Watercooler Bitterness

My daughter when the show came on last night.

My daughter when her show came on last night.

A couple of nights ago, my daughter watched a new episode of her favorite show Gravity Falls (which is semi grown up Disney Show ). It was the Part 1 of a very big story arch, and while I watched her watch the show, I recognized a little bit of myself in her.  She looks forward to each new show like I used to look forward to one of my favorites, Smallville.

Hey new show!

New show coming soon! 

Every time a new show comes on, it is an event.  She researches clues, watches Youtube videos for bits and pieces of information, discusses the show with her friends, and she looks forward in an almost breathless anticipation for every new installment.  When the show comes on she watches the show memorized, and freaks out when any new revelation happens.

The kind of devotion my daughter has to that show is almost non-existent anymore. I’m gonna be Bitter Old Ben right now and talk to you like a 90 year old grandpa does about how hills went uphill both ways when I was a kid.  “When I was a kid”… looking forward to a show was actually a thing.  I wasn’t very old, but there was a time in my life when VCR’s didn’t exist.  And even when they did, good luck getting those things to record your program as easily as a DVR does now.

My point is, the buzz is missing for TV shows now a days.  There was a time when I came to work and gathered around a watercooler and talked to people (just kidding I never talked to people, but other people did) about the big show of the evening and talked in bated breath about who died or who got shot or who was a ghost.  Now, everyone is watching a different thing.

So what's happening around the ole watercooler today?

So what’s happening around the ole watercooler today?

Someone binge watched Orange is the New Black or House of Cards on Netflix, another person watched the Bachelor on ABC, another watched Walking Dead on AMC, while another watched Game of Thrones on HBO.  And they don’t even all watch them on TV.

One guy was watching it on their tablet while at the hospital, another on their phone while sitting on the bench at their high school basketball game, and another watched on their TV, while watching another on their computer.  There isn’t any shared TV experience anymore.

Can't talk right now.  Watching some Netflix.

Can’t talk right now. Watching some Netflix.

I miss the days of revealing a secret to someone about a show and them getting pissed at me.  I miss being bitter because that I was at Scouts on a Tuesday night and didn’t get to see the big show everyone else was watching and would have to wait months to see again.  As soon as my daughter’s show began, she sent her buddy a message and said, “Are you watching this right now?” and if her friend had been online, they could have watched the show together in real time.  Either by Skype or Facetime or all kinds of methods.  And they could have talked for endless minutes.

What happened to watching Saturday Night Live and talking about it the next day? Now the moment someone on the east coast sees a skit, they are already tweeting about it, and it could be ruined for someone on the West Coast before they even start their evening.

I miss reading about news, or sports, or shows the next day, instead of instantly knowing what happened on my Twitter or Facebook feeds.

All your Twitter and Facebook feeds are confusing me.

Too many pretty shows.  Too many places to watch them…

What I’m saying is stop not watching the same shows as me.  Stop tweeting and Facebooking stuff.  And for goodness sakes can we please get a watercooler at the office again so I can be annoyed that I’m having to do the work of all these people that keep talking around it? Where can I be old school annoyed anymore?

What about you? Do you miss having shared shows to talk about? Do all your office people Netflix the same thing at the same time, just so you can create that atmosphere at the office? Or are you just fine being bitter about shows by yourself?


Bitter Watercooler dumped all over you Ben


38 thoughts on “Watercooler Bitterness

  1. I remember watching “Hill Street Blues” every week and then going over the episode with a friend at work in great detail, speculating what would happen next. I once predicted that JD would fall off the wagon. My friend asked how I knew that, and I said, “There’s just that bad little boy look about him.” Sure enough, JD ‘went out.’ He went out because the actor went out and couldn’t show up. That bad little boy look wasn’t acting; it was him. There’s a bitter bit of irony for you.


  2. I miss watching soap operas with my best friend when we were teenagers. We loved making fun of their melodrama and then talking about it the next day in public, so strangers would think we were gossiping about real people.


    • Now that is clever. My daughter and I like watching really bad Lifetime movies and then just trashing the heck out of every line or bad timing on the music or the cheesiness in which we can predict when something will go wrong etc.


  3. We didn’t have a water cooler at my office. We had the Smokers. Every two hours a group of smokers and nonsmokers would congregate outside and chat it up for thirty minutes – about what I have no idea. I have asthma and cigarette smoke gives me a headache. So I stayed inside and worked. That’s when the Smokers retaliated and started spreads rumors that I wasn’t working. How would they know? They were outside smoking. Sigh. I hate being an adult. I liked elementary school. I miss the days when I could sit outside on the playground and watch the cool kids from a safe distance, talking about their favorite episodes of Duck Tales and the Smurfs.


  4. Smallville! Yes! I was so bummed when they didn’t cast what’s-his-name in the Superman movie.
    Wait…there was a time when VCR’s didn’t exist? O.o
    I agree about the lack of shared experience with television shows. Pop culture has become less of a “culture” and more of an individual experience. Although I love the vast amount of choices we have today, and am a huge fan of Netflix-Marathoning, I miss being able to use the latest episode of Punky Brewster as a conversation starter. (Zomg, did you see Cherry’s rainbow legwarmers? What a copycat!)


  5. I hate when I watch my newest episode of The Walking Dead (which, sadly, I have to DVR so I can watch it after I get home from work Sunday night…since I work EVERY FRICKIN’ Sunday night) and I want to talk to my fellow dead-heads about it but they haven’t watched it on their Hulu or the internet or whatever yet. Sadly, that’s pretty much the only show I watch that any of my friends or family watch, so I can’t really gossip about those with anyone. The way I see it, everyone should just watch the shows I watch, when I watch them, so I can gossip properly. But NOOOOO, they have to do their own thing. People suck that way.


  6. You raise a good point–it seems no one watches the same thing at the same time anymore, oftentimes not even family members. But what gets me even more is learning spoilers on social media. People tweeting about which character was the latest to die is irksome. Ruins it for the rest of us. See? Now you’ve got me as bitter as you.


  7. I was the totally unhip girl at school who didn’t have a TV, so was excluded from all those conversations and sat in a corner reading a book with a Wednesday Addams expression on her face. I get bored with TV very quickly now and get told off by my kids for being “unsociable” when I pull out a book to read instead. Apparently staring at a black box qualifies as family time… Sigh.


  8. I’m all about binge watching, but then again I am the person who wants to break into all days of an advent calendar now instead of actually waiting as intended 😀

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