These are the best times for TV

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 8:59 PM | comments: 0

For a long time, especially in the aughts, there were at least three or four network TV shows that I tried to religiously watch, typically recorded on my PC-based DVR that I build a million years ago. By the early 2010's, there were still a few shows, but it was down to maybe two. By 2016, I think I was down to zero. I remember watching Parenthood, The Black List and This Is Us was probably the last one. None of it was that compelling, or I just wasn't going to commit to 20 episodes.

Things have changed a lot in the last few years. I wouldn't characterize my TV watching as massively increased, but there's way more stuff worth watching, of a higher quality. Streaming changed everything. Netflix had the unusual hit first, then Hulu, and then Hulu had all of the network shows (if any were worth watching) the day after. Then Disney+ launched, and they blew the doors off of the storytelling possible in short seasons. As for the casual "background" stuff to watch, Disney had a little of it, and Discovery+ filled in the blanks with all of the HGTV and Animal Planet stuff. Not to be left in the cold, Apple brought a few good things like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show. The timing, with the pandemic, was certainly ideal. I think we spend around $30 on streaming a month (I don't know anyone who actually pays for Apple+), which is still less than what it was with Internet plus basic cable.

And now, because they keep consolidating the broadcast stations on fewer physical channels (digital you can put a bunch of virtual channels on a single physical channel), everything in Orlando is on channels that I can get from home over the air with a FireTV Recast. So when we want to see local news or sports on network TV, it's all there. We still watch most stuff on Hulu from the networks if it doesn't have to be live.

Today they announced Emmy nominations and it's almost all streaming stuff they would never have on the broadcast networks. I'm thrilled to see The Mandalorian and WandaVision with a ton of nominations. Also Ted Lasso. These shows have been so good.


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