Thursday, April 11, 2013

IF YOU CAN'T READ THE PIECE NOW, DVR IT AND READ IT LATER: Our friend Alan Sepinwall asks a question which would have seemed ludicrous to ask until very recently: is there just too much good tv currently airing to keep up with it all?  Is it a particular problem (a) for shows which take time to find their footing, and (b) for serialized shows, which are so much more prevalent than before?


  1. Marsha4:33 PM

    I know you're kidding with your title, but it's true for me there too - I keep adding things to Pocket but rarely get to read them. Right now I'm frantically trying to read through things I have saved in my Google Reader so it's cleared out when I have to move to a new platform.

    It's an embarrassment of riches, and I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't have to work for a living.

    (In other words, i agree wholeheartedly with Alan. For heaven's sake, I don't watch Breaking Bad, which is spectacularly good TV about a frickin' chemistry teacher. That tells you how overloaded my TV schedule is.)

  2. Jenn.4:44 PM

    This is a perfect time to have this discussion. Just thinking about all of the good TV taking place on Sundays at 9 pm (EDT) this spring gives me a headache. We literally don't have enough DVR capability for all of it.

    That said, I think that this has been a problem for a while. I have been very leery about trying new pilots for the last few years, because my husband and I tend to feel like our TV schedule is plenty full as it is. We want to watch good TV that merits discussion, but that takes a ton of time these days, and really good TV (like a really good novel) takes attention. Add in a certain amount of comfort-food TV (not as pushy about needing attention, and often less dark), and it adds up.

    Ultimately, if you're going to work full time and do anything in your spare time other than TV, choices have to be made. There have been shows that we have held off on starting because of time concerns. We also are beginning to feel like we have more than enough violence in our TV routines. (Hence, I just don't see us catching up with Breaking Bad any time soon.)

  3. Sunday is even worse than usual this week, because on top of the pre-existing pileup (Mad Men, Good Wife, Game of Thrones), you also have the MTV Movie Awards. And that doesn't even include things I know some people care about but I've never gotten into (Call The Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, Revenge).

    For me, I'll DVR Good Wife (which doesn't rerun) and the Movie Awards (live event, even though an edited version will repeat). Fortunately, AMC/HBO are very good about rerunning shows multiple times, unlike some cable networks (cough, FX, vough).

  4. 9 PM CDT is my pileup; I had to move Vikings to a rerun slot for the DVR to make space for Mad Men and Veep at the same time.

  5. In addition to the DVR issues (and, yeah, The Good Wife is getting one of our slots for exactly that same reason), part of the problem is that at least two of the shows are ones I'd love to be able to watch on Sunday night, to be able to enjoy the conversations about them the next day....

  6. Right. I have to be able to do MM and GOT for the next day.

  7. My previous TiVo would only hold 20 hours of HD, so I became pretty decisive about what made the cut, and had to learn to live without a lot of the shows people were watching. Now that I've replaced that tivo, I could start piling things on again, but I don't know that I want to spend HOURS and HOURS each weekend trying to catch up. So, yes, I'm certain I'm missing out on some truly spectacular stuff. And especially nowadays, with cable being just as DVR-worthy as the major networks. But that's why unemployment and netflix exist, right?

  8. The Pathetic Earthling9:28 AM

    I don't watch that much TV, really. So I've never seen a lick of the Wire or Friday Night Lights or Mad Men or Arrested Development. But when I do find a new show, I usually just consume it whole on streaming. I watched the first four seasons of Breaking Bad last month. Watched the whole thing inside of two weeks. It was great. And one of these days, I'll start something else.

    The only shows I keep up with right now are Parks & Rec and Game of Thrones.

  9. At least cable has broken from the old "school year seasons" model of network tv, and all shows are not all on at the same time. Sunday nights would be a DVR nightmare if Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Girls, The Good Wife, and Breaking Bad all aired at the same time of year.

    But I do agree with Alan. There's so many shows that I've heard great things about (Parks and Recreation, Friday Night Lights, to name just a couple) that I just don't have time to add to my schedule. Especially once a show is mid-run, when I don't want to start watching without catching up first. In that case, it's much easier to just wait for it to end and watch the whole thing - which is what I plan on doing with FNL.