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Take Five / The Good Dr.’s Reasons Why Not: The 2007 WGA Strike

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 12, 2007

Watching The Power of One: Now immoral, as well as stupid

So back in 1988, a bunch of screenwriters made some short-sighted business figurings, and consequently, we’re gonna run out of TV pretty soon. The late night talk shows already stopped production last week, and now it’s just a matter of time until your favorite primetime show ceases to air new episodes. Meanwhile, shows like 24 and LOSTmight not get to air this year, and who knows if shows like Moonlight or Cane will ever get to air again at all. But somewhere along the line, when I almost certainly should have started panicking and hoarding my BitTorrent cue like so many acorns, a thought occured to me:

I don’t care.

Not really. Not too much, anyway. Here I am, a veritable TV Guy, saying that the prospect of going weeks, months, even seasons without new TV barely frightens me at all. Without getting too much into the politics of the situation–I don’t pretend to know who’s right or anything, though obviously I’m assuming the writers have at least a couple legit grievances–here’s why this concept concerns me little:

  • It’s Not Like I’m Ever Really Home for These Shows. I mean, maybe sometimes on Mondays or Wednesdays, but even on the latter I can usually satisfy myself watching Sopranos re-runs on A&E. Otherwise, I generally either have classes or a pretense at a social life, and I actually usually end up spending most of Monday playing catch-up on the shows that I missed the week before. Sometimes it feels more like a chore than anything else (though, admittedly, not usually).
  • What Was So Great About This TV Season Anyway? Seriously. I’ve already gone over how nothing I consider this year’s new batch to be, and the returning champs haven’t been faring too much better. Of the literally dozens of shows I started watching at the beginning of this TV season, only two would actually upset me if they disappeared from my life completely–Dexter and Friday Night Lights. The former’s season is already almost over, and FNL already has up to episode 15 in the can. Plus, who knows if it was going to last any longer than that anyway?
  • ESPN and VH1-Classic Remain Unaffected. Getting into sports was really the most brilliant decision I could’ve accidentally made in preperation for this strike. Before folowing the playoffs this year, I had completely forgotten what a time commitment it was to follow sports regularly, but between the various college and pro sports currently in season, there’s something to watch pretty much every night (as well as clip shows recounting their highlights all day). And to fill in the gaps for when there isn’t, there’s always VH1 Classic, reliable and unthreatening. Hell, when there isn’t even that, there’s usually at least some combination of reruns on SOAP Net (The O.C., Dallas, 90210), Sleuth TV (Miami Vice, Magnum P.I., Homicide) and FX (King of the Hill, Nip/Tuck, Malcolm in the Middle) to tide me over.
  • More Time to Catch Up on Older Stuff. There’s a whole world of classic TV out there. Who knows what gaps in my archival TV knowledge I’ll fill in next? The Shield? The Young Ones? McMillan and Wife? Fuck, if I want to, I can just spend the time rewatching my newly acquired DVD sets of My So-Called Life and The Wire. It’s a world of possibilities out there, truly.
  • I Dunno, Exercise Maybe? Human Interaction? Unprotected Sex? I was having a conversation with someone about the WGA strike and they said something to the effect of how the music and video game businesses were going to experience a boom without people having movies or TV to turn to. “I dunno,” I said to him. “Maybe people’ll actually, y’know…go outside?” We had a good chuckle at that.

Oh yeah, speaking of which, I guess the film industry is kind of affected by this as well. The fact that I hadn’t even considered this until now should demonstrate what a priority I consider this to be. Oh, and sorry about doing the Creating Suspense in the First Paragraph and Relieving it With a One-Sentence Italicized Punchline thing again at the top. I promise to do it no more than 68 times in my next 221 articles.

7 Responses to “Take Five / The Good Dr.’s Reasons Why Not: The 2007 WGA Strike”

  1. […] harveyjames wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptTheresa whole world of classic TV out there. Who knows what gaps in my archival TV knowledge Ill fill in next? The Shield? The Young Ones? McMillan and Wife? Fuck, if I want to, I can just spend the time rewatching my newly acquired … […]

  2. Sonja said

    Reasons I care:

    1. How I Met Your Mother
    2. The Office
    3. Pushing Daisies

    This is very important.

  3. […] Take Five / The Good Dr.s Reasons Why Not: The 2007 WGA Strike November 12th. 2007, 9:23pm unknown wrote an interesting post today on […]

  4. The reason I care: I have selfish reasons for wanting writers to be able to make a living wage.

  5. Haley said

    Andrew, during this time, I think you should definently give The Young Ones a shot, I think it is one of British comedy’s best efforts and who doesn’t like seeing a mopie hippie attempt to commit suicide every episode?

  6. aa said

    the biggest downside is we’re open to TONS of reality tv. an upside is networks will start to licence more european programs the downside, networks will start to licence more european programs.. or canadian.

    another upside, networks might be open to fresh writers, mayber. (downside, american tv was just starting to get good again)

  7. qaz said

    Ah, The Young Ones. Genius.

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