I Love Television
The 9 Percent Solution
Pop quiz, hotshot! Who's the bigger idiot: me or you? On one hand, because you refuse to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you are hopelessly behind when it comes to television watching, and annoying the shit out of the rest of us at the water cooler by yelling "SPOILER ALERT!" whenever we talk about our fave shows. OR! Am I the idiot for paying roughly $85 per month for satellite service, even though I only watch maybe 24 shows per month (which means I'm paying $3.50 to watch an episode of The Mindy Project)? OHHHH HELLLL NOOOO.
Obviously, I'm the bigger idiot in this scenario—but you're still an a-hole. HOWEVER! Here's the more important question: When it comes to TV watching, why are we both being made to suffer? You can't afford to pay $85 per month to watch Game of Thrones, so you end up watching it on your crappy little computer screen after stealing someone's HBO GO password (if you're lucky) and crashing the internet with the rest of your show-stealing nerdling friends. Meanwhile, those of us who are lucky enough to afford pay-TV service are deluged with terrible content we will never, ever watch (example: any show on Bravo, TLC, and Lifetime)... and paying $3.50 for The Mindy Project. Again... OHHHH HELLLL NOOOO.
Unfortunately, according to a new Nielsen survey, tons of Americans are just like me: They pay for 189 channels, but on average? Only actually watch 17 of 'em—a measly 9 PERCENT—and still, our pay-TV bills continue to rise. And for those of us with discerning tastes, it's even worse! I regularly watch only nine channels, but even then, only one or two shows on each network. SO WHY AM I PAYING SO MUCH MONEY OH GOD I'M AN IDIOT OHHHH HELLLL NOOOO.
So while I am undeniably an idiot, it's becoming more and more apparent that the current system—too little quality for too much money—IS NOT WORKING. The pay-TV industry may not be losing a lot of customers yet, but every year, more and more people like you are cutting the cable and making do with the dribs and drabs you can find on the internet, because there's a point when everyone will finally say, "I'm sorry, but The Mindy Project is simply not worth $3.50 per episode (maybe $1.39), and I'm not paying for it anymore."
This eventuality will provide both good and bad news: The death of big, burdensome pay-TV packages will also kill off the terrible networks that produce cheap reality fare such as Duck Dynasty (which, seriously, no one needs to be watching). The downside is that the small, truly creative shows won't even be given a shot in a market that will be ruled by blockbuster GoT-style fare.
I've been yelling about it for years, but here I go again: The company that finally invents a television delivery system that can offer the latest TV series from all networks à la carte (purchased singly) will not only be stinking rich, they'll be a national hero... especially to idiots like me.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 14
8:00 CW ARROW
Season finale! Oliver must decide whether he’s a hero… or a killer! (Choose hero! Choose hero!)
10:00 FX THE AMERICANS
Stan is forced to choose between his job or his Rooskie girlfriend. (Rooskie girlfriend! Rooskie girlfriend!)
THURSDAY, MAY 15
9:00 CW REIGN
Season finale! Teen Mary Queen of Scots is forced to take drastic action when King Henry goes cuckoo!
10:00 IFC MARON
Marc makes friends with comedian Ray Romano—which will prove to be the worst mistake of his life.
FRIDAY, MAY 16
10:00 NBC HANNIBAL
In therapy, Will shares his fantasies with Hannibal, and trust me, they’re not about trips to the cotton-candy factory.
SATURDAY, MAY 17
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Season finale! Tonight’s host: Former SNL cast member Andy Samberg comes crawling back just like everyone said he would.
SUNDAY, MAY 18
10:00 AMC MAD MEN
Pete is invited to join a swingers club… and everybody else immediately quits.
10:00 SHO PENNY DREADFUL
Vanessa and Sir Malcolm meet Dorian Grey, who looks so young for his age!
MONDAY, MAY 19
10:00 NBC THE MAYA RUDOLPH SHOW
Debut! Maya’s very own variety show, featuring skits and music from Kristin Bell, Andy Samberg, Janelle Monae, and more!
10:00 FX LOUIE
Louie runs into someone from his past, which makes him so happy! (Sarcasm.)
TUESDAY, MAY 20
8:00 ANI MAN-EATING ZOMBIE CATS
Okay, now they’re just making shit up.
10:00 FX FARGO
Gus and Molly team up, while Malvo puts his evil master plan into action BWA-HA-HA-HAAAAA!
All tweets $3.50 or less! @WmSteveHumphrey