Netflix and Hulu started an amazing thing. By allowing us to stream anything we want, the viewing audience has now broken up into many fragments. Gone are the days of having to play a board game because the president was on all three networks. Now there so much entertainment available that the word TV Station is almost a thing of the past. Even if you skip cable, satellite, and all the streaming services, each of the local air-wave broadcasters have two to three channels to choose from. In my neighborhood, this comes down to seventeen choices.
However, there are some serious problems with all these new programing choices. The biggest is conflict of content. You see. I like to watch one of the retro-tv channels, and frankly I’m confused. Long ago there was a show called Perry Mason, which ran from 1957 to 1966. There was another show called Columbo running from 1968 to 1978. In the old days these shows did not overlap so confusion was minimal. Now though, I can watch one right after the other five days a week. Some of you would say, “Cool,” and leave it at that. Others would say, “So what?” and flip over to celebrity nude mud wrestling. But then again, those of us who think are posed with a burning question; What would happen if Columbo arrested a person and Perry Mason defended them in court?
I think this is a harder problem than I had in my college calculus classes. Think about it. Both are set in the city of Los Angeles. Both have never failed to find the truth and punish the guilty. Both are known by their peers for being perfect. And for some unexplainable reason, both persuade the guilty party to give solid confessions after only one hour, including four commercial breaks. So, if they are working side by side, as the new programing suggests, then who would win?
Now there is one clue which could help solve this question. According to the show, it seems Perry only accepts cases when his client was arrested by Lt. Tragg. Now, LA is a great big city, I’m sure the homicide department must have several detectives. Right? Why would they keep Tragg on the force, if he never gets anything right? I would have offered the guy early retirement after two months of screwing up like that. Yet, he is lauded as the best inspector on the force.
On the other hand, Columbo is noted in many episodes for having an exemplary, virtually flawless, record. Yet, every time he meets up with an attorney, or the DA’s office, or even his supervisor for that matter, he is constantly being chastised for bothering people, and therefore being told to back off. You’d think after ten years the powers that be would get it through their thick heads that Columbo’s methods work and Tragg’s don’t. I guess there’s a lot to be said for having a straight tie and a clean overcoat. It’s all office politics.
Another thing is Perry’s clients are always very wealthy. Columbo is forever starstruck dealing with various celebrities, politicians, and rich businessmen, throughout their city. With only one-percent of the population being in those categories the two would have had to have met. And that’s another thing, if nobody in the office likes Colombo, then why is he running all over the rich suburbs and never being forced into an inner-city precinct? Inquiring minds want to know.
As if this isn’t enough to turn one’s brain to mush, all of the new viewing choices present another enigma; reality cooking shows. Long ago when dinosaurs ran amuck, and there were only three networks, cooking shows were few and far between. Julia Childs, and Graham Kerr pretty much had a monopoly on the celebrity chef thing. Now there are hundreds of channels with several of them being devoted to cooking shows. Celebrity chefs are everywhere. You can’t whisk a soufflé without hitting one of them with the droplets and spray. With so many of them around, I am now afraid to cook. I just know one of them is going to show up and tell me I’m doing everything wrong.
Now my wife is a great cook, and I used to like to dabble in the culinary arts. With sincere apologies to all those guys and gals, I like what we prepare. Even though we are not gourmet chefs, and no I don’t think it needs more saphron or asafetida. I was watching one show and the lady told me my cupboard needed mace, and sumac. Now I don’t know about you, but the only sumac I know about is the poison sumac that grows in the woods. Why on earth would I put that on my pork chops? Also, I know my cupboards aren’t in the best shape, but I’m certainly not going to take a mace to them. Those TV cooks are nuts.
Another thing I have found out about making a gourmet dish is; It requires lots of pots and pans. I was watching this show where ten people competed against each other. They all had forty-five minutes to create a masterpiece. From what I saw they did, except when they were done, their stations were immaculate. Not a drip or dirty pot in sight. That’s impossible. I tried some of those recipes. After every one I had a sink full of dishes, and a trash can full of bones. Not to mention the spills and splatters all over the place. Sorry Rachael Ray, but I don’t have a producer cleaning up after me every second, so I will not be making Balsamic-Glazed Chicken with Fennel & Celery Slaw. Hotdogs and beans can be made with one pot, and served on paper plates.
The last change I’ve noticed with all the new TV choices, is something called binge watching. This is bad for two reasons. First is the disappointment. I used to love Scooby Doo. One episode a week was fantastic. But when I binged watched, I learned they were all the same, even down to the dialog. I cried for a week at the loss of my childhood hero.
Next is the serious health risk bingeing presents. My cousin watched all eight seasons of Game Of Thrones over the course of a week. He lost ten pounds from his lack of eating, and I lost my lunch from his lack of showering. When someone does this horrible crime, everybody loses.
It’s settled then, I’ll protest. I’m never going to watch TV again. I’ll buy a thick book and show the world just how dedicated I am. Right after the Big Bang Theory marathon on Superstation CDEF.