just can’t keep track of it all. I also need some heavy convincing if I’m going to take on a new show. You have to sell it to me and make it damn convincing. If the show is a few seasons in, I just have to go back and watch them all from the start so I can get caught up. Jumping right in where it is currently is not an option for me.
Another wrench that gets thrown in the gears is the proliferation of original streaming programming on services like Netflix, which encourages long and unhealthy binge-watching for sycophants such as myself. When the complete season of episodes are uploaded to the service and are available instantly, how can you NOT watch them all in quick succession? It’s nigh impossible. Of course while this binge-watching is occurring, the conveyor belt of regular TV does not stop. It just accumulates on the DVR. Ugh.
All of this TV has definitely had impacts on my other interests and hobbies. For instance, I hardly read anymore. I have piles of great books that I’ve gotten for gifts or bought for myself over the past few years and I’ve barely skimmed through them. It’s deplorable. I have a series that I’ve been reading since I was 18 with new books coming out once a year or so and I’m now three full books behind. I usually consume them as soon as I get them. Oh, and that video game I got for Christmas? (it’s now late April) I haven’t even started it yet. Again, another release in a series that I usually fly through. It’s pretty much the only game I play.
Still, I will continue the fight. I will falter and fall to my knees, but in the long run I will come out of this on top. I will prevail.