Television and books

This may not be original, but it occurred to me today that “television” is very different than the television I grew up with.  It used to be that if you wanted to “follow” a show, you had to make yourself available at the same time every week.  You had to be “in the mood” for Cheers or MASH or All in the Family (dating myself, of course) when it was on.  (Perhaps this kept me from being much of a connoisseur of television.)

Eventually, there was potential for videotaping, and time-shifting the shows you were interested in.

Now, though, you can pretty much “pick up” any series you want on Netflix or Amazon Instant Video or iTunes or one of the other video-streaming services.  Watch whenever you want and go quickly through an old series if you wish.

That was the way I always read books.  As a kid, I would read a string of old Hardy Boys or Tom Swifts or Nero Wolfes or Perry Masons or . . . .

And I have to say, this is a better way of consuming television.  It probably encourages better television, since it permits longer narrative arcs and more complex character development.

I’d still rather read a good novel.*

*And then read everything else the author wrote.

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