I’m a simple guy with simple tastes. Aside from enjoying a fancy meal, or the occasional excuse to get dressed to the nines, I’d consider myself pretty low maintenance. Normally, I’m just a chill down-home guy who sticks to his values and enjoys the simple things in life. Recently though, I learned that I’ve developed a massive exception to that.
Last week I had a conversation with a friend about Netflix binging, because that’s apparently a popular topic of conversation now. I asked my buddy what he was currently devouring…
“Person of Interest.”
“What is that?”
“Oh dude, it’s really good, it’s on CBS and it’s about…”
I didn’t mean for that sound to escape me. But it did. My friend didn’t say it, but I could see it in his eyes that he knew. To put it kindly, I’m a TV snob. But I didn’t choose the life, the life chose me.
It’s the golden age of television, and I’m sorry but I’m going to be holding myself to higher standards. Jack Dawson, toasting with champagne he swindled out of a rich guy before banging his fiancée, once said, “I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it.” I live by this virtue when it comes to what I deem worthy of my viewing pleasure.
Network TV used to be the cream of the crop, but it isn’t the ’80s anymore. Cable and subscription services are pumping out so much fire right now that I can’t even get my hands on a third of it. From my point of view, I’m behind on catching up on everything from Better Call Saul to Game of Thrones. Why would I bother fitting something of a lesser standard into my already tight schedule?
You call me stuck up? That’s fair. But I’ve given it a shot. I rolled with The Blacklist some last year. Compelling, yes, and per usual, Spader kills it. However, after a few too many action scenes with CGI straight out of iMovie and without the edgy material that network just can’t push through, I had to drop Spader & Co. for greener pastures. It’s like dating, if you still have an incredibly optimistic view on dating — you only get one shot at it and there’s too much greatness out there to settle.
So there’s no Person of Interest or American Crime for me. I’m far too busy diving into Showtime’s Shameless or pretty much anything produced by Netflix or HBO (Girls aside). Hell, I’m even currently indulging in Luther on BBC. Yeah, I’m European TV snobby, but ask me if I give a shit. None of the American basic cable networks are pumping out anything close to Idris Elba broodingly getting to the bottom of things while constantly saying. “No, it’s not right, is it?”
Now, I’m not a total monster. I didn’t ignore The Office/Parks and Recreation powerhouse that NBC pumped out in the last decade. Even the most conceited TV snobs, while sipping cognac & eating caviar with a golden spoon, can recognize that those are legendary programs that can’t be ignored. Network comedy can still be an outlier, but for every Modern Family there are many more shows like The Big Bang Theory. That show is about as funny as being forced to watch your grandparents have sex. Why bother when you sit down for some Always Sunny or Workaholics? Comedies produced by network TV can sometimes win a battle, but they won’t win the war.
Shunning an entire segment of the TV market may be elitist and frowned upon, but at this point I’m comfortable with that. Unless it’s sports, the low channels on the dial are nothing but a fond memory to me now. The blessing and curse of this era is that exemplary programming is being churned out faster than Nikes at a sweat shop. The premiere of Vinyl took two well-spent hours of my time, and I’ve yet to even have the chance to see what Billions is bringing to the table.
All that, plus House of Cards & my guilty pleasure The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt coming back into play soon, leaves me a lot to bore my eyeballs into from on top of my high horse. My viewing time is too valuable to be delegated to less-than-worthy contenders. The undercard may have its moments, but when I melt into my couch and turn on the tube, I’m watching the main event and nothing else. Only the finest for me. .
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