Several years ago I realized that if I read 50 books a year, then I had enough cultural credit built up to also watch as much TV as I wanted. What I then realized, in this flurry of flatscreen love, was that TV…had gotten pretty darn wonderful. Great acting, fantastic stories, and the time to really explore characters and their worlds to an extent the multiplex will never match.
People sometimes get a little cranky about TV. Either there's too much of something they don't like (reality TV, infomercials, doctors in love), or not enough of what they miss (whether it's the Beav or Buffy). And people don't want to admit they watch TV all that much, anyway. "Oh, I happened to catch five minutes of Ellen or American Idol or America's Next Top Model…" Here are just a few shining examples of great television:
- Treme and Deadwood: more compelling than documentary or drama I've seen in the theater in the last ten years.
- Longmire and Justified: brilliant modern westerns develeoped from equally fantastic books.
- True Blood and Game of Thrones: steamy, violent and fantastic stories that had me glued to my couch.
And you know what? I don't have premium cable! I watched all of the above series thanks to the library - and at no charge. I checked out each season of Deadwood for 14 days, had my own Timothy Olyphant marathon, and then moved on to his new series, Justified.
So here's to the magnificence of the small screen! Did you miss out on the first season of Orphan Black? Do you wonder what's behind all that talk about Girls? With your library card, you can enjoy great television even after its run has ended. What's on your personal marathon list?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put a reserve on Behind the Candelabra. Hey, it won all those Emmys, I should give it a chance.