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.
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.
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.
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.
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