Last night, I had a moment. I realized, I’m not writing anymore. Why am I not writing anymore? I want to — I have some general posts that I want to write about, and heck, I’m long past my window to write about the latest episode of Mad Men. But then again, I feel like I have little time, and it keeps slipping off my radar.
But in talking with JC (who really has been carrying this site over the last couple weeks — thank you!), perhaps there’s another problem looming: There’s nothing on TV anymore. I mean, there is, but the shows are few and far between, and when that happens, I’m left sitting bored on the couch, unable to bring myself to write on something that just doesn’t grab me. Even with Mad Men on Sunday, there was the question of whether it was brilliant or boring, and ultimately, I’m choosing the latter. Sure, it was artsy and had a lot of Don Draper self-reflection, but haven’t we seen that already? Give me something else.
Which is why I found it so funny to stumble upon Alan Sepinwall’s post, “How much good TV is too much?” Now I highly respect Sepinwall, and I agree with many of this issues. It’s hard to find time to watch all the TV you want, especially if you’re me and only get to write on a part-time basis due to real-world priorities. At least he’s had the benefit of owning a DVR for some years (we just got our first TiVo this month), so I’ve had to play the game of priorities for quite a while. And if some new series doesn’t make the cut in the first two episodes — let’s take Revolution, Arrow, or as Sepinwall points out, Elementary — I just stop watching. I have to move on to bigger and better things.
But one thing did stop me in my tracks in Sepinwall’s article: good TV? What good TV? I’m finding myself bored and desperate, watching reruns of House Hunters and Income Property during a valued Wednesday or Thursday night because nothing else is on. I don’t watch reality TV and procedurals make me yawn. So what good TV is he talking about?
Ok, sure, there are some. Sunday night are chock full of great material: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Revenge… In fact, with those three shows alone, I had to cute Revenge from my repertoire just because I couldn’t keep up. The same happened with shows like Dallas, Southland, and other TNT favorites (and let’s just say we’re lucky that Being Human was On Demand for so long or else that would have been an undead casualty). So yes, there are some exceptions, but ultimately, what networks are providing me during the week is lacking. And I’m pretty sure that’s why I end up watching Splash on a Tuesday night — live.
You could argue with me. Of course, there are some shows out there that people love: Big Bang Theory, Castle, Community, Modern Family, American Horror Story… Well, Castle just never grabbed me. American Horror Story had a huge fall from grace for me this season and just wasn’t worth my time. And Big Bang and Modern Family have become dumbed down iterations of themselves (or, in the case of Big Bang, sexed-up versions of themselves, which, sorry, is not real “substance” to me; it’s the same trap Ally McBeal fell into during season three). Even Community, which was one of my favorite series, let me down last night with a stunt puppet episode that had no value (you couldn’t even understand what they were singing), and I was just repeatedly counting down the moments until Parks and Rec started. At least that guaranteed to be entertaining.
And don’t get me started on the shows that I think are completely worthless drivel, with cliched jokes and terrible double entendres: Mike & Molly, Two Broke Girls, or The Neighbors.
And I’m not even saying that every show I watch is great. The Vampire Diaries has major problems — as does How I Met Your Mother – but they have enough standout episodes in a given season that it’s worth coming back to. Oh, and at least in the case of TVD, it actually has entertainment value. Somehow, many shows are missing that.
So yes, it’s hard to keep up, and if you have to keep up with all of them, I can only imagine how tough that is. But as someone spoiled with shows like Buffy, Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, and even the short-lived Studio 60, I just miss quality. I can’t sit here and argue that the airwaves are full of good TV anymore. Something’s just missing.