Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cutting the Cable Cord Part 3: Default Mode Viewing

Judy Garland guest-starring on The Andy Williams Show
The cable cord is now totally cut and I don't miss it at all. We now have a digital antenna for broadcast channels with Netflix and Amazon for streaming. Almost every show I would have missed from cable will show on the latter two services sooner or later. The same for most broadcast shows since we no longer have a DVR. I did catch all of the last season of the Amazing Race and I have caught up with Big Bang Theory for free on CBS's website.

The major difference in my TV viewing now is the default mode. Previously whenever I came home from work and was too lazy to look for something good, I would just go to MSNBC for political reassurance of my own viewpoint, TCM for an old movie, or Hoarders so I could say to myself "Well, at least I'm not as bad as that guy." With those options gone usually I flip onto one of the broadcast rerun networks. Occasionally I will find a rare gem such as GetTV's old variety series including the Judy Garland Show and the Merv Griffin Show on Monday nights. Recently they had the Andy Williams Show with special guest stars David McCallum (then on The Man from UNCLE) and Judy Garland. This was 1966, a few years after Judy's CBS series had been cancelled. Her voice was ragged in places, but still powerful and moving. It was wonderful to see this unusual appearance. I've also seen the Danny Kaye Show with a young Harvey Korman and Joyce Van Patten as regulars.

But the majority of the shows on these channels such as Decades, Cozi, MeTV, Antenna and ThisTV are pretty crappy. TV was mostly bad when I was growing up so I don't get any nostalgia out of watching Petticoat Junction or The Lone Ranger. When there is absolutely nothing of any value on and I just want to turn my mind off, I end up on Buzzer, the second-rate version of the Game Show Network. I won't stoop to Press Your Luck but Let's Make a Deal is good for a laugh. It's fascinating to watch all these contestants from 50 years ago and wonder if winning a refrigerator while dressed as a pair of dice was the highlight of their existence.

I do miss not having access to Doctor Who right away, but if I'm patient, I know the new season will be on Netflix eventually. Currently I am catching up on Nurse Jackie which had finally dropped all of its episodes to Netflix which kinda pisses me off because I spent $15 to buy Season 3 on Amazon. I just finished Season 5, but her endless cycle of starting and quitting drugs is getting repetitive.

I've tried some of the original streaming material such as Sense8 and The Man in the High Castle but I've gotten bored after a few episodes.

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