What tv I’m watching next week?

What tv I’m watching next week?

How many hours do you waste on television every week?  You might feel like it’s not a waste.  I admit there is a lot of good TV today.  Almost too much good TV.  I don’t have enough time to watch it all. That being said.

How much TV do you watch that you never planned on watching that week or even the moment when you turned the TV on at night? Are you mindlessly drifting from one show to the next.  You might have turned the TV on to watch one half hour program but by the end of the night you’ve sat through four hours of TV.

Try tracking how much TV you watch during the week.  Write down the shows and the time of day you watched them.  After a week, go back and add up the time. The main focus is to review the list of shows to see what you actually cared to watch. It’s okay to watch TV.  I love certain shows like Game of Thrones and House of Cards. I’m trying this experiment to see how much time I spend watching TV and how much time I spend watching the shows I care about.

That’s why I’m going to practice listing what TV shows I want to watch each week. Then I’m going to focus on only watching those shows during the following week.

Ballers

Vice Principals

Vice

Charlie Rose The Week

Just thinking about the shows I want watch makes me think of even more shows I feel the need to watch like Billions, Bloodlines, Stranger Things, The Night Of, Bojack Horseman, Fargo, and Mr. Robot. 

The goal is not spend my time watching TV like most of spend our lives: drifting. I want a purpose in everything.

Photo by thesuccess at Morguefile.com

Giving people what they want

Giving people what they want

We all know the people pleaser.  They want to give everyone or someone in particular exactly what they want.  They are agreeable.  They usually don’t have an opinion, at least one they’ll voice openly.  The appear to going with the flow.

People pleasing seems like a good solution.  You want people to like you.  You don’t want to cause any disagreement.  At least at first this seems like a good idea.  Eventually, trying to please everyone gets old, tiring, and not genuine.

Instead you shouldn’t be focused on giving people what they want.  You should be concerned with giving people what they need. They can get what they want from someone else but it takes a truly special person to take the time to understand someone. Then realize what they need to hear, see, or do in their life.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t ever give people what they want.  It’s just you shouldn’t make pleasing the default response in your life. After you’ve shown that you can give someone what they need, then you can give them what they want. Delaying the ‘want’, in this case, makes the act of giving much more enjoyable.

People try to please.  TV shows, and media in general, also try to please.  The majority of them try to give you what you want.  In TV, that typically bland thoughtless comedies or dramas.  Great TV gives you what you need.  They don’t give you what you want every episode. Sometimes there are things you disagree.  There could be things or characters you hate. Only after giving you what you need they can go give you something you want.  It makes the event so much better.  One of the best recent examples of this in TV was last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. For years, Game of Thrones has been killing off characters we love and delaying the killing of characters we despise.  After some episodes your left thinking about why something happened that we didn’t want. Last night, Game of Thrones finally game many of its viewers what they wanted. It’s what makes the show special.

The creators understand that they need to give us what we need before giving us what we want.

Photo source 

Consumage: The Trump Show

Consumage: The Trump Show

Watching the @CNN Debate, and I’m wondering how one these candidates have a chance to become our next president.

Image by The Atlantic.

Curate, Curate, Curate

Curate, Curate, Curate

A few weeks ago, I read that Twitter is creating a news division and they were going to launch Moments onto the Twitter app. I don’t know if Twitter will publishing there own material. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do because content is king.

Moments tries to curate Twitter. Curation is a difficult task and it requires real talent to pull it off right. 

Everybody curates. You form opinions about a lot of things ranging from news, books, movies, clothes, ideas, and the opposite sex.

The problem with other people curating things for you is that it takes a tremendous amount of trust to let someone else curate your news in today’s world but today is exactly when curation is needed the most.

Even ten or twenty years ago, most of us still depended on local or national TV news to catch up on current events. The other option was to read your local paper or a national edition of the New York Times.  If an event wasn’t on the nightly news or the front page of the paper than it wasn’t that important. 

That was in a society were space was limited. There are only so many stories that can fit into a thirty or sixty minute time slot with commercials or on the front page of the paper. People at those companies determined the news. They were the curators.

Now we live in the long tail society. There is the long tail of everything. Curation is harder in the long tail. It takes more skill especially when done on a product like Twitter. The good thing is that there are a lot of talented people doing curation on the Internet. Two of my favorites are dealing with different topics. Jason Hirschhorn’s Redef newsletters, specifically the MediaREDEF, a daily newsletter including a rant by Jason, a quote of the day, and then a series of articles that are always thought provoking. Redef has other newsletters dealing with music, fashion, sports, and tech. That’s too much content for me so I usually stick to media.

The other newsletter I’m a fan of is Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. It’s a mixture of science, writing, art, and books. It’s smart and makes me feel like I’m learning something I would have never discovered any other way.This is the power of good curation. It takes niche topics and gives you great content you never would have found on your own. 

That’s really not true and it’s also not the real value of curation. I could have found these articles if I was motivated enough but I would have spent hours trying to find them and probably reading a lot of crap along the way. Curation saves you time. I don’t want to spend an entire day trying to find something good to read.

Give me interesting information when I want it. Save me the time of having to find it on my own. Make it content I wouldn’t have been able to find through another curator.

Binge: The Leftovers

Since True Detective, don’t even ask, ended a few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to check out, The Leftovers, which aired on HBO almost a year ago and the previews for the new season starting on Oct 5 looked interesting. It was also created by someone who created, Lost, mid-2000s show about survivors of a plane wreck, that my wife and I had a minor obsession.

A little over a week ago, we watched our first episode and we were immediately hooked.  I think we finished the first season in a little over a week and we can’t wait for the new season to start.  I’m not sure why this show doesn’t get more attention because I think it’s the my second favorite show on TV behind Game of Thrones.

The show takes place three years after 140 million people mysteriously disappeared from the world.  It specifically focuses on the small town of Mapleton, NY, a place that lost 100 people.  The best part of the show is not about figuring out what happened but how people are trying to deal with the aftermath.  It’s fascinating and it’s definitely worth your time to check it out if you’re looking for a new show for the start of fall.

Emmys #Draping

Emmys #Draping

Last night, the Emmys’ aired on Fox and for some reason I like watching award shapes or seeing the list of winners. I think it’s because I like seeing who was the best at their art in the past year. I also like to see if there are any good new shows I missed and I need to check out.

Three main things happened at the Emmy’s, one is something that has been happening for years, the second is surprising that it took so long to happen, and the third is something that seemed like it might never happen.

The first thing was that HBO again ran away with the Emmys. It took home seven of the main awards including Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Peter Dinklage, Best Director, and Best Drama for Game of Thrones, and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy, Tony Hale, Best Actress in a Comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Best Comedy for Veep along with a number of other awards. HBO is the best in the business and it was on display again as it is almost every year. Veep has been the best comedy for the past five years and Tony and Julia have taken home a number of awards but it’s about time the entire show was recognized because it kills it ever season. While Game of Thrones is on the opposite spectrum. You could give this show the award for its size along. It has to be the largest TV production of all time and HBO spares no expense making it. That’s not surprising because it’s the most popular show in HBO history. Peter Dinklage took home the only acting award and while a number of other characters are deserving, this is Dinklage’s show. In a show without a real lead actor or actress, Dinklage steals the show in almost every scene he’s in. He’s makes this show so hopefully Martin doesn’t kill him off next season.

The second thing that happened last night was that a black actress final won the Best Actress Award in a Drama. I think Viola Davis’ acceptance speech basically sums up the moment better than I ever could.

In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.

That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.

And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you.

– Viola Davis

Finally the last thing to happen at the Emmys.

“This is impossible,” was the first line Jon Hamm uttered after crawling up on stage to accept his first Emmy after 16 nominations. Mad Men is a special show for me and I’ve written about it in the past. This past season was an end of an era. It was a show my wife and I watched together from before we were married. It’s also a show that changed television, at least it changed non-premium channel television. Before Mad Men, you didn’t see shows like it on regular cable TV. It paved the way for Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Better Call Saul. It’s first four seasons won the Emmy for Best Drama. I don’t know how Jon Hamm didn’t win Best Actor in any of those four season but like he said it’s not like the gave the award to some bum. Don Draper, or Dick Whitman, is one of the most interesting and flawed characters to grace television, and only Jon Hamm could bring him to life. I don’t think the final season was the shows best, I did think the finale was perfect, but Jon Hamm brought the whole flawed story home. I know these awards are supposed to be judged on the episode submitted to the academy but this felt like an achievement award for not only Jon Hamm but for all the incredible actors on Mad Men. This character and this show will be missed.

Back In The 90s I Was In A Famous TV Show…

I wasn’t actually in a famous 90s TV show. That’s the first line of the ending credits theme song of Bojack Horseman, which is one of my favorite shows on Netflix.

It’s an animated show about a talking bipedal horse who starred in a popular 90s sitcom about a horse raising three human orphans titled, “Horsin’ Around.” The show deals with his life about a decade after his popular sitcom ended. Now Bojack Horseman is rich, living in the Hollywood Hills, and dealing with serious life issues. The show’s as strange as it sounds but it’s spectacular and represents why Netflix is killing it. These types of comedies would never make it on TV, maybe it would be picked up on cartoon networks Adult Swim.

Shows like Bojack Horseman and Kimmie Schmidt are what make Netflix great. Netflix sits in the best position on any of the future media companies who will dominate the online content business. The way Netflix is producing quality content will make it hard for HBO to even keep up.

Why?

As of right now, HBO still operates on the typical television schedule. They only release certain shows at certain times of the year and then you need to wait a week to watch your next episode. They release about three new shows about every few months. HBO depends on hits. The lead field in terms of consistently high production quality. Nobody makes a show like Game of Thrones, except HBO. That’s what makes them great and a major competitor to Netflix but when you put out great products people get the perception that everything you produce also needs to be great. If it’s good or okay, then it sucks. It doesn’t matter that the show could be better than 99% of the content out there. It only matters that it wasn’t as good as True Detective Season One or the Sopranos.

Netflix doesn’t have this problem because they drowned out there mediocrity with scale. Yeah, Marco Polo was awful. At least the first few episodes I watched weren’t great, Lilyhammer is up and down, and there are a whole pile of shows I never even bothered to watch. That doesn’t matter because House of Cards is one of my favorite shows, and Orange, Kimmie Schmidt, and Bojack Horseman are my new favorite comedies. These shows don’t have to be as great as VEEP, which is the best comedy on TV. They only need to be good and different which they are.

What dragged me into Bojack Horseman’s first season wasn’t because it was the funniest show I’ve ever seen. It’s quirks and originality made it funnier than the rest of the stuff on TV.

The battle for the king of content will be a fascinating development where the consumer is the big winner. Will HBO have to change their business model? I think that it’s obvious they have and will have to change more but they won’t become Netflix. There is a premium market out there. Is it difficult to continue to kill it the way HBO has over the years with more competition? It is but as shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad have shown that people will pay with their money and attention for extremely high quality shows.

I don’t see anyone beating Netflix on quantity but who will win on quality. That’s the major question. Right now, quality is where HBO is winning but will Netflix eventually start producing enough quality, House of Cards-like shows, to make everyone forget about the alternatives?

Time will tell.

I’ll keep watching my favorite 90s celebrity horse and having the ending credits theme song stuck in my head.