Earlier this week the New York Times published an op-ed by David Carr, “Barely Keeping up in TV’s New Golden Age.”
Carr writes about what he calls the “New Golden Age” of TV. Remember when the best thing on TV was CSI? Now it’s dramas that rival movies in their writing, acting and production values. Instead of shelling out $9 bucks to see that stupid movie that your friend wants to see (but usually ends up being decent and then you have to apologize for judging your friend’s taste in movies), people are opting to stay in and watch Netflix.
By now this phenomenon is common knowledge. But Carr touches on something which I do think warrants more discussion which is the fact that watching TV is becoming a culturally accepted pastime. He argues it’s a combination of convenience because of technology and the improved quality of television.
I remember when watching TV used to be a frowned-upon thing. I rarely hear young people label their binge-watching friends “couch potatoes.”
I can’t even sit in my political science class without feeling like a social outcast because I haven’t seen House of Cards.
When I came to college, I decided to cut back on TV since I knew I would be a lot busier than I was in high school. And I was much busier.
But it seems as soon as I decided to cut back on my TV watching, it became my generation’s favorite pastime.
When did it become OK to proudly announce you spent the morning watching season one of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix instead of, I don’t know, doing whatever it was college kids did before Netflix?
I’ll admit growing up I watched what was probably too much TV. I know more about the 80s than my parents thank to VH1 specials. One of my favorite network crime shows of all time, Numb3rs, was on Friday nights. That right, I just admitted that I used to watch a TV show on Friday nights.
In my defense, there isn’t much else to do in Union Bridge, Md.
But now, all of a sudden, watching old shows doesn’t mean ER reruns on TNT at 10 a.m. It means college kids watching Dawson’s Creek at 3 a.m. because they have the world’s worst sleeping habits.
And apparently that’s totally acceptable.
By no means am I judging. I spent the entire weekend catching up on True Detective before the season finale. I just think it’s interesting how high-quality TV shows are increasingly seen as a legitimate art form and binge-watching is being considered a legitimate hobby.