This is a weird post to be writing. I barely watch television anymore. What I do watch, is via Netflix or Hulu. So what do I have to say about TV in 2012?
It is some of the best, and worst, ever.
The watershed moment was in the summer. After months, years even, of paying almost 150.00 a month of the top cable packages, with multiple recievers and DVR and all that junk, the wife and I made the decision to cut the cable. We joined many others who decided that the cost does not equal the benefit of television in 2012. We all know it. 99.5% of television is pure crap. The Scifi channel, now syfy, features more wrestling and reality shows about Ghost Hunting than any real Science Fiction. They dropped Dr Who from their lineup, the cancelled the various Galactica series, and Stargate, and decided that their viewers would rather watch Sharktopus 3. Discovery Channel was still watchable, but the others had descended into anarchy. TLC, the learning channel is now all crap, not one decent show to watch. Whether is is prostituting children on Toddlers and Tiaras or the adventures of the Gosslings, or the Mormon family with 19 kids, this station starts in the gutter and works DOWN when it comes to programming.
I must let you know that I was not in favor of cutting the cable. I enjoyed having all those options at my disposal. One thing made my decision quite easy- My Big Fat American Gypsy wedding. This was easily the greatest piece of garbage I had ever set my eyes upon. The wife and I watched in horror as this train wreck unfolded before us. This was the show that made my mind up for me. Cable TV was dispensable.
We cut the cord just after July 4th, and in the begining it was rough, until I discovered FREE HDTV. Yes I said FREE. The old fashioned Rabbit ear antennas can pick up all the local stations, in crystal perfect HD, better than the cable feed. One channel- MeTV plays nothing but reruns of old shows from the 60’s and 70s. In other words, it only shows the GOOD stuff. Bob Newhart every night? Cheers too!? It was wonderful. The first real test of the new status quo came with the Olympics. We watched the Opening Ceremonies and were shocked by the stupidity of the commentators. Offensive, and ignorant remarks about other nations, and humerous mis-pronunciations peppered this EDITED version of the Ceremony. Yes, edited. Americans did not see the entire program, we were instead spoon fed only what we felt was appropriate for us, with non-stop explanations of everything from the Industrial Revolution to the double decker bus. NBC assumed that their audience is uninformed and needs their hand held through these sorts of things. I recoiled and immediately sought a solution. As always, the internet provided.
It tuns out there are programs, free and legal, which can Mask your computer and fool the internet into thinking you live in Great Britain.This allows you to watch British TV LIVE and view their broadcasts unimpeded. What a difference an ocean makes. The British showed the ENTIRE Opening, with limited commentary. They had insightful commentary during sporting events. THIS was the Olympics I wanted to see.
The rest of the TV year played out normally. I watched some things via Rabbit ears, some through Hulu, and some through iTunes. Here is what I was seeing with limited, though insightful, commentary.
Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.
Best: in no particular order
A revived version of the classic tv show, one of my favorites. A true continuation of the story, featuring good writing, great acting, and plenty of drama. A hit. RIP Larry
Such a great show. It never lets you down.
Holy Moley. This makes me happy to be alive, and in an age when this can be broadcast.
An Idiot Abroad/Ricky Gervais Show/Life’s too short
Ricky Gervais is phenomenal. Karl Pilkington is a gift from heaven. Warwick Davis steals the show. If you are not watching these three shows, Idiot Abroad in particular, familiarize yourself immediately.
Game of Thrones
Almost the best show on Television, near perfection. Dinklage deserves every award possible.
Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Their 8th is one of the best seasons to date. So SO funny.
Best animated comedy, hands down.
Far superior to Family Guy, best of the fox comedies. 90% of the reason to watch is Roger.
These men give me hope for America.
Still relevant, still funny after 15 years. A minor miracle.
UNABLE TO WATCH!!! Due to not having HBO, this is a series I shall have to wait several months for. Its ok, this show is worth the wait.
Best Scifi Show on tv. Always perfect.
My guilty pleasure. Also a phenomenal show. Well acted, well written, with production value unmatched.
Best discovery of old time TV:
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
This is a show I had never seen. I finally made some time for it, and I am hooked. A great show, ahead of its time.
This is the best show on tv, possibly best show ever. Every week, we tune in to see what has become of the life of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Every week we are shocked and amazed. This is the best writing on TV, best acting too.