The new fall season of television is upon us, and there isn’t much that has grabbed my interest as needing to be added to an already-full docket on my DVR. The one exception might be the new Muppets show; it’s hard to go wrong with those fuzzy friends! (Okay, we’ll try to forget Muppets in Space.)
There are days of the week where I need a couple more days just to catch up on how much good television there is. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are so full that I might not catch up until the following week at that time. I just don’t often feel like watching three hours of TV in a night.
However, there are people who have taken that idea and run with it. The big fad now is binge watching a television show. The idea is to watch as much of a series as possible in as few sittings as is humanly possible. Some folks will watch an entire season of Game of Thrones (about 10 hours) in one day! Other series that have longer seasons will be watched over a weekend by some. Many people won’t watch week to week, but will wait until the end of the season to binge watch and catch up in a short time, thus avoiding the week-long wait that many of us endure throughout a 22-episode season.
That’s too much TV for me at a time, but I got to thinking about old series that might be worth trying to watch large batches at a time. As much as I enjoyed Friends when it aired, I don’t think I could stomach more than three episodes today before needing fresh air. But what truly classic shows could entice me (and maybe you) to become a true couch potato?
Cheers might be one. The place where everybody knows your name stands up well over time. Sure, there are some time period references such as Kevin McHale playing for the Boston Celtics, but Sam, Norm, Cliff, and company would keep me interested and laughing for a long time before I needed to move away from the screen. If one wanted to watch all the episodes, that would take some time. Cheers ran for 275 episodes! At about 22 minutes an episode, that would be 6050 minutes, which would take just over 100 hours to watch! Maybe one season per weekend, which would still take 11 weekends!
Another great show was MASH. I didn’t watch it much growing up, but I’ve caught a number of great episodes over the years, and it might be fun to watch a whole batch of them consecutively in order to get a better feel for the show that many people consider one of the greatest of all time. MASH also ran for eleven seasons, but had just 256 episodes. That would save about seven hours of watching from Cheers!
Believe it or not, The Simpsons is entering its 27th season! So far the show has 574 episodes that have aired, and it’s already been renewed through the 2016-2017 TV schedule. Michelle and I used to watch the show a lot and probably saw all of the first 10 seasons or so, and just the other day she mentioned it might be fun to watch some of the old ones and the ones we’ve missed. That would take over 210 hours so far; I guess if I’ve got nothing planned for a month we could try it!
And it’s easier than ever now. You can get DVD sets of more shows than you even remember being on TV. Michelle and I have made our way through the entire runs of Seinfeld (greatest sitcom ever) and The Office (only the seasons with Steve Carell). I’ve been making my way through the aforementioned Game of Thrones (almost on par with the excellent novels).
Plus there are services like Netflix. That company, along with other online services, are even creating their own series that you can only see there. They’ll release an entire season on one day, which causes many people to binge immediately. There’s something to be said for not being strung out over nine months for one season.
And it’s possible that by the time you read this, Jayna will have convinced us that getting Netflix as a birthday gift for her will be a reality (Happy 14th!). What could be better than a gift that gives for the entire family? I’m glad I got a lot of reading in during the summer; I have a feeling I have some binging to do!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is doryphore, which means a persistent critic, as in, “The doryphore was forced to change course on her opinion of Seinfeld after binge watching the excellent season four.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!