You don’t have to be paying rapt attention to the 50-inch rectangular flat screen hanging above the fireplace or the 40-incher placed, discreetly, in the corner of the office or even the 24-inch attached to the underside of the kitchen cabinet to know that this is the Golden Age of Television.
How do we know this? Everyone and the Brother from Another Planet has told us so.
I beg to differ, a point upon which I touched in a recent piece, while covering Amazon Studios’ Bosch.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love television. I also love film, which ultimately led to my working with a longtime film critic.
When I came onboard his editorial staff, nearly eight years ago, I attempted to drag him, from time to time, over to the dark side: Television. Being a film aficionado, there were a few small screen programs for which he would attest an affinity, but most of those were from his days as an innocent youth. No… to his way of thinking, film, in all its incarnations, was simply better.
TV times were a changin’ however, and, knowing his appreciation for artistry that transcended the ordinary, I felt impelled to shine-a-light, as it were. You should have seen this show last night, I would exclaim. It was incredible. You have no idea what you’re missing.
Mostly… my enthusiasm fell on deaf ears. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe me so much as that he had so much to see (movies for his film guide) and so little time in which to see them.
Still, after a night of Deadwood Rapture or Mad Men bliss I’d be farklempting all over the place come the dawn; railing on about Dexter Morgan this and Brenda Leigh Johnson that.
It was inevitable that he would, albeit slowly, be brought along. Not so much because of my ravings, but after his close associates started filling his ear as well, he began to take note. He has found time to watch a few shows. Not surprisingly, his favorites are often not my choices although there is some overlap.
But that’s good news. Once cable found its legs there was no turning back. Will we utter the sentence “190 channels and nothing to watch” ever again? It’s still surprising that it took so long for the production floodgates to open.
With 2015, I nearly came to the conclusion that we were approaching the brink; there was much too much.
“We are not in the Golden Age of Television. We are in the Gluttonous Age of…”
Well… you get it.
But, pull your claws back in. Don’t worry; for those out there who still think the black box is an evil time sucking demon. The solution, which has always been there, still remains. If you don’t watch, you don’t get sucked.
However, for those who love the visually enthralling, emotionally stimulating nightly journeys available; relish the abundance, rather than the lack, of choice: rejoice! TV-land is the nugget of gold in a mountain of ash.
Rather than lamenting too much to choose from and becoming overwhelmed with all of the product (I count myself among the guilty), relish in the fact that one can: change the channel, hit the off switch, go for a bike ride, register for a safari knowing that the show for which you are so passionate, and would jump into the ring opposite Ronda Rousey to view, will always be available on Streaming TV. And that, my fellow television enthusiasts, is a good thing.
Just don’t become the hermit your mother feared you might become and stay locked in your room eating bonbons by the flickering glow of the plasma stream.
That said, what follows is The TVolution’s most favorite shows of 2015. Some won’t come as much of a surprise, but I’m always keen to read or hear someone else’s take on a subject. It amazes me how many different ways there are to viewing the same material and how my take away doesn’t have to match yours and vice versa.
Aah… a creative exchange of ideas and points of view.
Acknowledging that there’s product being shown that has flown under the TVolution radar, this culled together list stems from that hundred plus I did manage to see. The stress, as the titles make clear, leans heavily toward the dramatic. So, seeing as how comedies have not been represented here, I shall endeavor to wrap them in Same Time, Next Year.
And now, read on, fair TV-lover. Let me know if you agree-disagree and why. I don’t have a thick skin, but appreciate opposing opinions nonetheless, not just those in accord.
Now the list; call it, “I would take these to a desert island” list for 2015: