Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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I don't watch television. I just can't be bothered to schedule myself to be in the same place at the same time every week. It annoys me when making plans with somebody when they can't do something because they "have to watch a show." I hate commercials. I hate squeezing credits into the side of the screen so that you can have a preview for the next show. I had cable for a brief time, and I abandoned it because I never watched it.¹

That said, I don't mind television shows. I like the ability that they have to tell long-form storylines, to delve into characterization, and sometimes deal with repercussions that a movie just doesn't have time to. Of course, television is just as subject to Theodore Sturgeon's law ("90% of everything is crap") as anything else. As a result, most of what gets shown on television is worthless. Look at the proliferation of reality television, truly one of the signs of the collapse of Western culture.

Lyle, I'm tellin' you this operation is 100% legit.

I never heard an honest man use the word "legit."


But one of the main reasons that I don't watch TV is because they tend to cancel most of the shows I really like. Every once and a while a Buffy or Battlestar Galactica gets through the system, but for the most part, the if a show that engages me, it just doesn't make it. The fates of Dead Like Me, Firefly or Carnivàle are more representative of how the system treats shows that I enjoy. I don't mind watching a good show that trails off. I would just rather know beforehand.

Both Twin Peaks and Carnivàle were canned with what might be considered cliffhangers (Dead Like Me had some unresolved storylines going on, particularly with Rube, but nothing that would keep somebody awake at night), but because I went into viewing both programs knowing only two seasons were produced, I was prepared for the ends to trail off. It dulls the disappointment knowing beforehand that the show, but had I got into either show while it was on television, I would have been furious that they were not allowed a second.

And so, my preference is to watch a program after the fact. If the end is coming and there is no resolution in sight, then I am better prepared to deal with that... I file it in my head as an "unfinished story" and then I can deal with the lack of closure.

¹ Similarly, I got Sirius satellite radio for Christmas of last year. Once the novelty wore off, it only ever got used when I had a passenger. It broke not long ago and I have no desire to reinstate the service. It was a nice gift, but not for me. It's like setting an mp3 player on random... it just isn't how I listen to music.
Tags: carnivàle, cinema, movie moments
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