Ah, the good old days… Remember when the family would gather in front of the radio to listen to the latest from the Green Hornet… whoops, wrong era. Remember when the family would gather in front of the TV to watch the latest episode of Happy Days? Closer, but not quite… Remember when the family would gather in front of the (insert favorite streaming service here) to watch, uh, nothing together? With the enormous number of shows, streaming services and online channels, it has become nearly impossible to have an opportunity to group watch anything. I think Lost might have been the last of its kind, bringing just about everyone to the water cooler to talk about each week’s show.

Lemme ’splain. I have my shows that I like to watch solo. My wife has her rotation. So does my younger daughter who still lives with us. We have shows that my wife and I watch, but not with my daughter. And my wife and daughter have a show or two they watch without me. Then we have the shows that we watch with my daughter. But there are still some shows we watch with my daughter and my older daughter and her husband. Let’s be clear, we never see those shows, because it’s nearly impossible to get us all together at once and interested in watching the same thing at the same time. For example, the Lost in Space reboot. I want to watch it, but I’m not allowed to. Please, no spoilers.

When did entertainment get so complicated? Is it just that there are too many shows, or too many people involved? Are my wife and I being too nice? Or is that we simply put too much of our time into watching these shows than we ought? I am sure the content providers are laughing all the way to the bank. This is exactly what they want. We are virtually drowning in content and instead of trying to head for the surface for some air, we sink slowly to the bottom, taking nice deep breaths. This is the type of dystopia offered in the late 80s TV show Max Headroom, where the state was run by television networks and people were glued to their sets, which could never be turned off.

Ideally, I want to watch all the shows I want to watch, when I want to watch them. I guess I should have been a bachelor. In the meantime, maybe I should focus on something other than television, where I might have better luck on being able to do things when I choose. Happy Independence(less) Day!

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