Friday, April 27, 2012

Frankie Muniz

Since writing about my own writing seems super boring: I broke the stories for my comedy pilot, and I started the outline. I'm also outlining a Happy Endings script with a friend. So, yes, I'm writing.

In other news, I've been reading a lot about the decline in live television viewing. With Netflix and Hulu, it makes it easy to pass on watching things when they are actually aired. With commercials. Hulu even has original series, shows that have never aired on traditional television. Things are changing, and television has to adapt, but I really wish it didn't.

Tonight, 30 Rock aired its second live episode. The whole point of the episode was Kenneth convincing the others that there is a magic to watching television, live, as it's happening. Anything can happen. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Ashley Simpson lip synced to her own music, thankfully, might I add. Looking back, I felt like such a hipster. I saw it FIRST. I saw it LIVE.

Now, there aren't a lot of "live" shows that I really care about. None of the dancing or singing shows really interest me. There are some weeks where I don't have it in me to stay up for SNL.

However, I LOVE watching shows on the night and in the timeslots when they are supposed to air. Thursdays are my Sundays and NBC's Comedy Block is my church. Ok, it's my mass because I'm a Catholic, sort of. But that has always been the point of television - television is an event. That's how it's supposed to work. Commercials and all.

I recently discovered the entire Malcolm in the Middle series is on Netflix instant watch. The show began when I was ten-years-old, and it is the first show I remember caring about watching each week. Back then, in the ye olde days, there wasn't a website to watch the show on "tomorrow,"and TiVo was just a year old and still only for the pretentious folk. I almost feel like I'm cheating after watching six episodes of Malcolm in a row.

Maybe people don't care about television as much as I do, and even I have to admit I don't hate all the ways that we can watch shows these days. However, shows still, for the most part, live and die by the ratings, and no one's watching. A great show, Bent, aired six episodes last month and no one even knew about it. It's done. You can't even blame the network or the studio. The show wasn't making any money. Fair enough.

The same can be said for Arrested Development, maybe the best comedy ever on television. Yea, I said it. Sorry to every old person who watched Cheers and semi-old person who watched Seinfeld. However, only a small number of people tuned in to Arrested Development, and it died prematurely. To be honest, I never watched it live, and I hate myself more and more every day. In the words of Buster Bluth, "I'M A MONSTER."

So, if you take anything from this nonsense: just give live viewing a try. Find a show you like. I don't even care what it is, ok but seriously, not Glee or Two Broke Girls,  and tune in every week. Watch the commercials, and like it! They give you free programming! You're welcome.

Oh, but look, we're all poor young professionals (or not), so feel free to steal all the cable shows you want. There's loads of pirating sites, and I know a guy.

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