More and more, my interest in the standard fare on television has been waning. With the beginning of this season, I think it finally flat-lined. There were always some shows that I enjoyed watching and that I looked forward to. The number of those shows have been steadily going down. I used to love The Office, but I am a few seasons behind on it now, and there is just nothing compelling that makes me want to catch up. Smallville was probably the last show I really made an effort to see.
Shows on premiums channels like HBO and Showtime always seemed of higher quality in my book. But even these shows have finally waned on me. I thought Boardwalk Empire was terrific in its first season last year, but had no interest in watching it this season. Dexter on Showtime has been getting better with each passing season. I watched this year’s season premier with mixed emotions, but have not watched it since.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are good shows on TV, but I think that my priorities in life have been changing, and in the competition for an ever dwindling supply of time, television is the loser–as it should be. It’s a viscous cycle: I can’t spare the time to watch the shows, and by not watching them I lose interest in watching them. For the first time in a long time, I can’t think of a single show on television, premium or network, that I would be willing to give up my time doing other things to watch–even recorded on DVR.
I am fine with this, and there may come a day when things cycle back around. But television has, to some extent, moved beyond me. Series, especially, have morphed into serials, where you have to have seen all previous episodes to understand the full complications of the current one. It wasn’t always like that. I enjoyed shows like Magnum, P.I. and Diagnosis Murder in part because you could commit to an episode as opposed to an entire season.
So if you ask me if I’ve seen the latest episode of such-and-such, don’t at all be surprised when I tell you no. It’s not that I don’t like TV. But time is precious and the currency of time, they’ve priced themselves out of my market.