I’m in my mid-thirties and I grew up watching TV on only four channels. FOUR CHANNELS! Just imagine if you were asked to limit yourself to only four TV channels from all of the channels available to you now. How many of your favourite programmes would you no longer be able to watch?
Choice has become the new norm for TV. I used to buy a newspaper (remember them) on a Saturday in order to get TV guide in order to plan what I was going to watch. We used to arrange our social lives around being in the house at a particular time or, if you’re as old as I am, used to program the video recorder to record these shows if I was going to be out of the house. It all sounds so antiquated. How did we ever manage before the introduction of +1 channels and digital video recorders (DVR) that allowed us to watch TV when and how we want to?Most TV programmes used to only be on once or repeated at an ungodly hour and you would have to buy video cassettes that only came with a couple of episodes per tape. Box sets for one series of today’s US TV programmes would require an entire shelf to store.
With the introduction of Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPLayer and other streaming services we now have the choice of watching old and new programmes when and wherever we wish. I’ve found myself watching an entire series of Yes, Minister on a day off, just because I can. I had never seen it and it was something that would waste an entire day out at me one day. Choice of when to watch has almost become more important than what we actually watch, and TV studios have seen this shift in viewing habits and really gone for it. We’re supposedly in the golden age of Television. The budgets have never been bigger, scripts have never been better, and we’ve never had as much choice as we do now.
Yet…I always find myself returning to the TV programmes I have always watched. I have list of things that have been recommended to me so often that I’ll sometimes pretend to have watched them. I’ll read up plot synopses and be able to nod along knowingly. Some of the programmes I’ve been saying I’ll check out include Peaky Blinders, The Night Manager, BREAKING BAD (I know, I know…), Orange Is The New Black, The Good Wife, and The Good Place. The list is nearly endless and I know that you’re already judging me.
So…The Rotation is partly here to allow me offer some rationale for the programmes that I watch over and over again. I’m interested to see if there are people out there who agree or disagree with me.
However, I’m also hoping that this endeavour will motivate me to start catching up with some of the shows mentioned above, and I’m always willing to listen to suggestions for other shows that you think could be included in The Rotation.