Friday, July 11, 2008
Old Shows on DVD

In the old days before there was Tivo, before there were DVRs, Before there was Blu-Ray, Before there was DVD. Yea before there was even VHS (well actually there was VHS for some movies) We watched shows on television. We watched television shows. We knew when the shows were on and when and we ritually and habitually watched our favorite shows.

Sometimes we missed an episode or two.

In this weird world of past-y-yesteryear that was OK. Each show was a complete story unto itself. The episodes did not rely on each other for continuity. They could be watched in any order, you could drop in and every episode would make sense to someone who had never seen the show before. TV was an ephemeral medium, not meant to last.

Fast forward (ha) to today. You rent or buy your old favorite show on DVD, or stream it from Netflix or whatever. At first the nostalgia is so sweet. It washes over you like a mister on a 113 degree day. You devour it like ambrosia. But then after a couple episodes you realize something is a bit sour in your TV dinner feast. What is it?

I see it now. The problem is EVERY SHOW IS THE SAME.

I’m not saying TV is better now than it was then. It just was written to be consumed in a different way. TV shows then were meant to be enjoyed catch as catch can. TV shows now if you miss an episode you are LOST. LOST I think is think is an apt title since every time I try and watch it that is exactly how I feel. If I want to feel LOST, I can simply try and use Google maps to get to someplace I have not been before. That is LOST.

I’m not complaining. I am simply pointing this out. Many shows on air when I was a kid (2100 BCE) don’t hold up to being watched consecutively, one after another, several at a a sitting. The repetition is just mind numbing.

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