Maybe The Soviets Were on to Something (Sort of)



I went to dinner with several couples on Saturday night and I was bombarded with TV recommendations -- because we are living in the Platinum Age of Television -- and so apparently I need to watch Key and Peele and Vikings and Ray Donovan and Banshee and Spartacus and Downton Abbey and new episodes of Eastbound & Down and some other shows that I have forgotten (and this doesn't even include the shows that I'm trying to keep up with: Madmen and The Walking Dead and Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Homeland and Portlandia and American Horror Story and Justified and the first season of 24) and it's all too overwhelming for me, and so I think I'm going to have to take a sabbatical from television, but really what I think I want is a simpler time, when everybody watched the same thing; I recently listened to a 99% Invisible podcast called "Unsung Icons of Soviet Design" and while the Russians didn't have much choice -- everyone played the same arcade games, used the same cassette player, programmed the same awful personal computer and knew the same bedtime song . . . and they all knew this song because they all watched the same program every night at 8:00 PM, and saw the same puppets sing the same lullaby . . . and while I don't think it's necessary that we have a Soviet-style oppressive government that designs all culture and technology, it certainly was nice when you could rely on the fact that everyone you knew watched Seinfeld on Thursday night (and discussed it Friday at work).



6 comments:

zman said...

You really don't need to watch Ray Donovan. I watched the entire first season in large part because I pay for Showtime and I wanted to convince myself that this was money well spent because I was getting more than just Homeland. Ray Donovan is a goofy show despite having many big-name cast members. We just started watching Downton Abbey and it's a better use of your time.

Dave said...

thanks. now i need someone to tell me i don't need to watch downton abbey and all the other shows, and then i'll be set.

zman said...

You really don't NEED to watch Downton Abbey. It's better than Ray Donovan but that isn't saying much. It's very Pride and Prejudice (possibly my least favorite required reading book from high school), and if it doesn't change gears soon (we're still in season 1) I might bail.

Dave said...

ok, enough said. i will skip it.

Spode said...

My wife and I love Downton. The sets and costumes are gorgeous and the writing and acting are strong as well. I like to think of it as serious PG Wodehouse. Vikings is really good, especially considering the fact that it's The History Channel's first original dramatic show

Dave said...

serious p.g wodehouse? no such thing. i am not watching a show because of the "gorgeous costumes." i give "downton abbey" a giant and totally invalid thumbs down.

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